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The Flowerworld of Cotzumalhuapa. Stelae from Guatemala at the Humboldt-Forum

The Santa Lucía Cotzumalhuapa stelae are considered highlights of the new permanent exhibition on Mesoamerica at the Humboldt Forum. They were found in the second half of the 19th century on a coffee plantation at the Pacific coast of Guatemala, bought by Adolf Bastian, co-founder of the Ethnological Museum Berlin, and shipped to Berlin. What do we know today about the Cotzumalhuapa culture and the archaeological context of these impressive monuments? Why and under what circumstances did the objects reach Berlin? What concepts underlie the new presentation of the stelae and other monuments from Cotzumalhuapa? The event invites to look at the history of the monuments from different perspectives. In doing so, we want to address current debates about the role of museums, the history of collections, restoration and curatorship, and the significance of archaeological research.