Update! – “Fenster zur Welt” oder “koloniale Trophäenschau”? has been cancelled

Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin, Germany
16 Dec 2014

Update! – “Fenster zur Welt” oder “koloniale Trophäenschau”? has been cancelled

Foto: D. Incoronato, Gedenken an den antikolonialen Maji-Maji-Krieg, 2005

The panel discussion “FENSTER ZUR WELT” ODER “KOLONIALE TROPHÄENSCHAU”? announced for the 16th December at the HKW, Berlin has been cancelled!

Instead, a press conference will be held on 16 December 10am to inform about the position of the Alliance “No Humboldt 21!” and to provide information about the human remains from from Togo, Cameroon, Rwanda, Tanzania and South Africa in Berlin’s non-European collections.



The campaign alliance “No Humboldt 21!” and the cultural foundation Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz meet for a critical dialogue on the Humboldt Forum.

The Republic is building its own palace: the House of Hohenzollern’s city palace, destroyed in the 1950s, is once again rising in the heart of Berlin. Named after the icons of Prussian science, the Humboldt Forum is destined to present the showpieces of cultural treasure collections from all over the world compiled during the colonial era. According to Monika Grütters, Minister of State for Cultural Affairs, “the curiosity about what is foreign and other,” will take shape here, this is where Germany will reinvent itself as “one of the most prominent cultural nations in the world.”

This is being met by mounting protest. Supported by more than 80 local and international NGOs, the campaign “No Humboldt 21!” is opening the palace’s windows wide. The descendants of colonised people and their allies are rocking the foundation of the 600 million Euro building under construction: the alliance admonishes the direct involvement of the House of Hohenzollern in the transatlantic trade of enslaved people as well as their responsibility for Germany’s colonial genocide. They demand an extensive and critical analysis of the ignored issue of colonialism, also and particularly here in Berlin.

The associations and societies are inquiring after the role of “explorers,” “collectors” and “discoverers” such as Alexander von Humboldt in the colonisation of the world. They point to hundreds of thousands of appropriated objects and thousands of human remains in Berlin’s non-European collections. But most of all they are pushing for the proactive implementation of the International Council of Museum’s ethical guidelines and the UN declaration reconfirmed in September 2014: The indigenous societies have the right to the “repatriation of their ceremonial objects and human remains.”


16 December 2014, 10am
Haus der Kulturen der Welt
John-Foster-Dulles-Allee 10
10557 Berlin
Free admission




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