Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation


Legal form: Foundation under public law
Purpose: Preservation, maintenance, supplementation and evaluation of the Prussian cultural assets for the German people
Chair: Hermann Parzinger
Consist: since August 6, 1957
Founder: Federal and State
Seat: Berlin

The Prussian Cultural Heritage (SPK) Foundation is the German Culture Minister under standing foundation under public law with headquarters in Berlin . The foundation, supported by the federal and state governments, is one of the largest cultural institutions in the world. The head office with a president at the head is located in the district Tiergarten of the district center . The foundation includes five institutions with a large number of individual locations in Berlin.

At the beginning of July 2020, the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and Media Monika Grütters (CDU) announced that the SPK would be reformed by 2025 at the latest and converted into four independent foundations (State Museums, State Library, Secret State Archives and Ibero-American Institute). The basis is a report by the Science Council, which recommends the dissolution of the SPK. As a result, the Foundation Council of the SPK set up a reform commission consisting of representatives from the federal government, the states of Berlin, North Rhine-Westphalia, Saxony-Anhalt and Hamburg, the SPK Presidium and museum directors.


The foundation was established on August 6, 1957 when a federal law came into force and in 1961 received statutes by ordinance of the federal government. The primary goal was initially to preserve and maintain the cultural assets of the former state of Prussia . Since the German reunification, there has been an important task in bringing together previously separate collections.

Dissolution plans (since 2020)

At the end of the 2010s, a group from the German Science Council chaired by the literary scholar Marina Münkler evaluated all levels of the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation. The resulting study came to the conclusion that there were too many unclear responsibilities and conflicting interests in the management levels of the sub-areas. Although the federal government bears the majority of the costs, the actual allocation of funds is linked , for example, to the contribution made by the State of Berlin . However, if Berlin does not distribute funds, federal funds cannot be allocated either. The report therefore recommends the dissolution and restructuring of the SPK. It is recommended that the State Library, the Secret State Archives of Prussian Cultural Heritage and the Ibero-American Institute be assigned directly to the federal government. In contrast, the Berlin State Museums cannot be torn apart, but the houses would need their own budget. The association is the right form of organization for this.

Criticism of resolution plans

Michelle Müntefering (SPD), Minister of State for Cultural Policy in the Foreign Office , criticized the liquidation plans. Your ministry has a good contact person in the foundation and its president Hermann Parzinger . Reforms are necessary, but a dissolution is wrong, "because why should one simply destroy the global brand SPK?" In addition, a massive reorganization would tie up a lot of energy over the years instead of promoting necessary developments such as the digitization of archives.

Claudia Schwartz criticized in the NZZ that more than one foundation would be dissolved with the Prussian cultural heritage. "It would be a continuation of a tradition of hostility towards Prussia, which shortens that historical epoch to German guilt."

Ijoma Mangold commented in Die ZEIT that it was “right to split up the inflated foundation”, but “wrong to dispose of the Prussian past at the same time”. With the foundation, after reunification, Prussia "not of the General Staff, but that of the reformers Stein and Hardenberg and the world scholars Alexander and Wilhelm von Humboldt " became the reference point of the Berlin Republic , for which Museum Island and the Reichstag stand for . Reform must be possible without destroying the umbrella brand. “ Prussia is part of German history and should also remain institutionally addressable. Those who exorcise Prussia can no longer deal critically with the past. "

Klaus-Dieter Lehmann stated that the scientific council's report overshoots the mark. “Don't dissolve what has to be networked!” Warned the former foundation president in the FAZ .

Tasks and organization

The five institutions of the foundation emerged from the collections , libraries and archives of the Prussian state:

The foundation is funded 75 percent by the federal government and 25 percent by all federal states . The building costs as well as the maintenance costs for the Museum Island are currently fully covered by the federal government . The foundation is committed to the voluntary social year in culture . Since 2004 there has been a position in the General Directorate of the State Museums , in the Ibero-American Institute , in the State Library and in the Central Archives of the State Museums . Since then, additional FSJ positions have been set up in some collections of the National Museums in Berlin, e.g. B. in the Egyptian Museum and Papyrus Collection , the Picture Gallery , the Sculpture Collection and the Museum of Byzantine Art .

Seat of the President and the main administration in the former Villa von der Heydt , Berlin-Tiergarten (2009)

The foundation annually awards the Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy Prize to honor young musicians from German music universities. The Ernst Waldschmidt Prize is awarded by the foundation every five years .

The SPK's computer network is connected to the Berlin science network BRAIN .

President of the Foundation

The foundation was or is headed by the following presidents:

Other institutions of the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation

The foundation's five institutions include a large number of individual organizational units, the most famous of which are the 15 collections of the Berlin State Museums. The museums also include the Institute for Museum Research and the Rathgen Research Laboratory , while the State Library includes the Photo Agency for Art, Culture and History (formerly the Photo Archive). The State Institute for Music Research runs the Musical Instrument Museum with its own restoration workshop.

In 2014 the foundation put a new functional building into operation in an emerging warehouse district in the Friedrichshagen district . The new archive has space for six million books and is used jointly by the State Library, the Ibero-American Institute and the picture agency. The magazine building was designed by the Munich architect Eberhard Wimmer . The building, financed by the federal government, can be expanded if necessary.

Web links

Individual evidence

  3. Grütters wants to reform the Prussian Foundation in three to five years. Retrieved July 15, 2020 .
  4. Thomas E. Schmidt: The Prussian Foundation reforms itself. In: Time Online. August 19, 2020, accessed on August 21, 2020 .
  5. cf. § 1 PrKultbG
  6. PrKultbSaV
  7. ^ NDR: Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz: Expert opinion recommends dissolution. Retrieved July 15, 2020 .
  12. ↑ The Prussian Foundation has a new warehouse building. In: Berliner Zeitung of July 1, 2014, p. 15.