(c) Jean Pierre Dalbera Shared Heritage
© Jean Pierre Dalbera
When we talk about the curatorial engagement with non-European, colonial heritage, “shared heritage” is the phrase of the hour. This is also and especially true for the Humboldt Forum, which is scheduled to open in the newly built Berlin Palace in 2019. The Forum aims to re-examine the represented collections in dialogue with their countries of origin, cultural studies scholars, artists, and representatives of indigenous groups. The goal is to better decipher the world – by viewing it from multiple perspectives and by transcending national borders. But the term “shared heritage” also carries some ambivalence: What exactly do we mean, in this context, by “sharing”? Can a museum really represent the intrinsic value of different cultures? How do colonial history and looted art figure in the notion of a “shared heritage”? Finally, is the idea that national boundaries no longer count in a globalized world not a rather Western idea, after all?

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