Dutch King Willem-Alexander retires coach amid slavery row

dutch king

The Netherlands’ King Willem-Alexander has announced that Dutch royals will cease using a historic golden carriage amid a debate over slavery links. Critics say that one side of the horse-drawn carriage, called De Gouden Koets, is decorated with an image that glorifies the country’s colonial past. Out of use since 2015, the carriage has traditionally been used to carry Dutch monarchs to the opening of parliament. The move comes amid an ongoing debate in the country over its history. The controversial image featured on the vehicle is called Tribute from the Colonies, and depicts black and Asian people – one of whom is kneeling – offering goods including cocoa and sugarcane to a seated young white woman who symbolises the Netherlands. Seated next to her is a man offering a book to a young boy, which the work’s painter, Nicolaas van der Waay, said in 1896 was intended to portray the Netherlands’ gift of “civilisation” to its colonies.(BBC)…[+]