Van Gogh Europe: cooperation between European Van Gogh sites

Joining forces to preserve Van Gogh’s legacy

13 February 2012

Thursday, 9 February, more than 20 European organisations involved with Vincent van Gogh’s legacy signed a cooperative agreement at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. This was the green light for Van Gogh Europe, an international partnership aimed at enabling collective, high-quality management, preservation, presentation, and development of Vincent van Gogh's legacy.

Numerous Dutch, Belgian, and French museums, heritage institutions, municipalities and other organizations jointly took the initiative for Van Gogh Europe. With respect for authenticity and quality, this close partnership will have a major social, economic and art-historical impact through public activities, education, digital development, research and tourism.

Cooperative agreement
The Dutch organizations participating in Van Gogh Europe are the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, the Kröller-Müller Museum in Otterlo (municipality of Ede), the Noordbrabants Museum in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, Van Gogh Brabant and its heritage sites in Zundert, Nuenen, Tilburg en Etten-Leur, 2018Brabant Cultural Capital of Europe | Candidate, RBT-KAN, Vrijetijdshuis Brabant, the Veluwe Tourist Office, and the municipality of Ede. The other signatories of today’s cooperative agreement were a range of museums, heritage organizations, and municipalities in France and Belgium.

Preservation and further development

Vincent van Gogh's contribution to the history of art is immeasurable, and the energy and accessibility of his work appeals to very large numbers of people worldwide. Van Gogh Europe brings together the places where Van Gogh lived and worked and the organizations and research institutions where his work is held, studied, and exhibited.

New dimension
By forging links between all aspects of Van Gogh’s work, life and thought at the European level, the initiative aims to create a new dimension in the visibility, preservation and further development of his legacy. This will take place in cooperation with government bodies, businesses and civil-society organisations, with a consistent emphasis on quality.

Some activities will involve all the Van Gogh sites, while others will be local or regional in character, but all will be of Europe-wide significance. A case in point is the restoration of Van Gogh's home in Wasmes, Belgium. This house stood empty for more than twenty years, but the Foundation Mons 2015 has now taken steps to preserve it, restore it and open it to the public. This decision was made related to the Mons European Capital of Culture 2015 programme and the developments around Van Gogh Europe. The businesses AKZO NOBEL, Franki and Matexi have offered to take responsibility for renovating the house.

Van Gogh Europe expects the initial results of the partnership to be visible to the general public by mid-2013.