Friday, 25 January 2013

Is this the end?

As probably everywhere, there is a lot of complaining about the bad economic situation here in Germany. And the (perceived or real) dire need to make budget cuts to save money.

Now, I can think of a lot of ways to save money sensibly regarding our state - but "closing museums" is not on that list. This is, however, what the individual federal states seem to think appropriate... even if they are comparatively rich federal states.

Case in point? There is the Heuneburg - a prehistoric hillfort that was excavated and is considered one of the most important early Celtic centres in Central Europe (more and links for even more info here at Wikipedia, and German Wikipedia).

In addition to a "normal" museum at the Heuneburg, explaining about the place in the usual museum way, there is also an open-air museum that was, unfortunately, not doing so very well in terms of visitors the last years. (The museum website for both is here.) The open-air museum was built between 1998 and 2001, is called Freilichtmuseum Keltischer Fürstensitz Heuneburg, and shows a number of reconstructions such as a large house, other buildings for storage and workshops, and a large gate with clay brick wall. The Heuneburg excavations showed the only known example of such a wall type north of the Alps.

And now the museum is about to close, because the community of Herbertingen does not have enough money to keep it running, and the federal state Baden-Württemberg is not willing to help.

There is, however, a chance to keep it going: An online petition is currently running and will be for about two more months. So please - go to the petition page here and sign the petition so that the Heuneburg-Museum can stay!


Cathy Raymond said...

It would be sad for Germany to close this museum--especially since Germany is in much better financial shape than the rest of Europe. I'm busy this morning, but I'll try to get over to look at and e-sign the petition (assuming that an American may do so).

Panth said...

Sadly this is not just the case in Germany. Cosmeston Medieval Village in Wales, another open-air living history site, faced a similar fate two years ago. Luckily, the local community, academics and reenactors protested, formed a Trust and are currently working with the council to re-instate the costumed guides, events and animals.

I hope this museum can be saved too.