In her introduction at the Herrenhausen Symposium "Positioning Ethnological Museums in the 21st Century", Wiebke Ahrndt, Director of the Übersee-Museum Bremen and Vice-Director of the Deutscher Museumsbund e.V., points out the importance of discussing the functions of ethnological museums. She talks about the historical change and of the museums – from the “Wunderkammer” in colonial times to the growing interest on provenance research and knowledge transfer as well as a reflection on a non-European point of view. More than others, ethnographic museums face many questions of legitimacy and cross-cultural responsibility.

Wiebke Ahrndt studied in ethnology and anthropology of the Americas in Göttingen and Bonn. In 1996, she completed her PhD in anthropology of the Americas. From late 1999 to early 2002 she was Head of Department at the America Museum der Kulturen Basel. Since March 2002, she is Director of the Übersee Museum Bremen. In October 2006, she was awarded an honorary professorship at the Department of Cultural Studies at the University of Bremen. Since May 2010, Wiebke Arndt is a Member of the Board and since May 2011 Vice President of the German Museum Federation.

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