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Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Focus on Munich - The City's Highlights of 2019

Museum Fünf Kontinente. Photo: © Museum Fünf Kontinente

Germany’s oldest ethnological museum: A wonderful place filled with culture The permanent exhibition at Museum Fünf Kontinente (Museum of Five Continents) displays unique artefacts from Africa, the Islamic Orient, the Americas and Myanmar. The collection itself is already reason enough to pay a visit, but this month, it is particularly worthwhile because there are various special exhibitions, each of which are fantastic and not to be missed. TEXT: MARILENA STRACKE

In 1862, the Munich-based Museum Fünf Kontinente was founded as the Königliche Ethnographische Sammlung. It is therefore Germany’s oldest ethnological museum. The collection includes over 160,000 pieces and the museum is also one of the most important places regarding non-European art and culture. “We see our collection as part of humanity’s cultural memory. Hence, we feel obliged to the so-called source communities in a very special way,” the museum’s director Dr. Uta Werlich explains. “The cultural dialogue, the openness and the respect for people are our leitmotif, which we also live daily in our museum.” 56  |  Issue 73  |  April 2019

Visitors can explore the fascinating special exhibition Reflections. Mãori Art and Helme Heine’s View on New Zealand until 28 April. The exhibition looks at the country from three very different angles: with humorous-critical pictures from the artist and New Zealanderby-choice Helme Heine, with the linocuts of the Mãori artist Cliff Whiting, who examines two Mãori myths, as well as with the exhibits of the museum collection, which provide the historical view. "Overall it creates a great mix," Werlich adds. "All texts in this exhibition are in German and English, which makes it also very appealing to an international audience."

Another special exhibition, which runs until 30 June is called Fragende Blicke. Neun Zugänge zu ethnografischen Fotografien. This project was developed in partnership with the Institute of Ethnology. The exhibition was curated by students and challenges the assigned meaning of the pictures on display. “Visiting us during April is particularly worth it,” Werlich enthuses, “because we even have a third special exhibition Shadow. Light. Structure. Paper installations by Koji Shibazaki. It runs from 5 April to 22 September and shows installations made of the handmade paper Washi, which the contemporary Japanese artist illuminates with various light fixtures. The results are extremely unique objects.” These three special exhibitions and, of course, the permanent exhibition, certainly make for a truly exciting month at the Museum Fünf Kontinente.