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Silvester inspects Namibian artifacts in German museums

Silvester inspects Namibian artifacts in German museums

The curator of Namibian artifacts at the Linden Museum in Stuttgart wore a face mask to protect the items from degradation when she displayed them to Dr Jeremy Silvester of the Museums Association of Namibia during a recent academic trip to three German museums.

Dr Silvester visited the Linden Museum in Stuttgart, the German History Museum in Berlin and the German Ethographic Museum, also in Berlin. His 10-day visit in April followed an invitation from the German Federal Foreign Office.

The three German museums house extensive collections of artifacts from Namibia. The programme was organized by the Goethe Institute under the Visitors Programme of the German Federal Government.

Dr Silvester is the Chairperson of the ‘Africa Accessioned’ Working Group that was established by the International Committee of Museums of Ethnography. The ‘Africa Accessioned’ project was initiated by museum workers from Namibia and Zambia with for obtaining information about objects of African cultural heritage held in European museums.

Dr Silvester also visited the Centre for Anthropological Research on Museums and Heritage (CARMaH) at Humboldt University.

His academic visit was arranged after he attended a conference at the Five Continents Museum in Munich supported by the Volkswagen Foundation. At this conference, museum curators and academics discussed `provenance’ research on objects collected by museums during the colonial period.

The study of provenance traces the origins of an object, the manner in which it was collected and the journey it took before it became part of a museum’s collection.

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