The Warburg Institute is delighted to have received a further £2 million towards the Warburg Renaissance building project from the Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung. This gift takes the total support from the Hamburg-based foundation to £3m, making it the largest donation ever made to the central University of London and taking us very close to the target for the project budget of £14.5m.

Hermann-Hinrich Reemtsma (centre) with Reemtsma family members and representatives from the foundation on a visit to the Warburg

The Warburg was honoured to host Mr Hermann-Hinrich Reemtsma, the foundation’s founder, members of the Reemtsma family and representatives from the foundation, on a visit to London in summer 2019. This was the last trip Hermann-Hinrich made before he died in 2020, and the £2m gift was pledged in tribute to Hermann-Hinrich, whose support and enthusiasm for the project was evident during the visit. The institute and the university are sincerely grateful to the Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung for its unprecedented generosity.

Professor Bill Sherman, the Warburg Institute’s director, says of the donation:

We are grateful for the support of the Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung and moved by the opportunity to honour Hermann-Hinrich Reemtsma himself. The gift will not only allow us to transform our building in Bloomsbury, but strengthen our ties to the city of Hamburg, where the institute was born

The Warburg Renaissance will create new spaces and programmes, allowing the institute to build its community and offer its expertise to new audiences. In addition, it will host artists, curators, writers and translators-in-residence; serve as a laboratory for experimental exhibitions; and connect with innovators in digital technology to share collections and explore the Institute’s pioneering work on images.

Bernhard Reemtsma, chairman of Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung and son of Hermann-Hinrich Reemtsma, said:

We are deeply grateful that the University of London gave Aby Warburg’s world-famous library a safe home and a new life after its emigration from Hamburg. Now this fine building by Charles Holden is in need of refurbishment and extension. The project will enable the Warburg Institute to continue and to advance its commitment to the understanding of cultural relations in the past, present and future. That is why my father was determined to visit, and to make a contribution from Hamburg to this second renaissance.

The Institute and the University are sincerely grateful to the Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung for its unprecedented generosity.

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