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Ethnologisches Museum: Collection Inventories Handed Over and Cooperation Project With Luanda Launched

Museum Europäischer Kulturen

On 17 May 2022, an official ceremony was held in which the Goethe-Institut Angola handed over the translation of the complete, multi-volume object list of the Ethnologisches Museum’s Angola Collection to the Angolan Ministry of Culture. The partners hope that this will help to increase transparency in the debate surrounding collections that originated in colonial contexts.

In addition, a department of preventive conservation and restoration has been established at the Museu Nacional de Antropologia in Angola. The department is part of the comprehensive, long-term collaboration agreed by the directorates of the National Museums of Angola, the Stiftung Preussischer Kulturbesitz and the Goethe-Institut Angola in December 2018. 

Conservation and Restoration at the Museu Nacional de Antropologia

Over a period of 10 months and under the guidance of a Brazilian conservator-restorer, employees of various Angolan museums, the National Archives and the Angolan Institute for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage will take part in a training course in conservation and restoration. With over 6,000 objects, the collection of the Museu Nacional de Antropologia (MNA) in Luanda is considered the world’s most comprehensive collection of artefacts from Angola. Its history is closely linked to the Angolan Collection at the Ethnologisches Museum in Berlin, with both originating in colonial contexts.

Close Cooperation Between Berlin and Luanda

In addition to the training course, the project includes a residency at the Ethnologisches Museum in Berlin and an international specialist workshop in Luanda. The Goethe-Institut – with the support of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin’s Ethnologisches Museum – is therefore not only facilitating the first ever Angolan training in the field of conservation and restoration, but is also striving to preserve acutely endangered objects in Angola’s ethnological collections. 

The project is funded by the German Foreign Ministry’s “Agentur für Internationale Museumskooperation”. The partners are the Ethnologisches Museum (Berlin) and the Museu Nacional de Antropologia (Luanda).