Director Lejo Schenk to leave the Tropenmuseum
Tropenmuseum director Lejo Schenk is to bring his active career to an end in January 2012, when he reaches the age of 63.
Since he took over in 2000, the Tropenmuseum has developed from an anthropological to a cultural historical museum. Part of the Royal Tropical Institute (KIT), the Tropenmuseum has become one of the Netherlands’ best known museums. Jan Donner, President of KIT’s Executive Board, says that Schenk’s ‘engagement and capacity to tell stories have been a decisive factor in this success’.
Schenk’s engagement was fostered during his career as a journalist and director of the IKON broadcasting company. Cooperating with museums in the non-Western world is a major priority for the Tropenmuseum. ‘It has always been of genuine importance to give the museum social relevance,’ says Schenk. ‘You can only achieve that if the museum, the exhibitions and the collection have clear links with the here and now. That is why we work with museums around the world, collect non-Western modern art, and combine objects from other cultures with contemporary art and design.’ The Tropenmuseum is also seriously affected by the government’s cutbacks. ‘That made me think seriously about the timing of my departure,’ says Schenk. ‘But I have every faith in the museum’s resilience. Also under new leadership, it will be able to withstand this period of financial adversity.’
Remain active in museum world
Schenk will remain active in the museum world after his departure. He will stay on as chair of the Museums Committee of the Council for Culture, executive member of MusEAna (online Museum Analysis System) and advisor to various museums in the Netherlands. ‘It is a wonderful sector to be involved in,’ says Schenk. ‘I love the connection between historical legacy and the today’s reality.’
The search for a new director will start in June.
The Tropenmuseum & Royal Tropical Institute
The Tropenmuseum at the Royal Tropical Institute is internationally involved in the areas of culture and development. It presents, studies and promotes knowledge of and interaction with other cultures, and offers perception and experience to a wide and diverse audience. The Royal Tropical Institute is an independent centre of knowledge and expertise in the areas of international and intercultural cooperation, operating at the interface between theory and practice and between policy and implementation.
Information for the press
For more information please contact: Mrs. Femke Blickman, Corporate Communication, Hospitality & Facilities, Royal Tropical Institute, tel. +31 (0)20 – 568 82 96, email: firstname.lastname@example.org