Dutch ships have sailed to every corner of the globe. This has left traces of Dutch maritime heritage all over the world. An important part of this heritage includes shipwrecks. Among these are wrecks of the Dutch East India Company (VOC), the West East India Company (WIC), the Royal Netherlands Navy and the Admiralty.

Recently investigated examples are the VOC ship Rooswijk that sank off the coast of England and the wrecks of the Royal Netherlands Navy ships that foundered/sank during the Second World War in the Battle of the Java Sea in Indonesia.

Management of shipwrecks abroad

In order to preserve this maritime heritage for future generations, the Cultural Heritage Agency (RCE) researches what is valuable and what needs to be protected. 

Through the International Programme for Maritime Heritage (2019-2021), the RCE is stepping up its efforts to achieve this. This is for example reflected in projects such as #Rooswijk1740 and Dutch presence in Cuban waters but also by developing knowledge in the field of policy and management and by focusing on international collaborations.

In our programme, we work together with the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, the Ministry of Defence, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Central Government Real Estate Agency.

Shared Cultural Heritage

Within the Shared Cultural Heritage program, we focus on the maritime heritage that connects the Netherlands with one of partner countries such as Australia, Brazil and South Africa.