Loot. 10 Stories

Stadtmuseum Berlin on the road

Starting in spring 2024, the Humboldt Forum will present a temporary exhibition “Loot. 10 Stories”. Through ten case studies, visitors will be immersed in the complex topic of looted art over three different periods: the colonial era, the Napoleonic conquests in the 18th century and the so-called “Third Reich” between 1933 and 1945. Also on display are items on loan from the Stadtmuseum Berlin.

Humboldt Forum | 3rd floor
10178 Berlin

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Wed – Mon | 10:30 am – 18:30 pm
Tue | closed

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The objects from the collections of the Mauritshuis (The Hague, Netherlands), three Berlin museums (Ethnological Museum, City Museum and Gipsformerei) and the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Rennes will be presented both as originals and as replicas. The visitors will encounter, besides others, the horse head of the Quadriga, a self-portrait by Rembrandt or a Magic Staff from Surinam and replicas and moulds of the Benin bronzes. 

How do the museums deal with looted art today?

 In particular, the innovative technology of virtual reality (VR) will allow to experience selected stories and prompt to think about the questions: In what contexts were these objects looted? How do the museums deal with looted art today? And what else should be done in the future?


Take a look at the 2023 exhibition in the Mauritshuis in The Hague. The exhibition will be on display at the Humboldt Forum from spring 2024.

Loans from the Stadtmuseum Berlin

Find out more about our exhibition objects.


The Anet chest of drawers is part of the Stadtmuseum Berlin’s “Reichsbank furniture” collection. But how did this piece of French furniture end up at the Märkisches Museum, which specialises in the history of Berlin and Brandenburg? In this essay, we will provide insight into ongoing provenance research.

The horse’s head on the Quadriga

This horse’s head is all that remains of the original Quadriga, the sculpture that sits atop the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin. But why did sculptor Johann Gottfried Schadow (1764-1850) design the Quadriga in the first place? And what role did Napoleon play in it?

The Märkisches Museum’s “Special Silver Inventory”

Nearly five hundred silver pieces, including spoons, charm bracelets, children’s rattles and other objects, are stored in a metal cabinet in the Stadtmuseum Berlin’s collection depot. The objects originate from compulsory levies placed on Jewish people from 1939 onwards, and provide insight into a project that the Stadtmuseum Berlin has been carrying out since 1996 to clarify the provenance of each individual object.

The exhibition is being taken over from the Mauritshuis in The Hague as part of an international collaboration. The Stiftung Humboldt Forum im Berliner Schloss, the Stadtmuseum Berlin, the Ethnologisches Museum and the Museum für Asiatische Kunst of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin have cooperated in the realisation of the project. Overall design concept: Jongsma + O’Neill.

A joint exhibition in cooperation with

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