In 1938, the Academy added the word “Netherlands” to its name, giving it the title that it still bears today. From that year onward, it would be known as the “Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences”.
The designation “academy” is borrowed from Plato’s Akadèmeia, or school of philosophy. He built his school on land that he had purchased outside the walls of Athens, which legend had it originally belonged to the Greek hero Akademos.
Interrupted by World War II
The new Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences was not able to enjoy its new name for long. During the Occupation, the Nazis ordered it to remove the “Royal” designation from its name. The order came in August 1940, not long after the German occupying forces took control of the Netherlands. Throughout the war, it was known as the Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences.
The new name was restored immediately after the end of the war.