We are thrilled to inform you about a major win for the campaign against Fossil Fuel sponsorship of the Arts and Cultural Sector in the Netherlands. The Van Gogh Museum has confirmed that it has ended its 18-year sponsorship deal with Shell, and two other major Dutch museums have followed suit.
Hot on the heels of the ‘Van Gogh Drops Shell’ announcement, it is our GREAT pleasure to announce that two further major Dutch institutions; Mauritshuis and Museon, have severed their ties with the fossil fuel industry, historically dropping their sponsorship deals in rapid tempo.
That both these institutions are situated in The Hague, home to Shell’s headquarters and the seat of Dutch government, conspicuously reflects the mounting public criticism of Shell’s catastrophic practices, both within the Netherlands and globally. We, and others are working to speed this chain reaction towards critical mass worldwide.
This deal dropping domino effect cannot be a coincidence*. We believe an ethical tipping point in sponsorship norms has been reached in the Dutch cultural sector.
At long last it’s time for the fossil fuel industry to take their well-deserved place alongside tobacco as morally unacceptable sponsors. Sponsors that any self-respecting institution would hurry to wash their hands of. It’s our firm hope that the code of conduct regarding sponsorship of cultural institutions will soon be updated to cement this position into law.
Now that all reference to their former partner Shell has hastily been removed from the Van Gogh Museum’s website, we find ourselves following the current chain of events to their logical conclusion, and arrive at this question; as the last cultural institution on the Museumplein still stained by Shell’s dirty hands, isn’t it time for Concertgebouw to come to their senses and #DropShell?
A Fossil Free Museumplein Amsterdam would certainly be music to many ears.
* The Art Newspaper broke this story today, highlighting contradictions between museum spokespersons’ statements and publically available facts drawn from the museums’ annual reports: https://www.theartnewspaper.com/news/shell-sponsorship