CFP: Dispossessions of Cultural Objects (Ljubljana, 19-21 Mar 18)

Dispossessions of Cultural Objects between 1914 and 1989/1991
– Alpe Adria Region in Comparative Perspective

International Conference

Ljubljana, France Stele Institute of Art History ZRC SAZU, March 19 – 21, 2018

Deadline: Nov 12, 2017

The research project team Transfer of Cultural Objects in the Alpe Adria Region in the 20th Century (TransCultAA) invites applications for papers to be presented in Ljubljana in March 19-21, 2018.

Transfer of Cultural Objects in the Alpe Adria Region in the 20th Century (TransCultAA) is a HERA – Humanities in the European Research Area – international and interdisciplinary research project of four countries (Germany, Italy, Slovenia and Croatia, together with the Commission for Provenance Research in Vienna, Austria, as associated partner). The four principal investigators are Christian Fuhrmeister, Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte, Munich (project leader), Donata Levi, University of Udine, Barbara Murovec, France Stele Institute of Art History ZRC SAZU, Ljubljana, and Ljerka Dulibić, Strossmayer Gallery of Old Masters HAZU in Zagreb. The project is being funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 649307.

Our research agenda is focused on the Alpe Adria region during the 20th century, a multicultural, multi-ethnic and multinational area that has witnessed uniquely complex combinations of shifting antagonistic forces. While the political sphere had an enormous influence in shaping the ways in which cultural heritage was treated, art historians, experts in monument preservation, art dealers, cultural bureaucrats, and other protagonists were often complicit and played an active role in dispossessing individuals, private organizations, and even nation states of their property or the objects in their custody.

It is only in recent years, fuelled by the 1998 Washington Conference Principles, that research in this field has been intensified. But most if not all research efforts seem to adhere to a national agenda, or even adopt the perspective of a single institution (like a museum), and in many cases provenance research does still not transgress national borders.

The international conference would like to compare, discuss and analyse research on dispossessions of cultural objects in the 20th century both in the Alpe Adria region and in Central and Eastern Europe in general.

We are especially interested in the following questions: What is the status of cultural heritage in times of conflict? Who transferred or translocated which objects, when and why? Which explanations (if any) were – and are – given? Which narratives ensued? Where are the objects today? What is their current status? How do archival documents (from the region and beyond) help to understand (regional and national) uses of past?

The organizers would like to especially encourage speakers whose papers address dispossessions in the narrow sense (dislocations against the will of the owner – be it public or private, state or institution, dealer or collector). However, topics such as sales of cultural assets are also of interest. We also welcome specific case studies that draw larger methodological conclusions.

We invite researchers at all career stages and especially encourage younger colleagues and speakers from Central and (South)Eastern Europe to submit proposals for 20-minute papers, consisting of the title and abstract (no more than 1500 characters) together with a short CV, to our email address by November 12, 2017. The conference language is English. The selection will be made by December 3rd, 2017.

The organizers will subsidise accommodation costs of the speakers (maximum 3 nights), but only exceptionally (on special request, and because the need has been demonstrated) also travel expenses.

We plan to publish the papers in a peer-reviewed monograph, i.e. a regular thematic issue of the journal Acta historiae artis Slovenica ( The journal is published by the France Stele Institute of Art History ZRC SAZU.

Organisation: France Stele Institute of Art History ZRC SAZU (Franci Lazarini, Barbara Murovec and Barbara Vodopivec) in association with partner institutions of the TransCultAA project.

Organising Committee: Ljerka Dulibić (, Christian Fuhrmeister (, Donata Levi ( and Barbara Murovec (

Reference: CFP: Dispossessions of Cultural Objects (Ljubljana, 19-21 Mar 18). In:, Oct 14, 2017. <>