PRINT March 2005



To the Editor:

As an art critic for the weekly Amsterdam news magazine Elsevier, I was stunned by Jennifer Allen’s international news item “Trouble Dutch” [January 2005], in which she characterizes recent cuts to the budgets of several Dutch art institutions as a change of policy linked to the murder of Theo van Gogh. In doing so, Allen casually endorses a highly controversial view of this event as having being provoked by the ideas of another recently murdered Dutchman, conservative politician Pim Fortuyn, and by the supposed adoption of an increasingly xenophobic worldview in a country known for its tolerance and multiculturalism.

It must be reassuring for a Berlin-based critic to feel able to link so many complicated problems, but to those with direct, factual knowledge of current Dutch art policy, things look very different. To somebody from a country which has for many years offered

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