Jos van Beurden

In ‘Treasures in Trusted Hands – Negotiating the Future of Colonial Cultural Objects’Jos van Beurden depicts the massive one-way flow to Europe of objects from Africa, Asia, Latin America and some Nordic colonies during five centuries of European colonialism. The study analyses bilateral negotiations between the Netherlands and Indonesia, Belgium and Congo, and other parties about the return of colonial treasures. He compares dealings with claimed colonial cultural objects with dealings with Nazi-looted art. The author offers a model to conduct negotiations about it. See The book was nominated for the NWO Boekman Dissertation Price 2015 – 2017.

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, Bangladesh, and Cambodia, he wrote numerous articles, made radio documentaries and published some books, amongst these ‘The Return of Cultural and Historical Treasures: The Case of the Netherlands’ (KIT Publishers, 2012), available now at the web

For his contribution to the protection of the cultural heritage (and other merits), Jos van Beurden was appointed in 2012 Officer in the Order of Orange-Nassau. Jos van Beurden was the first Chair of the Jury of the ASCL Master Thesis Award.