About the Foundation

The legacy of Martin Luther and the Reformation is important to many people all over the world, and preserving and perpetuating this legacy is the purpose of the Luther Memorials Foundation of Saxony-Anhalt.

The Foundation was established in 1997, and is responsible for five museums: Martin Luther’s Birthplace and the Luther’s Death House museum in Eisleben, Luther's Parental Home in Mansfeld, and the Luther House and Melanchthon House in Wittenberg. The premises in Wittenberg and Eisleben have been UNESCO World Cultural Heritage sites since 1996. The collections, exhibitions and buildings are all maintained and developed by the Foundation.

Bringing the history of the Reformation to a wide audience is one of the most important objectives and responsibilities of the Luther Memorials Foundation. To this end, Foundation staff organise exhibitions and conferences, develop the collections and publish their research results. Exhibition tours, presentations and readings are also a part of the wide-ranging programme.

Another core aspect of the Foundation's efforts to acquaint more people with this history is cultural education. The Foundation has developed wide-ranging programmes for all five museums that offer children and young people, as well as adults, an opportunity to engage with the Reformation in a playful fashion while getting to know its protagonists.

The Foundation's research is focused on examining the visual impact of the Reformation and the history of its own buildings as examples of Luther's reception. Its academic efforts include research projects, conventions and serving as a publisher for various publications.

The ‘Luther 2017’ organisation was established under the Foundation's auspices back in 2007. As a result, the Foundation is a key player in the 2017 anniversary of the Reformation, marking 500 years since Luther posted his theses in 1517.

Facts and figures

Established in: 1997
Positions: 57

Visitor numbers 2015

Luther's Birthplace: 24.505
Luther's Parental Home: 6.575
Luther House: 85.670
Luther's Death House: 18.021
Melanchthon House: 19.676

Cultural education 2015

9.223 participants in Eisleben, Mansfeld and Wittenberg

Institutional funding (operating budget) 2016

Land Sachsen-Anhalt: 2.532.600 Euro
Bund (BKM): 1.282.000 Euro
Lutherstadt Wittenberg: 186.360 Euro
Lutherstadt Eisleben: 94.240 Euro
Mansfeld-Lutherstadt: 55.000 Euro
Evangelische Kirche in Deutschland: 20.000 Euro
Evangelische Kirche Mitteldeutschlands: 10.200 Euro

 

 

UNESCO WORLD CULTURAL HERITAGE

In December 1996, UNESCO recognised the Luther Memorials in Eisleben and Wittenberg as part of the cultural heritage of humanity. These buildings represent ‘a significant stage in human history’ and are ‘of outstanding universal value bearing unique testimony to the Protestant Reformation’, according to the decision document.

The Luther Memorials rank among the earliest museums in Germany dedicated to a person and his or her work and legacy. Luther’s Birthplace has been a memorial since 1693, and a museum was established in the Death House in 1894. The Augustinian monastery building in Wittenberg, which is today known as the Luther House, is where the reformer lived with his family until his death, and thereafter it quickly became a destination for visitors. The Lutherstube, Martin Luther’s living room, was already referred to as the ‘Museum Lutheri’ in 1655, and in 1883 the entire house was turned into a museum.

Another important memorial to the Reformation is the former residence of the humanist and reformer Philipp Melanchthon, which has remained virtually unchanged to this day. Melanchthon lived and worked in Wittenberg for nearly 42 years – longer than any other reformer.

In addition, the Town Church of St. Mary in Wittenberg and the Castle Church in Wittenberg have also been designated UNESCO World Cultural Heritage sites.

www.welterbe-luther.de

 

 

Purpose of the Foundation

The most important task of the Foundation is maintaining and caring for the memorial sites commemorating the history of the Reformation in Lutherstadt Wittenberg, Lutherstadt Eisleben and the City of Mansfeld. The Foundation administers the historic buildings, museums and collections and makes them available to the public.

Furthermore, the Foundation preserves the heritage of the Reformation and presents it to a broad audience, and promotes research and instruction in the field of the Reformation and of its history.

Charter of the Luther Memorials Foundation

A)
Resolution by the State Government on 18 March 1997 regarding ‘the establishment of the Luther Memorials Foundation of Saxony-Anhalt’ in conjunction with Section 24 (2) Sentence 2 of the Law on Foundations [Stiftungsgesetz] in the version dated 1 January 1997 (Gazette of Laws and Ordinances for the State of Saxony-Anhalt [GVBl. LSA] pages 2, 144). Published on 21 May 1997 (Ministerial Gazette of the State of Saxony-Anhalt [MBl. LSA] no. 22/1997 dated 21 May 1997, page 962).

B)
Charter published on 21 May 1997 (Ministerial Gazette of the State of Saxony-Anhalt [MBl. LSA] no. 22/1997 dated 21 May 1997, pages 962–965), last amended by publication on 16 October 2015 (Ministerial Gazette of the State of Saxony-Anhalt [MBl. LSA] no 40/2015)
 

Charter of the Luther Memorials Foundation of Saxony-Anhalt

Article 1
Name, legal form and registered office

(1) The Luther Memorials Foundation of Saxony-Anhalt is a foundation under public law.

