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USA Luther exhibitions with German help

Germany will be represented at three major exhibitions beginning in October in the USA to mark 500th anniversary of the Reformation. On display will be never-seen before exhibits from Martin Luther's life and work.

Three exhibitions with different focuses but all under the motto "Here I stand…" will be held until January 2017 in New York, Minneapolis and Atlanta. Numerous German museums and Luther memorials-foundations will be contributing to the exhibitions by loaning many important works, the coordinator or the US shows and director of the State Museum of Prehistory (Halle), Harald Meller, announced. Patron of the exhibitions is German foreign minister Frank Steinmeier.

Contributing and supporting the three US exhibition sites on this project will be the Deutsche Historische Museum (DHM) Berlin, the Luther Memorials Foundations in Saxony-Anhalt and the Foundation Schloss Friedenstein Gotha. Meller said the costs of some three million euro on the German side were being predominantly covered by Steinmeier's foreign ministry. The participating institutions and sponsors in the USA will pay for marketing and the exhibition design.

Stefan Rhein, the director of the Luther Memorials Foundations in Saxony-Anhalt, stressed that these exhibitions are to show Germany as a country of culture and entice people to travel here and visit the Luther memorial locations. Organizers are expecting the exhibitions to be well attended with thousands of visitors.

DHM interim president Ulrike Kretschmar says three special exhibitions are also being prepared in Germany. They will be taking place in 2017 in the Martin-Gropius-Bau in Berlin, the Lutherhaus in Wittenberg and at Wartburg Castle. Meller said that by then the paintings, documents and archeological finds loaned to the USA would be returned to Germany. In the next few months, when traditionally not many visitors attend the German museums, they will use the time to prepare for the special exhibitions.

A 1,000 page catalogue and essay publication in German accompanies the US exhibitions. They represent to most current research into the Reformation according to the Dresdner Sandstein Verlag publishers. There is also a touring exhibition with 30 picture displays on Martin Luther (1483 -1546) and the beginning of the Reformation. It can be ordered on the internet and will be delivered as of October. The exhibition includes 3d-scans and info-graphics.

October 2017 marks the 500th anniversary of the start of the Reformation. It is said that Martin Luther, by nailing his Ninety-Five Theses to the door of Wittenberg Castle Church on Halloween in 1517 sparked the Reformation that would split Western Christianity.

is/ks (kna/dpa)

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