In earlier messages on this blog, we have asked your attention for the controversial moving plans of the Order of Freemasons under the Grand East of the Netherlands, which involve the historical collections in the Cultural Masonic Centre in The Hague.
this plan met with much controversy amongst academia and heritage professionals. Several list members have actively supported the campaign by the OVN Foundation to respect the collection in its cultural, historical an academic infrastructure in The Hague.
Most recently received news is that the Grand Lodge intends to go ahead with its plans, but... decided to take the topic off the official agenda for the yearly meeting in June 2010. The reason given was that the Grand Lodge is considering a location offered in Utrecht, but that particular plan is in too premature a stage to discuss with the members or bring to a vote.
This means the decision on the Cultural Masonic Centre has been postponed until the yearly meeting of 2011 (or a special interim meeting on the subject, if called for).
The OVN Foundation made an appeal to the heritage sector and all lodges of the Grand East to respect the cultural, historical and academic ties of the collection to the city of The Hague, which go back nearly 300 years. Positive response came from several heritage organisations, which are willing to help the lodges in The Hague to come up with a more suitable plan. Many academics in the field of study wrote letters of support. And many Dutch lodges responded positively, complaining about the decision process used by of the Grand Lodge.
In June, a new Grand Master was installed, who may have a fresh view on the situation. The board members who initiated the plan for the move are no longer in office. Hopefully the new team of decision makers will see the importance of respecting the cultural and historical context of the collection, as well as it's academic infrastructure, and is willing to explore the options of realising its ambitions together with the heritage sector in The Hague.
Readers are invited to give their opinion on the situation via the survey above.
[Image: The Cultural Masonic Centre in The Hague, The Netherlands, www.vrijmetselarij.nl]