Website of the German Lost Art Foundation

Online Autumn Conference of the German Lost Art Foundation from November 17 to 19, 2021

Date 2021.09.23

In Novem­ber, the Ger­man Lost Art Foun­da­tion will hold­ its an­nu­al au­tumn con­fer­ence. This year, the event will be ded­i­cat­ed to the of­ten for­got­ten his­to­ry pre­ced­ing the cur­rent de­bate on the re­turn of cul­tur­al goods and col­lec­tions from co­lo­nial con­texts. The con­fer­ence ex­am­in­es the long his­to­ry of re­sis­tance against co­lo­nial loot­ing and of de­mands for the re­turn of cul­tur­al her­itage.

The cur­rent de­bate on how to en­gage with col­lec­tions from colo­nial con­texts may ap­pear com­par­a­tive­ly nov­el – but protests against the re­moval and theft of cul­tur­al prop­er­ty and hu­man re­mains have al­ready ex­ist­ed since the be­gin­ning of colo­nial ex­pan­sion. Al­ready more than 100 years ago, in­di­vid­u­als, groups, and states de­fend­ed their her­itage and some­times suc­cess­ful­ly re­claimed it. Re­searchers from the Glob­al South and North, ex­perts from Ethiopia and the Nether­lands, Ger­many, Ghana, Colom­bia or the USA ex­am­ine such his­tor­i­cal re­turns, dis­cuss case stud­ies, anal­yse im­por­tant his­tor­i­cal mo­ments and dy­nam­ics, but al­so ask about mo­ti­va­tions: Does resti­tu­tion re­al­ly al­ways mean de­coloni­sa­tion? And what can we learn from the his­to­ry of protests and resti­tu­tion?

The con­fer­ence, "The Long His­to­ry of Claims for the Re­turn of Cul­tur­al Her­itage from Co­lo­nial Con­texts" will be held on­line on Novem­ber 17-19, 2021 in co­op­er­a­tion with the Stiftung Preußis­ch­er Kul­turbe­sitz and The Re­search Cen­ter for Ma­te­ri­al Cul­ture of the Na­tion­al Mu­se­um of World.

Find the con­fer­ence pro­gramme here: https://his­to­ry-of-resti­tu­

The con­fer­ence will be broad­cast with­out reg­is­tra­tion via livestream on YouTube and www.kul­turgutver­ Af­ter the con­fer­ence, an au­dio-vi­su­al event doc­u­men­ta­tion in­clud­ing all pre­sen­ta­tions will be made avail­able. Fur­ther­more, the fourth vol­ume of the Foun­da­tion’s pub­li­ca­tion se­ries "Provenire" will be ded­i­cat­ed to the con­fer­ence.ww.kul­turgutver­luste.d

Please note: the con­fer­ence lan­guage will be En­glish; Ger­man con­tri­bu­tions will be trans­lat­ed.

We would be de­light­ed to wel­come you as a par­tic­i­pant. If you have any ques­tions, please con­tact
Ste­fanie Kobow on +49 391/727 763-23 or at

We look for­ward to wel­com­ing you!