(2) The registered office of the Foundation is in Lutherstadt Wittenberg.

Article 2
Purpose of the Foundation, non-profit status

(1) The purpose of the foundation is to maintain and preserve the memorial sites commemorating the history of the Reformation, particularly in Lutherstadt Wittenberg and Lutherstadt Eisleben – designated as UNESCO World Cultural Heritage sites since 1996 – and in the City of Mansfeld, as well as to protect, present and communicate the heritage of the Reformation, and to promote research and instruction in the field of the Reformation and its history. The Foundation administers sites, museums and their collections related to the history of the Reformation. These are to be made accessible to the public. The Foundation is to achieve its objectives in particular by:

  • Maintaining the structural integrity of each site
  • Protecting and expanding its collections
  • Carrying out conferences and symposia
  • Organising exhibitions
  • Providing a range of cultural education programmes
  • Publishing various publications
  • Collaborating with national and international organisations dedicated to researching the Reformation, as well as with churches

The Foundation strives to cooperate closely with the ‘Leucorea’ Foundation at the Martin Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg and with other state-supported institutions in all suitable areas.

(2) In pursuing its objectives, the Foundation shall account for the dedication of buildings and parts of buildings.

(3) The Foundation shall exclusively and directly pursue non-profit-making activities as set out in the German Tax Code [Abgabenordnung].

Article 3
Foundation assets

(1) The Foundation assets comprise the following properties: the Luther House including the Augusteum and the Melanchthon House including the gate house and exhibition building in Wittenberg, Luther’s Birthplace including the Luther Charity School and exhibition building and Luther’s Death House including the exhibition building in Eisleben, Luther's Parental Home including the exhibition building and statutory fixtures/accessories, collections and other inventory that the State of Saxony-Anhalt has acquired, and any other assets transferred to the Foundation by the Cities of Wittenberg, Eisleben and Mansfeld and the churches with the purpose of increasing the assets of the Foundation.

(2) The Foundation may accept donations with the consent of the Foundation Authority [Stiftungsbehörde].

(3) The Foundation must manage its assets in compliance with statutory requirements and the founders’ desires as expressed in the deed of foundation and in the charter in accordance with the rules of proper management. They shall be managed for the purpose of ensuring the sustainable and long-term fulfilment of the objectives of the Foundation. In the event that individual items belonging to the Foundation should be sold, the Board of Trustees is obligated to direct the proceeds to the Foundation’s assets.

Article 4
Foundation funds

The Foundation receives the funds necessary for achieving its objectives from:

(1) Revenues from the Foundation's assets, fees, charges and donations

(2) Funding from the State of Saxony-Anhalt, Lutherstadt Wittenberg, Lutherstadt Eisleben and the City of Mansfeld, the level of which is it be determined in special agreements

(3) Funding in particular from the Federal Republic of Germany and participating churches

Article 5
Executive bodies

The executive bodies of the Foundation are the Board of Trustees and the Chairperson.

Article 6
Board of Trustees

(1) The Board of Trustees comprises:

  1. one member appointed by the Ministry of Culture of the State of Saxony-Anhalt
  2. one member appointed by the Ministry of Finance of the State of Saxony-Anhalt
  3. one member appointed by Lutherstadt Eisleben
  4. one member appointed by Lutherstadt Wittenberg
  5. one member appointed by the City of Mansfeld
  6. one member appointed by the Federal Republic of Germany
  7. one member appointed by the Evangelical Church in Central Germany [EKM]
  8. one member appointed by the Evangelical Church in Germany [EKD]
  9. one member from the field of academia and research appointed by the Theological Faculty of Martin Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg
  10. as many as two additional supporting members can be appointed at the recommendation of the Board of Trustees to a four-year term by the Chairperson of the Board of Trustees

A deputy must be appointed for each member by the organisation responsible for the appointment of the member in question.

(2) The Chairperson of the Board of Trustees is the member appointed by the Ministry of Culture. The Deputy Chairperson is the member appointed by the Federal Republic of Germany.

(3) The activities of the Board of Trustees are carried out in an honorary capacity and are not remunerated.

(4) Resolutions of the Board of Trustees are passed with a simple majority of votes cast. In the event of a tie, the Chairperson’s vote shall be the deciding vote. The Board of Trustees constitutes a quorum if more than half of its members as set out in its Charter or their deputies, including the Chairperson or their deputy pursuant to Paragraph 1 Sentence 2, are present.

(5) The Board of Trustees is convened in writing by the Chairperson along with the agenda, meeting documentation and draft resolutions. The invitation period shall be three weeks. The Chairperson of the Board of Trustees can commission the Chairperson to invite the members of the Board of Trustees to meetings in his/her name and on his/her behalf and to send out the meeting documentation with the draft resolutions.

(6) A working group is utilised to prepare for the meetings of the Board of Trustees.

