CFP: Art Transportation in Times of War and Peace (online – Forum Kunst & Markt / Centre for Art Market Studies, TU Berlin, 9-10 Nov 2023)

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The Forum Kunst und Markt / Centre for Art Market Studies at TU Berlin cordially calls for submissions for our international symposium: Art Transportation in Times of War and Peace, in cooperation with the Department of Digital Provenance at Technische Universität Berlin.

Deadline: 15 Sep 2023

Transporting art and cultural heritage in times of war and peace may have in all its contexts its unique motivations. Reasons for doing so include art protection, exhibitions, art trade and sales, (inter-)cultural exchange, preservation and conservation, repatriation, art theft and plundering as well as research and study.

The transportation of art, artifacts, and cultural heritage should always involve careful planning, support, and execution to safeguard these valuable and often irreplaceable items, may it be in times of war or peace. Transportation processes should adhere to strict conservation standards to minimize the risk of damage or loss during transit. But have those standards always existed? And do those processes significantly differ between times of peace and times of war due to the varying risks, challenges and motivations posed by conflict and violence? 

The conference aims to bring together scholars, researchers, curators, restorers, artists, (museum) experts, registrars and practitioners to explore on a global scale issues surrounding “how” transportation of art, artifacts, and cultural heritage is planned, supported and finally carried out, as well as all specific aspects around moving art during situations of war and peace.

We invite original research and critical perspectives (comparative or as case studies) on, but not limited to, the following themes and topics:

    • Techniques and challenges of art transportation from antiquity to today

    • The role of museums, galleries, auction houses, artists, collectors and experts in art transportation 

    • Art protection and art plundering in war-torn regions 

    • The effects of cultural heritage protection laws on art transfers

    • Customs regulations and their impact on art shipments

    • Insuring works of art, especially during war times

    • Processes of art repatriation and cultural diplomacy in times of peace

    • Climate protection and art transportation

The symposium will open on Thursday, November 9, 2023, with a panel discussion about “War in Europe: Art Handling” (in German). Conference date: Friday, November 10, 2023, online (TU Zoom). 

Conference language is English.

Please submit the proposals with a 300-word abstract (including the title) and a short bio (as well as institutional affiliation) of no more than 150 words by September 15, 2023 to:

Concept and organization: Meike Hopp, Thomas Steinruck and Dorothee Wimmer, in collaboration with Gabriele Zöllner 

For more information: