Publikationsserver der Universitätsbibliothek Marburg

Titel:An object of real value? Transformation from Adu Satua to Idol to Ar 006
Autor:Rodemeier, Susanne
URN: urn:nbn:de:hebis:04-es2022-00897
DDC:100 Philosophie



In March 2019, the German Museums Association published “Guidelines for German Museums: Care of Collections from Colonial Contexts”.1 The association urged museums to research the provenance of holdings originating from colonial contexts, and, based on their findings, to work with communities of origin, e.g. for the exchange of knowledge, joint projects or the return of objects.2 The guidelines also list a number of points that are of special importance, including missionaries and their activities in colonies.3 The Museum of Religions (Religionskundliche Sammlung, RS) at Philipps-University Marburg is a valuable platform for researching such objects because Heinrich Frick, a former director of the RS, explicitly asked Protestant missionaries to donate objects to the museum. From 1931 to 1941, Frick regularly published the Supplement for Studies on Religions (Religionskundliches Beiblatt, RB), in which he called on both the Rhenish Missionary Society at Wuppertal-Barmen and the Basel Mission to donate “mission art”4 as well as religious objects that had lost their ritual use after their owners had converted to Christianity. Missionaries around the world reacted by sending objects, photographs, and narratives that they had collected while living in Asia, Oceania or Africa. At the RS, these objects became part of the ‘foreign sacred sites’ (‘Fremde Heiligtümer’) collection, a term that was also the title of the first RS exhibition in 1929.

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