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Founded in 2018, the Martin Roth Symposium, named after one of the most notable museum directors, aims to honour his groundbraking achievements on behalf of the developement of cultural and social topics by perpetuating his ideas.
The opening Martin Roth Symposium put the question, 'What can culture do?'. To give an answer, 44 international society and culture experts ressembled in the Kraftwerk Berlin to face more than 300 vistors, followed by inspiring and lively discussions with the audience.
'I am convinced, that art and culture represent an indispensible foundation
of a society of democratic and peaceful coexistence.'
As director general Martin Roth (1955-2017) did make his impression not only on the Dresden State Art Collections, but the international museum scene as well. Thus, as recognition for his outstanding cultural achievements he was invested with the order of knights respectively by France and Denmark. After his ten years’ stay in Dresden he was appointed as director of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. There he lead the museum into a new era by opening the museum not only literally by the new Exhibition Road entrance he had added but also figuratively by daring to search for new ways to attract a broader audience and rethink the role museums can play in society. In 2016 after having returned from London he was unanimously elected honorary president of ifa.
In honour of his accomplishments as museum director and cultural scientist and in remembrance of his great personality, the Federal Foreign Office of Germany instituted the Martin Roth Initiative to enable creative artists and cultural mediators, who are repressed in their home countries a stay abroad to proceed their artistic and cultural work. Likewise, in 2018, the Staatlichen Kunstsammlungen Dresden started a series of lectures, named after their former director general, Martin Roth Lecture. Since then the biennial conference, the Martin Roth Symposium, has been launched by ifa and the Federal Foreign Office.