Berlin (dpa) – In the reform of the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation, from the point of view of its President Hermann Parzinger, the international importance of the institution must be taken into account. “ What is certain is that in cultural and scientific policy debates we as a foundation have a different weight than one of our institutions,” said Parzinger of the German Press Agency in Berlin. “ This is also evident in international cooperation; we are also an important actor in foreign cultural policy.”
Parzinger cited the development of museum concepts in Egypt or the cooperation with Russia as an example. “ Provenance research also leads to more international exchange.” In addition, the foundation takes on national tasks, for example through the Institute for Museum Research, the Rathgen Research Laboratory or the office of the German Digital Library.
The foundation, which is supported by the federal and state governments and has around 2000 employees, includes the Berlin State Museums, whose 15 collections with 4.7 million objects are presented at 19 locations. According to an analysis by the Science Council, the foundation’s roof structure results in unclear decision-making processes. World-class collections are therefore not sufficiently exploiting the potential.
From Parzinger’s point of view, the reform work is making good progress. “There is a great willingness in politics, among the sponsors of the foundation, in the workforce, among management staff, to use this as an opportunity to reposition the foundation.”
The roof construction is a sticking point. “ As with a large commercial enterprise, it is about the relationship between centrality and decentralization,” said Parzinger. “I assume that it will not work without some kind of roof structure if you don’t want to let the administrative effort become excessive.” To think about order placement, digitization, legal services as relieving central service. “But it will also be decisive how the autonomy of the individual houses can be strengthened and expanded at the same time. Both must succeed at the same time. “
In addition to the professional autonomy of the institutions, the question is in which constellations the scope for design can be expanded. “ Economic autonomy alone does not increase the pie that is available to us,” said Parzinger. “ If you want to reorganize the structurally underfunded foundation, you have to equip it appropriately financially and personally.”