Bad news comes soon enough and the news from the Tropenmuseum feels like a harbinger of more bad news to come. The Royal Institute of the Tropics (KIT) will see its subsidy slashed by 4 million Euro. Two million will be the reduction on the budget for the Tropenmuseum.
This is bad news. It is particularly sad when you consider that much of the importance of the Tropenmuseum is in the way it brings other cultures closer to the experience of the people of the Netherlands. As the PVV, a xenophobic party, has a large influence in Dutch politics it feels like a prelude of more things to come.
The Tropenmuseum has proven itself as a friend and its engagement in the Wikimedia world has improved its solid reputation. The Tropenmuseum and KIT are important and its budget cut has made the news. Many other GLAMs will face similar cuts and this will not make the news to this extend.
GLAMs are the repositories of our cultural heritage. As the goal of the Wikimedia movement is to share all knowledge with everyone, they are our natural partners. Less money for museums means less money for digitalisation and outreach. It means that they will be looking for money, for cooperation..