VOC collection handed over to Western Australia

The Netherlands has given more than 1,125 objects salvaged from ships of the Dutch East Company (VOC) to Western Australia. Yesterday, the Dutch ambassador in Canberra, Willem Andreae, officially handed over the collection to the Premier of Western Australia, Colin Barnett. The transfer was arranged under the Agreement between Australia and the Netherlands Concerning Old Dutch Shipwrecks (ANCODS).

The objects were salvaged from the East Indiamen Batavia, Vergulde Draeck, Zuytdorp and Zeewijk. They sailed under the flag of the Dutch East India Company and sank off the coast of Western Australia in the 17th and 18th centuries.

Collection available online

The collection is housed in the Western Australian Museum in Fremantle. In the museum’s Shipwreck Galleries visitors can view coins, earthenware ornaments, cannon and other artefacts from the collection. They are also accessible to an international public, thanks to an online database. The website was launched recently by Mr Andreae and the Australian Minister for Culture and the Arts, John Day.