Painting a more secure future for windmills

Apr 18, 2024 | Featured Article, News

AkzoNobel has signed a six-year agreement to protect the 19 windmills, which were built around 1740 and declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997.

The partnership – with the Kinderdijk World Heritage Foundation – will involve using AkzoNobel’s technical expertise and innovative coatings to preserve the windmills and restore them to their original colours.

“Kinderdijk is unique and irreplaceable,” explains Peter-Jan van Steenbergen, Director of the Kinderdijk World Heritage Foundation. “Our UNESCO site sets an example to the world and only the best maintenance plans and products are good enough. We’re therefore extremely pleased to have agreed this partnership with AkzoNobel.”

The iconic 18th century windmills at Kinderdijk in the Netherlands

The iconic 18th century windmills at Kinderdijk in the Netherlands are being preserved with help from AkzoNobel’s Sikkens brand

National treasure

Regarded by many as a national treasure, the Kinderdijk windmills have come to symbolise how the Dutch have mastered the art of smart and sustainable water management over hundreds of years. It’s also a long-established tourist attraction, with more than 350,000 people visiting every year.

Located around 15km east of Rotterdam, most of the 19 windmills are still inhabited, with one family having been resident for 10 generations. In many ways, they embody the country’s centuries-old struggle with water and how the Netherlands has managed to survive below sea level for so long.

“We believe our paint expertise and focus on sustainability can make a genuine difference at Kinderdijk,” adds Kees-Jan Starrenburg, Country Director for AkzoNobel Netherlands. “I’m proud to see our products being used at this beautiful UNESCO site, which highlights the importance we attach to safeguarding cultural heritage for future generations.”

The six-year agreement builds on a relationship which AkzoNobel first established with the Kinderdijk World Heritage Foundation in 2016.


Other sites

Kinderdijk is one of several UNESCO World Heritage Sites that feature the company’s coatings. They include La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, Spain, Westminster Abbey in London, UK, Göbekli Tepe in Turkey, Melaka and George Town in Malaysia and the historic town of Ouro Preto in Brazil.

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