Transparenz - Sammlung


Decolonising requires dialogue, expertise and support – The Heidelberg Statement (approved on the occasion of the 2019 Annual Conference of the Directors of Ethnographic Museums in German Speaking Countries)

Heidelberger Stellungnahme [Deutsch] - Heidelberg Statement [English]

Die Ethnologische Sammlung der Georg-August-Universität Göttingen teilt die Stellungnahme des Völkerkundemuseums der Universität Zürich zu #blacklivesmatter.


We strive to provide information about our collection online and gradually feed our inventories into the online portal of the University of Göttingen. However, due to a lack of resources, so far only a small percentage of our collection has been covered. For now, you can browse through our inventory catalogues (pdf files in German):

The Ethnographic Collection Göttingen is part of the joint provenance research project PAESE. Within this framework, eight sub-projects are investigating objects from colonial contexts that are located in ethnographic collections in Lower Saxony. Among other things, information will be made available in a common database. You can find it here.


Vorbereitung Göttingen Restitution Lodz

In 2016 a collection of 344 ethnographica was restituted to the Archaeological and Ethnographic Museum in Łódź (Poland). In 1942, the Ethnographic Collection received the objects, which had previously belonged to the holdings of the museum in Łódź, mainly from Liberia and Peru, through the Grassi Museum in Leipzig. In 1996, the Institute management in Göttingen reported the holdings to the "Koordinierungsstelle der Länder für die Rückführung von Kulturgutern" (The Coordination Office of the Länder for the Return of Cultural Property). Following a research project sponsored by the Deutschen Zentrum Kulturgutverluste (German Lost Art Foundation) 2011/12 (Beate Hermann/Dr. Gundolf Krüger), the Ethnographica were added to the database In October 2015 the University of Göttingen received an official request for restitution from the Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage (Ministerstwo Kultury i Dziedzictwa Narodowego). As a result, the University of Göttingen decided by mutual agreement to restitute the objects to Łódź. The handover took place in May 2016.

The photo shows the preparation of the restitution of West African and South American ethnographica from Göttingen to Łódź. Photo: Harry Haase, 2016.

Essay by Beate Hermann on Göttinger "Collection Lodz“

Repatriierung Toi moko Göttingen

On 15 October 2020 two tattooed and mummified Maori ancestral skulls (Toi moko) were repatriated to the Te Papa Tongarewa Museum in Wellington, New Zealand. The two Toi moko arrived to the Akademisches Museum in Göttingen from England in 1834. How they came from New Zealand to England is not known. Since 1934 they had been part of the Ethnographic Collection.

The festive ceremony was conducted by Te Arikirangi Mamaku (coordinator of the repatriation program at Te Papa) and Hinemoana Baker. The speeches were delivered by H.E. Rupert Holborow, Ambassador of New Zealand, and Prof. Dr. Hiltraud Casper-Hehne, Vice President of the University of Göttingen.

The photo shows Hinemoana Baker and Te Arikirangi Mamaku from the Maori delegation removing the black cloth that covered the tūpuna (ancestors) during the ceremony. Photo: Harry Haase, 2020.

Essay by Gundolf Krüger about the provenance of the two Toi moko.