Viola König is director of the Ethnologisches Museum in Berlin and Honorary Professor for Precolumbian Studies and Cultural Anthropology at Freie Universität Berlin.
After 15 years of planning, defending, debates and criticism, the reconstructed Prussian Palace that will house the future Humboldt Forum has become a visible reality in the center of Berlin. From the very beginning in the year 2000, it was decided that the collections from Africa, Asia, Oceania and the Americas would be moved from its present location at Dahlem into the new building. While the collections have not changed, topics, trends and public as well as academic expectations change quickly.
In my talk I will discuss how the long process of building and planning Humboldt Forum is conflicting with the varying expectations of the political principals, an ever more demanding public and a most critical academia.