NINO (Netherlands Institute for the Near East – www.nino-leiden.nl -, based in Leiden, has since 1939 provided a (semi-)independent and vital support for Egyptology, Assyriology, and Ancient Near Eastern Studies at large in both a national and international context. NINO maintains a scientific library which counts among the best in Europe, holds the Böhl Collection (ca. 3,000 cuneiform tablets and other objects), publishes journals and monographs, and has a subsidiary institute in Istanbul (www.nit-istanbul.org).
This spring a plan has been drafted by a sub-committee of the NINO Board and Leiden University, which will transform NINO into an entity without its own staff, while the NINO assets (library books, tablet collection, and more) will be controlled by others. The present staff of NINO will be replaced by a “Research School” within Leiden University.
We believe the fields of Ancient Near Eastern Studies in the Netherlands are better served long-term by maintaining an integrated and independent NINO. Generations of Dutch and international scholars and students have benefited from the NINO facilities. The viable alternative for the proposed plan is to continue NINO’s independent management, as well as its existing fruitful cooperation with both Leiden University and the National Museum of Antiquities, but not to transfer its assets to them.
We therefore urge you to speak out against this plan that puts in jeopardy the long-term future of Egyptology and Ancient Near Eastern Studies in the Netherlands, and we ask you to support the continuation of an integrated and independent NINO by signing this petition:
The online petition provides a more detailed description of the situation.
Alice Mouton, Directrice de Recherche at the CNRS and Visiting Research Fellow of NINO (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Wouter Henkelman, Maître de Conférences at the E.P.H.E., Paris and Visiting Research Fellow of the NINO (email@example.com)