Ringen um Rückgabe
Frühe Forderungen der Maori nach Restitution und Repatriierung, 1945-1947
Return Of Maori Chiefs‘ Bodies From Vienna Sought In Petition, in: Southern Cross, 17.08.1946 „Now that Vienna has fallen we your humble petitioners humbly pray that you honorable house will take steps to have restitution made on behalf of the Maori people by taking steps to have the whole of the Collection herein referred to […]

The Puzzle of the Postcolonial Purse
Since the writing of this piece, the Amsterdam Museum of Bags and Purses has sadly been forced to close due to financial pressures exacerbated by the current crisis. This is a difficult time for all heritage organisations, and smaller institutions are always the most at risk. The closing of the Museum of Bags and Purses […]

We talk, you listen!
Anregungen zu einer Diskussion über Möglichkeiten und Grenzen der Zusammenarbeit mit Stakeholdern aus Herkunftsgesellschaften
Ilja Labischinski, Provenienzforscher bei den Staatlichen Museen zu Berlin, schildert im folgenden Text seine Erfahrungen aus der Zusammenarbeit mit dem Nebraska Indian Community College anlässlich der Vorbereitungen für eine Ausstellung im Humboldt Forum in Berlin. Er endet mit zehn Fragen zu Möglichkeiten und Grenzen der Kooperation mit Stakeholdern aus den Herkunftsstaaten und -gesellschaften der musealisierten […]

The Ethics of Repatriation and Working Collaboratively in Aotearoa New Zealand
The return of human remains back to descendant communities and countries of origin is a growing and developing part of museology throughout the world. Fifty years ago returning human remains or even cultural objects was almost unheard of. But in 2019 the return of ancestral remains and objects is increasingly becoming the norm. In Aotearoa […]

Decolonisation? Collaboration!
Towards a Renewed Concept of ‘Museum’ in Europe and Africa
What options do we have for dealing with the Africa collections in our museums in Europe and in Africa? Let us start with a quote from Malcolm McLeod, keeper of the Department of Ethnography of the British Museum from 1974-1990: Museums are expected to collect things, yet museum collecting, in some cultures, need not be […]

Zum Grundproblem von Ethnographie und Kolonialismus
Einige Gedanken zu zwei Ausstellungen im Berliner Haus der Kulturen der Welt
Im Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin kann man noch bis zum 06. Januar 2020 zwei Ausstellungen besuchen, die mehrere Dinge gemeinsam haben. Die erste Gemeinsamkeit ist zunächst nicht sehr ungewöhnlich, sondern vielmehr im Gegenteil Museumsalltag. Beide Ausstellungen widmen sich dem Werk von weißen, toten, deutschen Männern. „Spektral/Weiß: Die Erscheinung kolonialzeitlicher Europäer*innen“ behandelt eine […]

Colonial Collectors and their Legacy
Why Asking “Why?” Matters
At the time of writing, the conference Museum Collections in Motion lies only weeks in the past and its impacts, its questions and discussions still move me. For all its moments of connection and shared ideals, it was not a harmonious conference. Especially in the beginning, it seemed like mistrust could win over and end […]

The Brachiosaurus brancai in the Natural History Museum Berlin
A Star Exhibit of Natural History as a German and Tanzanian Realm of Memory?
This contribution deals with the area of natural history, a field which to date has remained outside the focus of the research and debates surrounding looted art and the theft of cultural assets and has scarcely featured as a topic in the history of remembrance. The focus here is on a scientific object, the skeleton […]

VOICES FROM THE CONFERENCE 3 – Visions for the future
An Interview with Wandile Kasibe
[Please find our collected voices from day one here and from day two here.] A very moving Day Two begged the question of how to conclude the conference. From our perspective, the question of how to move on, how to end a meeting like this, remained open. We do not know how the momentum of […]

VOICES FROM THE CONFERENCE 2 – Getting to the core
Interviews with Cynthia Schimming and Amber Aranui
[Please find the collected voices from day one here.] Day two of the conference “Museum Collections in Motion” offered an insight into curating practices from different places. Among others, Malick Ndiaye gave a talk on his work as curator for the Theodore Monod Mueseum of African Art in Dakar, Senegal in which he described the […]