Art Law: Contact Point for Collections from Colonial Contexts Established

The Cultural Foundation of the German Federal States (Kulturstiftung der Länder) has established a new central port of call for all questions about collections from colonial contexts in Germany: the Contact Point for Collections from Colonial Contexts, or CP3C for short. It became operative this week. Here is from Markus Hilgert, General Secretary of the Cultural Foundation of the German Federal States and Director of the CP3C:

“In establishing the Contact Point, the Federal Government, Länder [federal states] and municipalities have put in place an important prerequisite for dialogue in the spirit of partnership with countries and societies of origin concerning how to deal responsibly with collections from colonial contexts. This attests to the unwavering commitment of everyone involved to a joint reckoning with Germany’s colonial history as part of our society’s culture of remembrance.”

This week’s opening implements a decision that was taken in October 2019 by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media (Staatsministerin für Kultur und Medien), the Minister of State at the Federal Foreign Office for International Cultural Policy (Staatsministerin im Auswärtigen Amt für internationale Kulturpolitik), the Cultural Affairs Ministers of the Länder, the Länder Senators for Cultural Affairs and representatives of the municipal umbrella organisations within the Framework Principles for Dealing with Collections from Colonial Contexts agreed in March 2019. The CP3C’s purpose is described in this paper. 

The CP3C’s primary purpose is to assist individuals and institutions from the countries and societies of origin and to serve as their first, central point of contact for all questions concerning collections from colonial contexts in Germany. In particular, the CP3C has been tasked with:

  • Providing information and advice on collections from colonial context in Germany and related topics
  • Forwarding of inquiries and requests on a case-by-case basis
  • Connecting individuals and institutions and establishing networks
  • Collecting, organising, documenting, publishing and evaluating statistically pertinent data and information
  • Supporting the Federal Government-Länder Working Group on Dealing with Collections from Colonial Contexts in Germany in the elaboration and further development of the areas of activities and overall objectives defined in the “Framework Principles for dealing with collections from colonial contexts.

Last year, we reported on what appears to be one of the first, if not the first, German court decision regarding cultural property looted during Germany’s colonial rule, the Namibian case of Hendrik Witboi’s bible and whip.

The picture shows the CP3C’s logo.

 

 

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