Dutch king may stop using carriage celebrating colonial past

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Dutch King Willem-Alexander may stop using a ceremonial horse-drawn carriage with images celebrating the Netherlands' former rule over colonies, he said on Friday, following an upsurge in criticism of the 'Golden Carriage'. The gilded wooden carriage was built in 1898 and is decorated on one side with a panel called 'Tribute of the Colonies', which shows Black and Asian subjects bringing offerings to a white woman on a throne representing the Netherlands

Reuters July 18, 2020 01:10:48 IST
Dutch king may stop using carriage celebrating colonial past

Dutch king may stop using carriage celebrating colonial past

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Dutch King Willem-Alexander may stop using a ceremonial horse-drawn carriage with images celebrating the Netherlands' former rule over colonies, he said on Friday, following an upsurge in criticism of the "Golden Carriage".

The gilded wooden carriage was built in 1898 and is decorated on one side with a panel called "Tribute of the Colonies", which shows Black and Asian subjects bringing offerings to a white woman on a throne representing the Netherlands.

Prime Minister Mark Rutte said in June he was aware the carriage, which has been undergoing restoration since 2015, "summons emotions", but added: "it's all part of our history."

The carriage, along with statues of naval heroes from the country's 17th century golden age, has become a hot topic of debate in the wake of Black Lives Matter protests.

"We're following the discussion, I'm listening to it," King Willem-Alexander said during an annual meeting with the press, when members of the royal family pose for pictures.

"As long as there is implicit and explicit discrimination in the Netherlands, we must tackle that as a society," he added.

The carriage traditionally transports the king to address parliament every September, but is not due to be back in service until 2021.

The king said there would be no move to change the decorations during its repairs.

"It's part of our cultural heritage, so we're not going to be re-writing history with the restoration," he said.

"Once the restoration has been completed, then we'll see."

(Reporting by Toby Sterling and Piroschka van de Wouw; Editing by Mark Potter)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.