The Dutch East India Company (Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie, VOC) was founded 400 years ago this year. At the time it was the biggest commercial undertaking in the world. Among the highlights of nation-wide jubilee celebrations is the national anniversary exhibition Â'The Colourful World of the VOCÂ' in the Netherlands Maritime Museum in Amsterdam (until 27 October) and in the Rotterdam Maritime Museum (until 15 September).
The exhibition reveals how, in the period 1600-1800, life and culture in Europe changed as a result of the trading contacts that the VOC and other European companies maintained with Asia. On 2 May, Amsterdam harbour, which at the time was the most important of the six harbour cities that served the VOC in the then Republic of the Netherlands, will ceremoniously welcome the Â'DuyfkenÂ'. This Australian-built ship is a seaworthy replica of its namesake, the VOC ship that reached the antipodean continent in 1606.
(source: Netherlands Maritime Museum)(