• 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)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

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
Glass memorial honours Nazi disabled victims
Floral tributes were laid on Tuesday at the new Holocaust memorial in Berlin. Photo: DPA

Glass memorial honours Nazi disabled victims

A 24-metre blue glass wall in Berlin has been unveiled to commemorate the systematic murder of up to 300,000 mentally ill and disabled people under Adolf Hitler. READ  

Germany to help with Mediterranean refugees
Migrants aboard an Italian navy patrol vessel in April 2014. Photo: DPA

Germany to help with Mediterranean refugees

Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière on Tuesday pledged support for his Italian colleague in the struggle to manage refugees trying to reach the European Union via its southern coast. READ  

Ice bucket challenge raises €500,000 in a week
Elephant Nelly takes part in the ice bucket challenge in a Lower Saxony safari park. Photo: DPA

Ice bucket challenge raises €500,000 in a week

The coffers of the German Society for Muscular Disease (DGM) are overflowing with donations thanks to the viral craze for videos of donors dousing themselves with ice-cold water. READ  

Russian-German school opens in teeth of conflict
The GRIAT will open in the Russian city of Kazan. Photo: Shutterstock

Russian-German school opens in teeth of conflict

The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) is pressing ahead with its German-Russian Institute of Advanced Technologies (GRIAT) against a backdrop of international tensions over Ukraine. READ  

Schweinsteiger is new Germany captain: Löw
Photo: DPA

Schweinsteiger is new Germany captain: Löw

Bastian Schweinsteiger will replace fellow Bayern Munich player Philipp Lahm as captain of the German national football team, head trainer Joachim Löw said on Tuesday. READ  

Munich minister resigns in 'model car scandal'
Christine Haderthauer at her resignation press conference in Munich on Monday. Photo: DPA

Munich minister resigns in 'model car scandal'

Christine Haderthauer, head of the Bavarian state chancery, resigned “with immediate effect” on Monday evening over the so-called “model car scandal” in which her company sold scale models built by a man convicted of three sexual murders. READ  

Russia 'severed' from Europe: President Gauck
President Gauck stands shoulder to shoulder with President Komorowski of Poland in Gdansk on Monday. Photo: DPA

Russia 'severed' from Europe: President Gauck

Russia has "effectively severed its partnership" with Europe and wants to establish a new order, German President Joachim Gauck said on Monday. READ  

National Uber ban is revenge of the taxis
Taxis are a powerful trade lobby in Germany. Photo: DPA

National Uber ban is revenge of the taxis

The Frankfurt regional court has imposed a temporary nationwide ban on chauffeur car service Uber, saying that it must pay a €250,000 fine if passengers continue to book rides through its app. READ  

Sex party 'desecrates' Bavarian royal spa
The facade of the Bad Reichenhall Royal Spa Hotel.

Sex party 'desecrates' Bavarian royal spa

The Bavarian finance ministry has demanded a report from the company running a publicly-owned spa in the town of Bad Reichenhall after they rented the property out for a fetish party. READ  

Merkel details Iraq arms shipment to MPs
Angela Merkel addressing the Bundestag on Monday as her ministers look on. Photo: DPA

Merkel details Iraq arms shipment to MPs

UPDATE: Chancellor Angela Merkel addressed the Bundestag on Monday to explain her government's decision to send weapons to Iraqi Kurds fighting terrorist group Isis. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Sponsored Article
Bilingual education from nursery to graduation at Phorms
Photo: Shutterstock
Gallery
Ten of the oddest things found by German border control
Photo: Gerkan, Marg and Partners/Tegel Projekt GmbH/J. Mayer
Berlin
How will Berlin look in five years' time?
Photo: DPA
Culture
Sprechen Sie Deutsch? 10 reasons why you should
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The best of Berlin's mayor Klaus Wowereit in 14 pictures
Photo: DPA
Politics
Germany sends burgers and sausages to Kurds
Photo: Matthias Kock
National
Tribes, ties and a movie: A German's Afghan life
Photo: DPA
Gallery
10 things to do before summer in Germany is really over
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The mysteries of Berlin's abandoned theme park
Photo: Europeana.de 1914 - 1918
Gallery
A German soldier's life behind WWI lines
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
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

3,413
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd