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Ethnologisches Museum – Staatliche Museen zu Berlin

Outrigger sailing boats, 1964-1965; photo: Ethnologisches Museum - Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Dietrich Graf
Outrigger sailing boats, 1964-1965; photo: Ethnologisches Museum - Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Dietrich Graf

The Ethnologisches Museum is a museum of cultural history, art and ethnography. It offers visitors the chance to embark on an inspirational voyage around the globe, one that promises to open up new perspectives on the past and present cultures of Africa, the Americas, Asia, Australia, and Polynesia.

The Ethnologisches Museum will be given an enormous space (some 10,000 square metres in all) to showcase the array of historical artefacts from its collection together with its large holdings of photographs, film and audio recordings. The exhibition will consist in several modular units giving curators a great degree of flexibility, allowing them, for example, to integrate swiftly new research findings into the presentation or seize upon current social questions relating to exhibition content. The Ethnologisches Museum aims to use its display to scrutinize and critically assess the legacy and consequences of colonialism and Europe’s part in it. It also aims to show how globalization, the interconnectedness of continents, is far from a modern-day phenomenon but dates back centuries, if not millennia. In multiethnic capitals such as Berlin, people from all continents live together. As a result, such concepts as ‘the central’ and ‘the peripheral’ now have to be revised and redefined. The museum’s mission is to arouse ongoing interest in interaction and intercultural encounters and to promote a deeper understanding among the peoples of the world.