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The Museum Association of Germany has released a manual for handling colonial heritage items


For four years, a working group of German specialists with the participation of international experts has been developing recommendations for museums on solving the problem of colonial heritage.

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Foto: Working with collection items that have a colonial context
Source: Deutscher Museumsbund

For the last several years, the topic of restitution of museum objects having a colonial context and having become part of a museum collection as a result of colonial politics has been widely discussed.

The German Museum Association (Deutscher Museumsbund) and a cross-discipline working group led by professor Wiebke Ahrndt have developed a 220-page document entitled «Working with collection items that have a colonial context» (Umgang mit Sammlungsgut aus kolonialen Kontexten).

This guidance manual is intended for all German museums and is not a strict legal document. The manual is of a recommendatory nature and targets two main goals:

  • increasing the awareness of museum workers,
  • providing practical recommendations for discovering objects with a colonial context in their collections and for making decisions on handling them.

The manual contains foundational information on the topic of «Colonialism and museums» and aims to compel all museums to enter into a transparent and constructive dialogue on colonial heritage at the national and international level.

Source: Deutscher Museumsbund

Evgeniy Saunin, 02 March 2021, 14:30

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