Jos van Beurden

Jos van Beurden graduated in 1971 (MA Law - main subjects: Philosophy of law at Utrecht University, and Peace-research at Groningen University). He began his career as a village-researcher in Bangladesh, where he co-authored ‘Jhagrapur: Poor peasants and women in a village in Bangladesh’. Since the mid-1980s he has been a regular visitor of the Horn of Africa, which resulted in books about Ethiopia and neighbouring countries. From around 1990 he has included research into the protection, theft and smuggling of cultural and historical treasures of vulnerable states and peoples in Africa, Asia and Latin America in his research. Often based on field-trips to countries such as Mali, Ethiopia, Sudan, Nigeria, India, Bangladesh, Cambodia and Indonesia, he wrote numerous articles, made radio documentaries and published some books, amongst these ‘Treasures in Trusted Hands - Negotiating the future of colonial cultural objects' (Sidestone Press, 2017).

In Inconvenient Heritage – Colonial collections and restitution in the Netherlands and Belgium (2022), Jos van Beurden deals with the incorrect emphasis on Great Britain, France and Germany in the ongoing discussion about restitution. His books offers and overview of how two other former major colonial empires, the Netherlands and Belgium, deal with this issue and how former colonies such as the Dutch Indies, Suriname, DR Congo, Rwanda and Burundi react to this. It answers questions such as how and when colonial collections were acquired, whether they were all looted and how restitution works in practice.