The National Museums in Berlin have entered into a groundbreaking agreement with the Sparkassen-Finanzgruppe, Germany's largest association of savings banks, to initiate a comprehensive and long-term collaboration for the support of art and culture. The cooperation, to last for an initial period of three years, will see the Sparkassen-Finanzgruppe, as represented by several of its major members-the Berlin Sparkasse, DekaBank Deutsche Girozentrale and the Sparkassen-Kulturfonds (the Sparkasse's cultural fund division)-become the main sponsor of the National Museums in Berlin.
One of the aims of the sweeping agreement between the Sparkassen-Finanzgruppe and the National Museums in Berlin is to provide substantial support to Berlin's important museum heritage, several selected outstanding exhibitions and the planned outreach programmes in educating children and young people.
In a first step, the Sparkassen-Finanzgruppe is to act as the chief sponsors of the 'Divided Heaven' exhibition that will open on 11 November at the New National Gallery at Kulturforum and will showcase works from the gallery's own collection, dating from 1945 to 1968. Another area included in the agreement is the 'Wünsch dir was!' scheme (which translates as 'Wish for something!'). The scheme, an idea competition for young people, is to be held every year from now on, and with it the National Museums and the Sparkassen-Finanzgruppe have agreed to provide substantial backing to the cultural education for teenagers. Michael Eissenhauer, Director General of the National Museums, said: 'I look forward to our partnership with the Sparkassen-Finanzgruppe, who, as our main sponsor, will not only support important exhibitions, but will also enable us to seek out new paths in both our art and cultural education activities and in the area of marketing. This move is going to bring substantial benefits for all our museums!'