Bach is Back in Berlin: The Return of the Sing-Akademie Archive from Ukraine in the Context of Displaced Cultural Treasures and Restitution Politics

Patricia Kennedy Grimsted


The Berlin Philharmonic provided an impressive venue on 15 May 2002 for the official celebration ("Festakt") of the return from Kyiv of the over 5,100 predominantly manuscript music scores (Notenarchiv) from the Sing-Akademie in Berlin. The collection, which includes approximately 500 scores of the Bach family archive, was deposited in the Music Department of the Staatsbibliothek in Berlin on the first of December 2001, although the Sing-Akademie remains the legal owner. That was the most important act of restitution from Ukraine and the most significant restitution from anywhere in the former Soviet Union since German reunification.

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