Press release by Fossil Free Culture NL
Amsterdam, 10 September 2020 – The artist collective Fossil Free Culture NL (FFCNL) celebrates an important milestone: All cultural institutions located at Amsterdam’s prestigious Museumplein are finally fossil free. Major cultural institutions including the Van Gogh Museum, Rijksmuseum and most recently the Royal Concertgebouw have cut their ties with fossil fuel companies. This was the aim of Fossil Free Culture NL’s campaign, which has been running for three years. The artist collective considers this is a critical achievement in the city’s strategy to become climate neutral and a fully circular city by 2050.
Frida Escalante of FFCNL says: “With our disobedient art performances, we’ve successfully freed our Museumplein from fossil fuel influence. There’s no place for oil and gas criminals in the cultural sector.”
The Concertgebouw was the last institution on Museumplein still accepting sponsorship from Royal Dutch Shell, as part of their business club network. Shell silently left the business club earlier this year. Before that, the Van Gogh Museum stopped Shell’s sponsorship in 2018 and Rijksmuseum dropped oil company Saudi Aramco in 2017. Now, there is no single institution at Museumplein that collaborates with the fossil fuel industry.
On September 16th from 17.30 to 19.00, Fossil Free Culture NL will celebrate The Grand Opening of Fossil Free Museumplein. Artists, performers, and cultural workers will gather together in Museumplein to embrace their newly liberated cultural space. Marene Elgershuizen, Dutch dramatic-coloratura soprano and performer of the Grote Zaal in Het Concertgebouw, will speak about the value of cultural institutions distancing themselves from the fossil fuel industry. Ama van Dantzing, co-founder of Dr. Monk, will speak about the role of the artists in exposing the human and ecological crimes fossil fuel corporations perpetuate and why art is key in countering climate collapse. At the end of the ceremony, FFCNL will reveal a new intervention that will physically remind the public that Museumplein is forever freed of fossil fuels.
About Fossil Free Culture NL
Fossil Free Culture NL is a collective of artists that has been campaigning for a Fossil Free Museumplein since 2017 is a non-profit organization in Amsterdam. Through unsolicited art performances, they managed to liberate the Van Gogh Museum in 2018 and The Concertgebouw in 2020.