State Gifts - 60 years of Germany

16. mai 2009 bis 5. septembre 2010
| 132.676 visitors

For the first time the World Cultural Heritage Site at the Volklingen Ironworks presents in an exhibition gifts from kings, presidents and prime-ministers from a total of 75 states. “State Gifts - 60 Years of Germany” is the first comprehensive systematic presentation to order these state gifts in the context of great events in history.In terms of great state diplomacy, state gifts have been a significant subject in the history of our civilisation.

State gifts have a long historical tradition in the culture of the occident and interstate ceremony. Since the period of antiquity diplomatic gifts have been an expression of a special culture of giving and accorded a prominence of import. Diplomatic gifts are symbols of the cultural exchange between peoples and nations. For the most part they enjoy the presentee’s highest esteem and are links to an extensive cultural engagement with the other. 

The exhibition “State Gifts - 60 Years of Germany” is well within this tradition, but also demonstrates that in the second half of the 20th century new rules applied. The valuable stands alongside the culturally prominent. Now mere simple gifts are to be found which nonetheless embody a high symbolic value. The state gifts to Germany reflect the over 60 years diplomatic history of the Federal Republic of Germany, they exhibit Federal Presidents and Federal Chancellors in “concert” with the World’s states and their appreciations of value. State gifts are an element of the exchange between States and a preparation for state treaties and acts of state. Hence the exhibition project opens a special perspective on an outstanding chapter of world history with Germany at the centre.

For the exhibition we have (up to now) linked the “inmost” symbols and treasures of Germany’s stately exchanges with the images that have most shaped the face of the last 60 years of the history of our land, the headline photography of the Deutschen Presseagentur (German Press Agency. It forms a thrilling dialogue.


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