Eye Filmmuseum in Amsterdam (The Netherlands) has decided not to renew its sponsorship contract with airline KLM in 2024, which had been running since 2019. The museum took this decision because sponsorship no longer fitted with its climate policy. Climate organisations previously called on Eye not to continue with this fossil sponsor relationship.

In September 2023, the museum organised a private party for KLM's frequent flyers. A coalition of climate groups, including Reclame Fossielvrij (Fossil Free Advertising), then stood at the door to demonstrate against it. In November, representatives of Fossielvrij NL, Extinction Rebellion and Reclame Fossielvrij had a follow-up conversation with Eye's management about the state of the climate crisis, the role of aviation in it, greenwashing by KLM and the harmful impact of fossil culture sponsorship.

"Polishing image"
The groups therefore welcomed the news: "It is great that Eye has broken its sponsorship contract with KLM. This shows that it works to put pressure. Companies like KLM destroy our living environment and then try to polish their image by sponsoring the cultural sector. In doing so, they normalise flying and pollution in times of climate crisis. The cultural sector should not allow itself to be used for this.

Cultural institutions play an important role in combating the climate crisis. Both with the impact their programmes, exhibitions and performances can make and the exemplary role they play in society. We welcome this step by Eye and expect other cultural institutions to follow suit and show polluting sponsors the door. If not, we will continue to take action until all cultural institutions are free of fossil sponsors."

"Living by our own values"
Director of Filmmuseum Eye, Bregtje van der Haak, explained the decision to quit sponsor KLM from 1 January 2024 in newspaper NRC as follows: "My conviction is that we are a more powerful museum if we live by our own values. (...) We make film programmes about people's concerns about the climate crisis. So how do you align your own behaviour as a film museum with the values you promote and research? That doesn't include, however generously, the opportunity to fly cheaper."

Declaration Fossil-Free Culture Sponsorship
Fossielvrij NL and Reclame Fossielvrij have drawn up a Declaration Fossil-Free Culture Sponsorship, in which cultural institutions pledge not to take fossil sponsorship money. The declaration now has 25 Dutch signatories.
More than 200 Dutch cultural organisations also declared the climate emergency through the statement 'To Be or Not To Be'. In it, fossil sponsorship is also named. Museums appear to be more reluctant to sign these two declarations than other cultural organisations.