Zähringer Foundation

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The Zähringer Foundation is a foundation under public law based in Karlsruhe . It administers part of the art and cultural treasures of the former Grand Duchy of Baden and is commissioned to “preserve the collections in their previous manner and make them accessible to the public” ( Friedrich II. Von Baden ). The name of the foundation goes back to the medieval aristocratic family of the Zähringers , whose heirs the Margraves of Baden saw themselves as heirs .


The ousted Grand Duke Friedrich II of Baden (1857–1928) had the foundation set up in a will . The private art collections of the House of Baden were initially to be bequeathed to his wife Hilda von Nassau (1864–1952) and, after her death, transferred to a foundation. This was approved on March 22, 1954 by the state of Baden-Württemberg . The opening session took place on April 6, 1957. According to the statutes, the foundation's administrative board consists of “the oldest male offspring of the Zähringer house as chairman”, the director of the Badisches Landesmuseum in Karlsruhe and “another from the minister of education in agreement with the will of Grand Duke Friedrich von Baden from August 12, 1927 named representatives of the Grand Duke. Family specific member ”. Berthold von Baden was active as the first chairman of the board of trustees .

Foundation ownership

The following collections are managed by the Zähringer Foundation according to the statutes (location in brackets):

Controversy over the foundation

In 2006, the Zähringer Foundation came into public discussion in connection with the controversial plans to sell manuscripts in the Badische Landesbibliothek . At that time the board of directors consisted of Bernhard Prince von Baden , Maximilian Andreas von Baden , Harald Siebenmorgen (Director of the Badisches Landesmuseum) and Christoph Graf Douglas as the representative of the state. Douglas was auctioneer for Sotheby’s until 1995 and in this position also worked on behalf of the House of Baden. Critics of the foundation, such as the Greens in the state parliament of Baden-Württemberg , criticized the lack of transparency of the foundation and the bias of the foundation board member Douglas. Bernhard von Baden denies the responsibility of the foundation because the art treasures have never been handed over in the legal sense and the foundation is therefore a “coat without content”. It is unclear whether the private art treasures of the House of Baden had not already fallen to the Republic of Baden with the abdication of the Grand Duke in 1918 , in which case the foundation could not be legally responsible for them. According to Harald Siebenmorgen, however, the private property of the Grand Duke was recognized as such by the Baden state in the 1930s.

In March 2007, Science Minister Peter Frankenberg admitted that in 1995 the foundation had three paintings from the foundation's property auctioned for the benefit of the House of Baden, thus violating an express ban on the part of the state government. The pictures came from Louis Jüncke and Georg Otto Eduard Saal .

The expert commission “Property Issues Baden” took the view in an expert opinion that the Zähringer Foundation never acquired ownership of the art treasures it managed. Without taking the disputed question to court, the state of Baden-Württemberg agreed in 2008 with the House of Baden on a payment by the state totaling 57 million euros for the Salem Palace, other art treasures and the waiver of the House of Baden's claims to ownership of the Zähringer Foundation. The contract was sealed on April 6, 2009. The objects that were part of the Zähringer Foundation finally became the property of the State of Baden-Württemberg.


  1. Entry in the register of foundations of the Karlsruhe Regional Council, page no longer available , search in web archives: rp.baden-wuerttemberg.de (PDF, 8 KB)@1@ 2Template: Toter Link / www.rp.baden-wuerttemberg.de
  2. http://archiv.twoday.net/stories/2750198/
  3. http://archiv.twoday.net/stories/2835396/ cf. J. Ch. Schall: Grand Ducal Painting Collection, Louis Jüncke'sche Foundation, in the Palais Hamilton in Baden-Baden. 1901, 2nd ed. 1905. online
  4. http://archiv.twoday.net/stories/2835338/
  5. Archived copy ( memento of the original from September 30, 2007 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.renate-rastaetter.de
  6. Page no longer available , search in web archives: landtag-bw.de@1@ 2Template: Toter Link / www.landtag-bw.de
  7. Page no longer available , search in web archives: Südkurier, January 4, 2007@1@ 2Template: Toter Link / www.suedkurier.de
  8. http://www.suedkurier.de/region/völker/art2940,2388108.html
  9. ka-news.de, October 14, 2006
  10. http://archiv.twoday.net/stories/3025843/
  11. Page no longer available , search in web archives: suedkurier.de@1@ 2Template: Toter Link / www.suedkurier.de
  12. Page no longer available , search in web archives: mwk.baden-wuerttemberg.de@1@ 2Template: Toter Link / mwk.baden-wuerttemberg.de

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