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Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum Removes “Racially Charged” Language

For nearly a month, the Rijksmuseum’s staff from the history department have been working to remove racially offensive language from the catalogues of their holdings, says Amah-Rose Abrams of Artnet.

Words like “negro” and “dwarf” have been removed from works’ titles to reflect the broader culture’s changes in attitude towards difference. Though some feel this project smacks of a historically revisionist political correctness, according to Abrams, Raphael Roig—the International Council of Museums’ senior programs officer and permanent secretary of the ethics committee—says, “The key is finding the balance between responding to the sensitivities of the represented communities and safeguarding of history. We are very supportive toward the Rijksmuseum's decision.”

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