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The Forum Kunst und Markt / Centre for Art Market Studies at TU Berlin cordially invites you to send us your paper for our international symposium:

Call for Papers:

"Art Transportation in Times of War and Peace"

Online, Nov 9-10, 2023

International Symposium of the Centre for Art Market Studies in cooperation with the Department of Digital Provenance at Technische Universität Berlin

CFP Deadline: Sept 15, 2023

In the 1950s, the planned construction of the Aswan High Dam threatened the accessibility and architectural integrity of Ramses II's two temples at Abu Simbel. As a world wide joint project, the temples were dismantled and rebuilt on a higher plateau between 1963 and 1968. Source: Forskning & Framsteg 3, 1967, p. 161 / Wikimedia Commons.
Transporting art and cultural heritage in times of war and peace may have in all its contexts its unique motivations. Reasons for doing so include art protection, exhibitions, art trade and sales, (inter-)cultural exchange, preservation and conservation, repatriation, art theft and plundering as well as research and study.

The transportation of art, artifacts, and cultural heritage should always involve careful planning, support, and execution to safeguard these valuable and often irreplaceable items, may it be in times of war or peace. Transportation processes should adhere to strict conservation standards to minimize the risk of damage or loss during transit. But have those standards always existed? And do those processes significantly differ between times of peace and times of war due to the varying risks, challenges and motivations posed by conflict and violence?

The conference aims to bring together scholars, researchers, curators, restorers, artists, (museum) experts, registrars and practitioners to explore on a global scale issues surrounding “how” transportation of art, artifacts, and cultural heritage is planned, supported and finally carried out, as well as all specific aspects around moving art during situations of war and peace.

We invite original research and critical perspectives (comparative or as case studies) on, but not limited to, the following themes and topics:
  • Techniques and challenges of art transportation from antiquity to today
  • The role of museums, galleries, auction houses, artists, collectors and experts in art transportation
  • Art protection and art plundering in war-torn regions
  • The effects of cultural heritage protection laws on art transfers
  • Customs regulations and their impact on art shipments
  • Insuring works of art, especially during war times
  • Processes of art repatriation and cultural diplomacy in times of peace
  • Climate protection and art transportation
The symposium will open on Thursday, November 9, 2023, with a panel discussion about “War in Europe: Art Handling” (in German). Conference date: Friday, November 10, 2023, online (TU Zoom). Conference language is English. Please submit the proposals with a 300-word abstract (including the title) and a short bio (as well as institutional affiliation) of no more than 150 words by September 15, 2023 to:

Concept and organization: Meike Hopp, Thomas Steinruck and Dorothee Wimmer, in collaboration with Gabriele Zöllner

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