Website of the German Lost Art Foundation

Project Funding for Cultural Goods and Collections from Colonial Contexts

In January 2019, following a decision by the Foundation Board, the German Lost Art Foundation set out criteria for the provision of funding for provenance research projects focusing on collections from colonial contexts and for basic research in this field. The relevant Funding Guideline Cultural Goods from Colonial Contexts (PDF, 411 KB) (PDF, 142 KB) came into force as of January 1, 2019. A new Funding Committee Colonial Contexts was established at the beginning of February 2019 to evaluate project applications.

At the same time, the new Department for Cultural Goods and Collections from Colonial Contexts commenced its work.

German Lost Art Foundation
Branch Office Berlin

Seydelstraße  18
10117 Berlin
Telephone+49 (0)391 727 763 0
Telefax+49 (0)391 727 763 6

Cultural assets from colonial contexts can be found in a wide range of museums and collections, not only in ethnological museums. Interdisciplinary and international cooperation is required in order to deal with these items appropriately.

The Foundation’s activities are therefore focused on the following funding objectives:

  • systematically and sustainably reviewing the provenance of cultural assets from colonial contexts in public museums and collections, including libraries and archives, in Germany;
  • researching and addressing fundamental general questions regarding cultural assets from colonial contexts in public museums and collections, including libraries and archives, in Germany (basic research);
  • documenting the research results in order to make them publicly accessible, particularly in digital form.

In addition, the aims are to

  • raise and increase awareness of the importance of provenance research relating to cultural assets from colonial contexts, especially in institutions that have no or very little experience of this subject;
  • support the development of specific documentation and publication standards for cultural assets from colonial contexts;
  • promote the transfer of knowledge between the institutions that collect assets and support the development and strengthening of national and international research networks that include the countries and communities of origin;
  • encourage the sharing of findings and experiences from the projects as part of education and training activities.

Applications may be submitted by publicly owned institutions based in Germany that collect, hold and conduct research on these cultural assets. Joint applications from groups comprising several institutions are also permitted and encouraged. The countries and communities of origin are to be included in the planning and delivery of projects in a suitable and appropriate way. When selecting the projects to be funded, the funding committee and the Foundation’s Executive Board will adhere to the priority recommendations from the Guidelines on Dealing with Collections from Colonial Contexts  published by the German Museums Association.

With regard to procedures, deadlines and funding requirements, the same regulations apply as for provenance research into Nazi-confiscated property (e.g. Federal Budget Code (PDF, 32 KB) and General Auxiliary Conditions for Grants for the Promotion of Projects (PDF, 44 KB), particularly the application deadlines of January 1 and June 1 each year, beginning with June 1, 2019.