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Shell sponsorship deal with Amsterdam's Van Gogh Museum ends

Protestors at the Van Gogh Museum Shell sponsorship deal with Amsterdam’s Van Gogh Museum ends The museum as well as the Mauritshuis in The Hague have stopped collaborating with the oil company by “mutual decision” Protestors at the Van Gogh Museum © Laura Ponchel Two of the major Dutch museums have just ended their collaboration with Shell, at a time of mounting protests over sponsorship by fossil fuel companies. Amsterdam’s Van Gogh Museum and the Mauritshuis in The Hague both terminated arrangements with the country’s largest oil and gas firm this summer. A Mauritshuis spokesman says that it had a six-year partnership contract with Shell, which was due to end in July and was not renewed. Surprisingly, however, the latest annual report of the Mauritshuis states that support from Shell Nederland and two other partners is “crucial for the long-term future of the museum”. Shell has also been supporting technical research on paintings by Jan Steen, but this work is almost complete and is due to be published by the end of the year. A statement by the Van Gogh Museum says that after 18 years of Shell support, their sponsorship ended earlier this month. For the past five years, this has focussed on Van Gogh’s 1888-90 paintings, and while the technical research may have been concluded, publication of the resulting catalogue is still some years off. Axel Rüger, the museum director, has expressed gratitude to Shell for “an extremely rewarding collaboration”. A Shell Nederland spokeswoman says that its relationship with the two museums was ended by “mutual decisions”. The links of the Mauritshuis and the Van Gogh Museum with Shell have been attacked by the Fossil Free Culture group, which has mounted protests. Its spokeswoman says it “would like to think that the museums made ethical decisions”.

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Community-newspaper concept fueled my passion Before walking out of the Austin American-Statesman newsroom Friday for the last time as editor of the Westlake Picayune and Lake Travis View, I sent a farewell email to all staff members that offered only heartfelt encouragement. I will attempt to find similar words in this final message. I’ve said many time since becoming an editor that I am continually impressed with the way readers buy into the community-newspaper concept by sending us everything from press releases to basic story ideas. This certainly applies to the Picayune and View, where I’ve served as editor for more than 23 and five years, respectively. Being part of a joint effort with readers has always fueled my passion to continue doing this job as long as I felt up to the task. Our readers play a key role in the process of the producing the Picayune, the View and the Statesman. Each member of any newspaper staff feels inspiration when readers take the time to offer feedback and make suggestions. For many reasons, I held off until now saying anything about my decision to leave this job to anyone unless they knew something and asked first. One of them was that I simply couldn’t find the words to honestly explain the factors involved. I hate the word retirement because I don’t think I’m ready for that, and it sounds so final. As I told my co-workers, I’ve not quit a job on my own for more than 23 years and never thought I would do that without first having another one lined up.

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