The famed Warburg Institute in London has been saved by an English court ruling.
According to a press release by the Warburg Institute: “To the benefit and relief of scholars worldwide, the High Court has rejected the University of London’s claims that all additions to the Warburg Institute since 1944 belong to the University, and instead agreed that they form part of the Institute. Furthermore, the judge, Mrs Justice Proudman, held that the University is obliged to provide funding for the activities of the Warburg Institute.”
The Warburg Institute is one of the most important research centers in art history, Renaissance studies, and interdisciplinary humanities.
The Warburg Institute website provides a brief institutional history of its collections: “The Institute grew out of the private library of the art historian Aby Warburg (1866-1929), who collected books in art history, literature, intellectual history, religion and the history of science and magic. As a Jewish institution based in Germany, the Institute was forced to close, and its very existence was threatened by the Nazi-organised book-burnings of April 1933. To escape destruction, the entire library of 60,000 books, as well as photographs, papers and furniture, were shipped to the safe-haven of London in December 1933. Many of the Institute’s staff also transferred to London.”
Humanities scholars worldwide mobilized over the past year with petitions and protests in opposition to the University of London’s attempt to de-fund and/or break up the collections of the Warburg Institute.
Read more about the story on the website of the Warburg Institute.