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German federal state minister reached out to local institutions in science, arts and culture. Starts process to return Witbooi Bible

German federal state minister reached out to local institutions in science, arts and culture. Starts process to return Witbooi Bible

An elected German state government official, earlier this month met representatives of the Witbooi family to discuss, amongst others, the return of the famous Witbooi Bible to Namibia from its current custodian, the Linden Museum in Stuttgart.

State Secretary of Science, Research and Art in the German federal state Baden-Württemberg, Mrs Petra Olschowski, accompanied by representatives of the University of Freiburg, the Pedagogical University of Freiburg, the Regional Archive of Baden-Württemberg, as well as the directors of the Linden Museum and the Academy Schloss Solitude, held discussions with the Minister of Education, Arts and Culture, Hon Katrina Hanse-Himarwa, and the Deputy Minister for Gender Equality and Child Welfare, Hon Lucia Witbooi.

The Olschowski delegation seeks closer cooperation between the state government and her Namibian counterparts in culture, arts and science. She specifically laid the groundwork for the official return of the Witbooi Bible, meeting with officials from the National Museum of Namibia, and a large group comprising members of the Witbooi family. The priceless Witbooi Bible in Dutch, accompanied the Nama leader, Hendrik Witbooi, on all his campaigns and is often mentioned in the memoirs of travellers who met him, and in his biography.

The delegation exchanged ideas for cooperation projects with the national museum and also talked to members of the Namibia Scientific Society, the Namibian Museums Association, the University of Namibia and the National Archive.

The delegation also visited the historic site of Gross Barmen near Okahandja and paid a courtesy visit to the Goethe Institut in Windhoek.

State Secretary Olschowski commented “We came to learn more about Namibia and its culture. We want to improve knowledge about the colonial era and Namibia in Germany and contribute to reconciliation. We look forward to further cooperation with the Namibian partners.”

Caption: Baden-Württemberg State Secretary, Petra Olschowski (seated second from left) with representatives of her ministry met members of the Witbooi family in Windhoek to discuss the return of Hendrik Witbooi’s personal Bible to Namibia.


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