Transfer of Cultural Objects in the Alpe Adria Region in the 20th Century
This research project is the first attempt to investigate the transfer of cultural assets in the Alpe Adria area in the twentieth century.
The project will analyse ‘Uses of the Past’ in particular historical and current conflicts of ownership, patrimony and cultural heritage. Despite its regional focus, TransCultAA examines the very concrete and material results of a genuinely European history of transfer, translocation, displacement, confiscation, looting, and theft of cultural objects.
The project asks the following questions:
- Who transferred or translocated which objects in the Alpe Adria region, when and why?
- Which explanations if any were and are given?
- Which narratives ensued, and why?
- How do archival documents (from the region and beyond, produced by victims, perpetrators, and the complicit actors in the grey zone in between) help us to understand these regional and, above all, national uses of the past?
These issues have all been heavily charged by propaganda for political purposes.
The collection, documentation and analysis of archival sources will play a critical role in this project, as only factual data have the power to overcome myths, legends and, in particular, competing nationalist narratives. The project will also address the complexity of the phenomena at a transnational level through analytical studies of the objects present or in transition on the territory at key historical moments. The research team comprises principal investigators from Croatia, Germany, Italy and Slovenia, with associated partners in Austria.