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Lars-Christian Koch elected director of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin’s collections at the Humboldt Forum

19.03.2018

The SPK’s Foundation Board voted unanimously today to appoint renowned ethnomusicologist Lars-Christian Koch as the future director of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin’s collections at the Humboldt Forum: Ethnologisches Museum und Museum für Asiatische Kunst

About the procedure

Ethnomusicologist Lars-Christian Koch has been elected Director of the Ethnologisches Museum, and will soon become Director of the Museum für Asiatische Kunst, also part of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, at the Humboldt Forum. Today, the Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz’s Foundation Board, led by chairperson Monika Grütters, Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media, unanimously elected the 59-year-old department head at the Ethnologisches Museum to the new post. Koch also holds the position of Acting Director of the museum as a whole. The new election process became necessary after previous nominee Inés de Castro decided to remain in her current role at the Linden-Museum in Stuttgart.

Commentary on the decision

‘Lars-Christian Koch won us over during the application process with his expertise, experience, international network, and enthusiasm for the new role. I am confident that the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, with this hiring decision, is ideally equipped for working and cooperating with the Humboldt Forum’, said Hermann Parzinger, President of the Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz.

Michael Eissenhauer, Director-General of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, added: ‘Through his previous work – not least as Acting Director – Lars-Christian Koch has convincingly demonstrated his strong and integrative leadership abilities. His professional expertise is undeniable. In addition to an ambitious and attractive exhibition programme at the Humboldt Forum, it will now be important to develop a research campus for the two collections in Dahlem’.

Lars-Christian Koch

‘I am very pleased with my appointment to this position and believe that I am well-prepared for the role. With my regional research interests in Southeast and East Asia, I feel especially connected to the Museum für Asiatische Kunst. The Humboldt Forum can only be successful if it succeeds in responding to topical questions with its collections. This means that our exhibitions must not only become more flexible, but also more contemporary. The increasingly important aspects of globalisation, the dialogue between cultures, and the questions surrounding the repatriation of cultural assets factor heavily into in my daily work and will also be crucial for the Humboldt Forum. Digitisation offers great opportunities for increasing participation, which is also very important to me. In a nutshell: our exhibitions must be presented in such a way that they come across as authentic to our audiences’, said Koch. 

Koch, born 1959 in Peine, has served as Head of Media, Ethnomusicology, and Visual Anthropology as well as the Berlin Phonogram Archive at the Ethnologisches Museum – part of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin – since 2003. Since December 2017, he has also held the position of Acting Director of the entire museum.