Dutch Royal House criticized
for 'racist' painting

Left-leaning politicians and minority interest groups are calling on the Dutch Royal House to get rid of a painting they say is an offensive reminder of wrongs from the Netherlands' colonial past.

The 19th-century painting "Hommage of the Colonies" decorates one side of Queen Beatrix's gold-trimmed carriage, and depicts half-naked, brown-skinned women and men in servile poses bearing gifts to an enthroned white woman.

Thousands of fans line up each September to watch the popular queen travel in the carriage to address parliament. Spokespeople for the Royal House declined comment on the criticism, published in a major Dutch newspaper Friday.

The authors said the painting represents a "horrible period in Dutch history" and belongs in a museum.

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