Posted on January 19, 2022

Dutch King to Retire Golden Coach With Slavery Images After Racism Row

Agence France-Presse, January 13, 2022

The Dutch king, Willem-Alexander, has announced that he is mothballing – at least for now – the royal golden coach which has been embroiled in a racism controversy.

The opulent horse-drawn carriage, called De Gouden Koets, has traditionally transported the Dutch monarch to the opening of parliament and other state occasions {snip}

At the centre of the slavery controversy is a picture on the left-side panel of the golden coach.

Called “Tribute of the Colonies”, the image depicts kneeling black people handing over produce like cocoa and sugarcane to their white masters – including to a young white woman on a throne representing the Netherlands.

Next to her, a young white man is seen giving a young black boy a book as he is presented by his subservient father, an image which painter Nicolaas van der Waay in 1896 said was meant to portray “civilisation”.