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Symposium: Dutch legacy in the Baltic region

Scholars from 9 countries in Riga to discuss the Dutch legacy in the Baltic region

On 24 and 25 April, 2008, the first Symposium on “Dutch–Baltic relations in a historical perspective” will take place at the National History Museum of Latvia. The symposium will bring together around 30 eminent scholars from Latvia, the Netherlands and other countries around the Baltic Sea – Lithuania, Estonia, Finland, Denmark, Sweden, Russia and Poland.

The aim of the symposium is to present materials and exchange knowledge and insights about the rich and varied legacy of Dutch merchants, architects, engineers, shippers, artists, preachers, teachers, writers, and diplomats in the Baltic region. Relatively unknown to many people, the Netherlands and the Baltic region had extensive contacts and relations in previous centuries and exerted considerable influence on each other’s economic and political developments.

At the symposium, experts will give short oral presentations on various topics related to the history of Dutch-Baltic relations. Keynote speakers will be prof. James Kennedy, professor of Dutch history at the University of Amsterdam (the Netherlands), and prof. Jaap Bruijn, professor of maritime history of the University of Leyden (the Netherlands). Conference languages are English and German.

After the symposium, articles based on presentations given at the seminar will be compiled into “Symposium Proceedings”, due to be published by the end of 2008. The symposium is organized by the National History Museum of Latvia with the support of the Royal Netherlands Embassy and the Directorate of Baltic Trade and Shipping Companies (Directie der Oostersche Handel en Reederijen). The symposium is open to the public, free of charge.

The symposium forms part of the program of Holland Days 2008, and coincides with an exhibition on Dutch-Baltic maritime relations with collections of the Museum of History of Riga and Navigation in Riga, the Veenkoloniaal Museum in Veendam (the Netherlands) and others, to be held in the Mentzendorff Museum from 28 March till 1 June, 2008. Information on the program and other activities in the framework of Holland Days 2008 can be found at

Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands

Torna iela 4-1a

LV-1050 Riga

Tel.: +371 67326147

Fax: +371 67326151


The Dutch and the Baltics: A Long-Term Relationship that’s Here to Stay [PDF]

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