In the words of Prof. Markus Hilgert, General Secretary of the Cultural Foundation of the German Federal States (Kulturstiftung der Länder) and Director of the Contact Point: “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.”
The Contact Point is aimed in particular at individuals and institutions from the countries and societies of origin. As the first point of contact, it will give them access to information on collections in Germany from colonial contexts. In addition, it will offer guidance to institutions in Germany and establish contacts and networks between the relevant stakeholders.
The Cultural Foundation of the German Federal States will hold administrative and organisational responsibility for the Contact Point, and will form a project consortium together with the German Lost Art Foundation, which is funded by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media; the International Museum Cooperation Agency (until this Agency has been set up, the Federal Foreign Office will participate as a stand-in); and the municipal umbrella organisations.
Serving as the core management and supervisory body, the Federation–Länder Working Group on Dealing with Collections from Colonial Contexts in Germany will define the focal points and strategic objectives of the Contact Point. This Federation–Länder Working Group will be a cooperation between the Federal Foreign Office, the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, the municipal umbrella organisations, the German Museums Association and the International Council of Museums (ICOM).
The establishment of the Contact Point originated in a decision by the Federal Government, Länder and municipal umbrella organisations. On 13 March 2019, the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media, the Minister of State at the Federal Foreign Office for International Cultural Policy, the Cultural Affairs Ministers of the Länder and the municipal umbrella organisations agreed on “Framework Principles for Dealing with Collections from Colonial Contexts”.
The jointly operated Contact Point is initially being set up as a pilot project. It will have three members of staff and be granted a total budget of 1.185 million euros over a three-year period, receiving half of its funding from the Länder and the other half from the Federal Foreign Office and the Federal Government Commissioner of Culture and Media.
Additional information about the German Contact Point for Collections from Colonial Contexts can be found at: http://www.kulturstiftung.de/german-contact-point-for-collections-from-colonial-contexts/
The website of the Contact Point for Collections from Colonial Contexts can be found at: www.cp3c.org.