• Germany edition
 
Humanity's 'greatest treasures' move to Bonn
Photo: DPA

Humanity's 'greatest treasures' move to Bonn

Published: 30 Nov 2012 17:01 GMT+01:00
Updated: 30 Nov 2012 17:01 GMT+01:00

The visiting exhibition "Treasures of the World's Cultures" opened on Friday, and showcases just 250 of the British Museum's estimated seven million holdings, focussing on what different cultures once considered their own "treasures."

"What we have here, you can't find in London," Sven Bergmann, spokesman of the Art and Exhibition Hall of the Federal Republic of Germany - which is hosting the collection - told The Local.

"What we are showing here really are the highlights of the collection. Within two hours you can see the treasures of human history from every continent," he said.

The idea of "treasures" is the central concept of the exhibition. But this isn't about the financial value of the items; what counts is the value of the objects for the societies which created them.

It's an interesting take on the notion of treasure, and one which Bergmann was keen to elaborate on. "Here it's about what societies at different times prized most," he said. "This wasn't necessarily because they were worth a lot of money, but could be for a whole range of religious, cultural, economic or political reasons."

Click here to see pictures of the exhibition

So while some of the treasures on display will immediately strike viewers as valuable in the conventional sense - such as the solid gold earrings from Sardinia dating from 700-500 BCE - others have a more symbolic value.

The 3000-year-old Egyptian mummy on display - an embalmed and tightly swaddled corpse preserved from decay for eternity - might strike us as more as morbidly fascinating than highly significant. But for the ancient Egyptians, only the intact body could be reunited with its soul after death, lending the mummy a whole new layer of meaning.

An original hand axe from 800,000 BCE represents one of the most important technological innovations of the era.

The exhibit includes everything from Chinese porcelain to throwing knives, Arabic calligraphy to Greek busts, painted skins to works by Michelangelo and Renoir.

"We'd like the visitor to return home with a sense of gratitude and awe for what the world's cultures have achieved," said Bergmann.

Pippa Wentzel

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

19:56 November 30, 2012 by Englishted
Not to far from me may take a trip because it sounds interesting ,how about including the entrance charge and the opening ours next time you do a article like this ?.
11:03 December 1, 2012 by aussie_boy
Not sure I would call it "greatest" treasures. Sure they are amazing and its curious what other cultures considered valuable etc, but c'mon "Humanities Greatest"? And all of them in Bonn?
13:39 December 1, 2012 by Englishted
Not the greatest no? missing the Australian classic a empty tube of Fosters .
Today's headlines
UN climate talks shuffle to a close in Bonn
Photo: DPA

UN climate talks shuffle to a close in Bonn

Concern was high at a perceived lack of urgency as UN climate negotiations shuffled towards a close in Bonn on Saturday with just 14 months left to finalise a new, global pact. READ  

Berlin slams Italy Nazi claims court ruling
Italy's National Partisans' Association welcomed the court decision. Photo: DPA

Berlin slams Italy Nazi claims court ruling

Italy's constitutional court has ruled that victims of Nazi-era war crimes can sue Germany in Italian courts, rejecting a UN ruling and provoking a strong reaction from Berlin on Friday. READ  

Expats reveal another side of Berlin Wall
Photo: Paul Sullivan

Expats reveal another side of Berlin Wall

Two expats who walked the Mauerweg - the 160-kilometre trail that runs the length of the former Berlin Wall - have written a book about forgotten aspects of its past and present. READ  

Karstadt closes six stores to stay afloat
Photo: DPA

Karstadt closes six stores to stay afloat

Germany's biggest department store chain Karstadt will close at least six stores, putting around 2,000 jobs at risk, in a drastic bid by its new boss to return it to profit. READ  

Quiz
How well do you know Germany?
Photos: DPA/Shutterstock

How well do you know Germany?

Do you know your Saxony facts from your Saxony-Anhalt ones? Test your knowledge of Germany's federal states in The Local's quiz. READ  

Climate chief hails Bonn greenhouse gas deal
Pollution from a coal-fired power station in Frimmersdorf, North Rhine-Westphalia. Photo: DPA

Climate chief hails Bonn greenhouse gas deal

The UN's climate chief hailed a European agreement in Bonn on greenhouse gases on Friday as providing "valuable momentum" for a world pact to be inked in Paris next year. READ  

Germany gets €780m EU rebate for poor growth
Photo: DPA

Germany gets €780m EU rebate for poor growth

Germany will get an early Christmas present of around €779 million from the EU, thanks to weaker than expected GDP growth. READ  

Stay inside after blast, Ludwigshafen told
Photo: DPA

Stay inside after blast, Ludwigshafen told

It will take several days to find out what caused a massive explosion on Thursday which rocked a town on the Rhine, killing a builder and injuring 26 others. READ  

German helicopter fleet 'not fit for Nato'
An NH90 helicopter. Photo: DPA

German helicopter fleet 'not fit for Nato'

Germany's fleet of NH90 helicopters is undergoing engineering checks after one of them suffered a serious engine failure, in the latest blow to the country's military capabilities. READ  

Ex-boss of Berlin Airport farce gets €1.2m
Rainer Schwarz at a court hearing in September into the case. Photo: DPA

Ex-boss of Berlin Airport farce gets €1.2m

The man who was blamed for Berlin's miserable attempt to build a new airport must be paid more than €1 million - after being fired. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: DPA
Politics
Satirist lives the dream on EU gravy train
Photo: DPA
Gallery
PHOTOS: Huge explosion rocks Ludwigshafen
Photo: DPA/Shutterstock
Gallery
Which high school cliche is your German city?
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Storm hits southern Germany
Sponsored Article
An international school unlike any other : School on the Rhine
Photo: Fitzpatrick family
Society
'We still don't know what happened to Matthew'
Photo: Mariana Schroeder
Munich
Special Report: Hope and chaos at Munich's refugee shelters
Photo: DPA
Culture
Can you top our history quiz leaderboard?
Photo: DPA/Shutterstock
Gallery
11 things Germans are afraid of...
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Sponsored Article
Bilingual education from nursery to graduation at Phorms
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,522
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd