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New Chairman of the Numismatic Commission of the States in the Federal Republic of Germany

26.02.2021
Münzkabinett

Professor Dr. Bernhard Weisser, director of the Münzkabinett of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, has been elected Chairman of the Numismatic Commission of the States in the Federal Republic of Germany.

This Commission was founded in 1950. Its members include representatives from the German federal states as well as numismatic experts. Bernhard Weisser has been a member of the Commission since 2009 as the representative of the Federal State of Berlin, and since 2014 Berlin’s deputy chairman. The Numismatic Commission is the sole body representing the interests of numismatists working in German public service.

The Commission’s task is to coordinate numismatic activities at museums, state offices of archaeology and universities throughout Germany. The Numismatic Commission is responsible for overseeing the catalogue of post-antiquity coin finds in Germany. It actively participates in all discussions concerning the preservation and protection of cultural assets. The Commission closely monitors the job situation and promotes young talent through, among other things, its awarding of the Walter Hävernick Prize for outstanding dissertation scholarship. Through its affiliated foundation, the Gitta-Kastner-Forschungsstiftung, the Commission promotes research on medal art produced as of 1871.

One task that has become increasing important in recent years is digital transformation, a field in which numismatics has had considerable success. The Commission is committed to university education and outreach in non-university settings. Coin collecting is the second most popular field of collecting in Germany. The members of the Commission foster cooperative relations between professional and amateur numismatists in the spirit of “citizen science”.

Bernhard Weisser on His New Responsibilties:

There are 6,771 museums in Germany, of which as many as 167 indicate that they have a numismatic collection focus. The collection repositories of the state offices of archaeology preserve the numismatic evidence of our past. Germany possesses an unsurpassed cultural wealth with its diversity of federal states, historical minting regions and art centres. Digital transformation makes it possible to publish these extensive holdings in a scientifically appropriate way and to make them accessible to an audience extending beyond the specialist scholar, sometimes for the first time. It is the Numismatic Commission’s task to create structures facilitating this objective. To this end, projects we are involved in include the initiative to create a National Research Data Infrastructure (at NFDI4objects) and the provision of specific IT infrastructure. The high-quality publication of our numismatic cultural heritage is prerequisite for any kind of historico-cultural contextualization and also represents heritage protection in practice.