VOC 2002 Celebrations

Benno van Tilburg
Chairman, Stichting Duyfken VOC 2002

In 2002 the Netherlands will commemorate the fact that the "Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie", better known as VOC (United East India Company) was founded 400 years ago. On March 20, 1602, the "Staten Generaal" (States General, the equivalent of a parliament in those days) gave a licence to the VOC, declaring its foundation.

The "Foundation Celebration 400 years VOC" was established to encourage, co-ordinate and support the organisation of activities to commemorate this historical event. Most of those activities will take place in the first half of 2002 in cooperation with private and public sectors through education, science and culture.

During spring and summer of 2002 the Duyfken will play a major role in these VOC-celebrations, visiting a number of the original Dutch VOC ports and taking part in several maritime events. Other commemoration activities include a memorial ceremony in the "Ridderzaal" (The Knights' Hall) in the parliamentary building in The Hague, and festivities in the six VOC port cities of Amsterdam, Delft, Enkhuizen, Hoorn, Middelburg and Rotterdam, as well as on the island of Texel.