Last September, 16 Liechtenstein cultural institutions organised the first 'Erlebnis Kulturerbe' ('Experience Cultural Heritage') action days in Liechtenstein. In addition to a traveling exhibition in public spaces (Story Camps and Chambers of Curiosities), the institutions provided rare insights into their depots and the workings of state, municipal and private collections of art and cultural property. As a kick-off to the action days, the Amt für Kultur Fürstentum Liechtenstein organised the panel discussion "Cultural Heritage - Burden or Passion?" on 13th September as part of the Kulturgüterschutz konkret series of the Center for Cultural Property Protection.
Chaired by Elisabeth Huppmann (Cultural Officer of the Municipality of Mauren) and Hannes Schramm (Amt für Kultur Fürstentum Liechtenstein | Denkmalpflege), the panel discussion in Schaanwald (LI) featured Roland Marxer (President of the Kulturstiftung Liechtenstein), Manuel Frick (Government Councillor of the Principality of Liechtenstein), Uwe Wieczorek (Curator of the Hilti Art Foundation), and Patrick Birrer (Head of the Amt für Kultur Fürstentum Liechtenstein) on the question of whether art and cultural heritage collections are a "burden or a passion".
The central social task of preserving cultural property for (future) generations is undisputed. However, the preservation of cultural treasures and heritage is very laborious and is confronted with a lack of financial, spatial and human resources. A major challenge for depots and collections is the increasing diversity of objects. There has been a shift in thinking: Whereas in the past collections had to fight to keep historical treasures from being thrown away, today some depots are almost reaching the limits of their resources. Collecting questionable objects threatens the preservation of today's cultural heritage and ultimately leads to the difficult question of an object's value.
There is a unanimous call for a nationwide collecting strategy, with regular exchanges of information on collections and experience. This would ensure better coordination of collection objects and a targeted discussion about which objects are 'worth collecting' and which are not.