World Heritage?

Wortel and Merksplas Colony may be able to call themselves World Heritage starting in the summer of 2018! Together, all the Colonies of Benevolence handed in a nomination dossier at the UNESCO World Heritage Centre in Paris in January 2017. This occasion was preceded by years of preparation, thorough study and international cooperation.

The Colonies of Benevolence were nominated as a cultural landscape that is transnational and serial. In the summer of 2018, it will be announced whether the seven Colonies have managed to secure a place on the UNESCO World Heritage list. Exactly 25 years after the abolition of the vagrancy law in Belgium, Colony 5-7 may become World Heritage. At the bottom of this page you will find an introductory film about the nomination of the Colonies of Benevolence.

Would you like to learn more about World Heritage and why three provinces, seven municipalities and a number of other organisations and governments in the Netherlands and Belgium believe in the special heritage value of the Colonies of Benevolence? Read all about it at