I listened with great interest to the lecture by Thomas Gaehtgens on Challenging the Encyclopedic Museum – Berlin’s Museum Island at the Art Institute of Chicago.
His performance was quite remarkable. Even though he mentioned that the Russians had taken away artworks from Germany and that this constituted a problem between the two countries, he was silent about the artworks that the Germans had taken from other countries, such as Poland and the Benin Bronzes stolen from Nigeria by the British and sold to the Germans. Did these not constitute a problem for the Germans and for the “universal museum” or the “encyclopaedic museum” about which he spoke so eloquently? Obviously, he wasted no time on Nazi-looted art. Are the museums in Berlin not confronted with this problem?