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Cultural Heritage

Report on Tomorrow's Science

Television images of humanitarian catastrophes in crisis areas dominate the news coverage and unsettle us immensely. The pictures also include the destruction of the cultural heritage of countries like Syria, Iraq and Mali, which further serves to make clear the extent of the disasters. The German public is made aware of all the illicit excavations, plundering of museums and illegal trade in artworks that are a consequence of these conflicts and which are used to further the respective causes.

However, we are not just passive observers but instead are in many ways actively involved. The challenges of foreign policy long ago became the subject of political debate at the national and international level even if frequently the discussions were characterized by ineptitude and perplexity. For just this reason it has become imperative to critically explore the complex interplay of external policy challenges and domestic, federal structures as it relates to a science based preservation of the world cultural heritage and to look for a common response.

The Cultural Heritage working group examines which organizational and legal frameworks need to be created in order that Germany’s established scientific expertise can be made available on the international level.


German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina

Spokespersons of the Working Group

  • Prof. Dr. Hermann Parzinger ML, Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz
  • Prof. Dr. Friederike Fless, Deutsches Archäologisches Institut
  • Prof. Dr. Hans-Joachim Gehrke ML, Universität Freiburg


  • Dr. Martin Bachmann, Koldewey Gesellschaft, Deutsches Archäologisches Institut (DAI) - Martin Bachmann unexpectedly passed away on 3 August 2016 (obituary of the DAI)
  • Dr. Roland Bernecker, UNESCO-Deutschland, Bonn
  • Prof. Dr. Peter Funke, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster
  • Prof. Dr. Markus Hilgert, Vorderasiatisches Museum im Pergamonmuseum, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin - Preußischer Kulturbesitz
  • Prof. Dr. Matthias Knaut, Hochschule für Technik und Wirtschaft, Berlin
  • Prof. Dr. Jürgen Kunow, Amt für Bodendenkmalpflege im Rheinland, Bonn
  • Prof. Dr. Dr. Sabine Freifrau von Schorlemer, TU Dresden

ML = Member of the Leopoldina



Dr. Christian Anton

Scientific Officer, Department Science - Policy - Society

Phone 0345 - 47 239 - 861
Fax 0345 - 47 239 - 839
E-Mail christian.anton @leopoldina.org