Provenance Research

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According to the ICOM Code of Ethics for Museums, museums are obliged to determine the full provenance of their objects and provide proof of origin. As such, provenance research is a genuine museum mandate, and an integral part of responsible collection work.

Provenance research is based on the history of the origin of collection items, and is understood as the study of the historical context of their acquisition. The focus here is on researching items whose exchange of hands took place unjustly in the context of National Socialism or colonialism, for example. At the same time, however, increasing research is also being carried out into ethically sensitive collections such as human remains.