- Research project on Chinese looted art
- New concept in the fight against toxic blue-green algae
- Sinolytics.Radar: Labor law relies on personal initiative
- Xi and the Pope visit Kazakhstan
- German economy minister opposes Cosco stake in Hamburg
- Borrell: Realism in the Taiwan Strait
- EU director-general warns against dependencies
- Opinion: Drought highlights dangers of climate crisis for agriculture
The mystery of where Xi Jinping is headed on his first foreign visit since the start of 2020 has now been solved. Recent speculation pointed to Saudi Arabia. A hoax, as is now clear. Instead, China’s president and party leader is traveling to Central Asia. On Wednesday, Xi will be in Kazakhstan; from there he will continue to Uzbekistan for a summit meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). Russia’s President Vladimir Putin and India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi, among others, are also expected to attend there. We will monitor and analyze Xi’s trip and possible meetings with Putin or Modi for you.
The topics of today are poisonous algae and stolen art treasures. Fabian Peltsch has taken a closer look at stolen art. So far, the debate has focused mainly on objects from Germany’s former African colonies. But now China is also shifting into the focus of so-called provenance research, for unflattering reasons: German soldiers were involved in the suppression of the “Boxer Rebellion,” which resulted in an “orgy of looting”. Many Chinese art pieces have since been scattered all over the world and can also be found in Germany.
Frank Sieren presents an invention by Chinese researchers who want to fight blue-green algae with relatively simple methods. These harmful algae are spreading rapidly in many countries as temperatures rise. The process developed in China could thus attract interest worldwide.
Bought, robbed, given, extorted or looted?
The project “Traces of the Boxer War” already has international resonance. Just recently, Christine Howald, the project manager, and Kerstin Pannhorst, a historian involved in the project, accompanied a Japanese film team through the Ethnological Museum in Berlin-Dahlem. The public television company NHK from Tokyo is shooting a film about art pieces from the colonial context in the possession of European museums.
The Japanese journalists asked the two scientists about provenance research. And they first had to explain what it is about in the first place: The still fairly young area of research aims to determine the origin of art pieces – and also shed light on the unequal power relationships that played a role in the change of ownership. In other words, were they bought, stolen, exchanged, donated, blackmailed, or looted?
“Traces of the Boxer War” is a joint project of seven state museums. It is funded by the German Centre for Lost Cultural Property. Together with their colleagues, Pannhorst and Howald are focusing on the suppression of the so-called Boxers – a freedom movement that rebelled against foreign occupiers in China around 1899. The “Society of Righteous and Harmonious Fists,” as the Boxers called themselves, was crushed in 1900 by an alliance of German, French, British, Japanese, Italian, Russian, Austro-Hungarian, and American troops. Tens of thousands of people were killed, and cultural monuments such as the Imperial Winter Palace were downright gutted. Thousands of artifacts, including paintings, calligraphy, clothing and even hair braids were looted and scattered all over the world throughout the years.