Arts and Design

Cameroonian provenance researchers denied visas for Munich conference

A team of provenance researchers from Cameroon who were invited to take part in a workshop and conference in Munich were denied visas by the German embassy in Yaounde, according to the German radio station Deutschlandfunk Kultur.

The public part of their schedule, an event at the Munich Museum Fünf Kontinente (Museum of Five Continents) on 19 January, is due to present the results of a two-year project investigating the provenance of 200 Cameroonian artefacts acquired for the Bavarian royal collections in the 1890s by Max von Stetten, an army officer.

But three researchers from Cameroon were denied entry into the European Union, Deutschlandfunk said. In one case, the grounds for rejecting the visa application were that there are “justified doubts about your intention to leave before the visa expires.”

Karin Guggeis, who leads the Cameroon project at the museum, said the researcher in question had already visited Germany at the beginning of the project and returned as planned, Deutschlandfunk reported. She described the visa rejections as a “major blow” and said the presentation will now be held as a video conference.

Among the artefacts under investigation is a carved plank of wood that has become known as the “Blue Rider Post.” It fascinated the painter Franz Marc, who used it to illustrate an article by August Macke in the almanach published by the Blue Rider artists.


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