(7) The details are regulated by the Terms of Reference of the Board of Trustees.

Article 7
Tasks of the Foundation

(1) The Board of Trustees shall decide on all matters that are of fundamental importance for the Foundation, insofar as they have not been transferred to the Chairperson. In particular, the Board of Trustees shall decide on:

  • The budget of the Foundation
  • The Charter of the Foundation and the Terms of Reference of the Board of Trustees
  • The appointment of the Director as Chairperson and the conclusion/extension of the employment contract with the Director
  • The revocation of the appointment of the Director, termination of the employment contract with the Director, and any other labour law matters related to the Director
  • The appointment and assignment to higher groups of employees as of payment group E 13 TV-L
  • Asset and property matters, in particular the sale or encumbrance of assets and/or property that is of significance to the achievement of the Foundation’s objectives
  • The utilisation of surpluses from the Foundation that would be suitable for reserves
  • Ratification of the acts of the Chairperson on the basis of the audit findings
  • The acceptance of donations
  • The appointment of members of the Academic Advisory Board

Resolutions of the Board of Trustees pursuant to Nos. 1 to 9 require the approval of the members of the Board of Trustees specified in Section 6 (1) Nos. 1-8.

(2) The Board of Trustees monitors the implementation of its resolutions pursuant to Paragraph 1, in particular through regular reporting by the Chairperson to the Board of Trustees.

(3) The details, in particular the division of tasks between the Board of Trustees and the Chairperson, are regulated by the Terms of Reference of the Board of Trustees.

Article 8
Chairperson

(1) A Director is appointed by the Board of Trustees to serve as the Chairperson of the Foundation.

(2) The appointment shall be for a maximum term of five years.

(3) The position is to be advertised internationally. A reappointment and extension of the contract of employment for an additional five years is possible one time only without advertising the position to the public.

(4) The Chairperson leads the Foundation, carries out the resolutions of the Board of Trusties pursuant to Section 7 (1) and prepares the meetings of the Board of Trustees. The Chairperson exercises their personnel authority and serves as the legal representative of the Foundation in both judicial and extra-judicial matters.

Article 9
Academic Advisory Board

(1) The Board of Trustees and the Chairperson are supported in the execution of their duties by the Academic Advisory Board. This Board comprises as many as ten members. Individuals with outstanding academic achievements in the field of research into the Reformation, with extraordinary knowledge and experience in promoting the objectives of the Foundation as set out in Section 2 or who have distinguished themselves in the field of historic preservation may be appointed by the Board of Trustees to the Academic Advisory Board.

(2) The members of the Academic Advisory Board are appointed to four-year terms by the Board of Trustees.

(3) The activities of the Academic Advisory Board are carried out in an honorary capacity.

(4) The details are regulated by the Terms of Reference of the Board of Trustees.

Article 10
Employees

(1) With regard to the service and employment relations for employees of the Foundation, agreements are to be reached that are in compliance with the regulations pertaining for employees of the State of Saxony-Anhalt covered by the collective agreement.

(2) With the consent of the Board of Trustees, it is also possible to conclude agreements with individual employees that are not in compliance with the regulations stipulated under Paragraph 1.

(3) Positions that are open and cannot be filled internally are to be advertised publicly; as of payment group E 13 TV-L they must be advertised state-wide at a minimum.

Article 11
Official seal

The Foundation has an official seal bearing the Luther rose and the name of the Foundation.

Article 12
Amendments to the Charter

Any change to the Charter requires the approval of the members of the Board of Trustees specified in Section 6 (1) Nos. 1-8 and the approval of the Foundation Authority [Stiftungsbehörde].

Article 13
Budgetary and financial management; financial auditing

(1) With regard to the Foundation’s budgeting, cash management, accounting and invoicing, the regulations governing state administration shall apply accordingly.

(2) Pursuant to Section 111 (1) of the State Budgetary Code [LHO], the Court of Audit of the State of Saxony-Anhalt shall audit the budgetary and economic management of the Foundation and the proper use of funding.

(3) The annual financial statement will be audited by the Court of Audit in accordance with Section 109 (2) of the State Budgetary Code [LHO].

Article 14
Dissolution of the Foundation and restoration of assets

(1) A resolution involving the voluntary dissolution of the Foundation requires the approval of the members of the Board of Trustees in accordance with Section 6 (1) Nos. 1-8. and the approval of the Foundation Authority [Stiftungsbehörde].

(2) In the event that the Foundation should be dissolved, or that its purpose to date should be abrogated, the assets of the foundation shall be restored to the parties from whence they came.

(3) All other assets shall become the property of the State.

Article 15
Oversight of the Foundation

The Foundation Authority [Stiftungsbehörde] is the Ministry of Culture of the State of Saxony-Anhalt.

Article 16
Entry into force

The Charter shall take effect on the day following its publication in the Ministerial Gazette of the State of Saxony-Anhalt [MBl. LSA].

 

 

Organisation

The Luther Memorials Foundation of Saxony-Anhalt is a foundation under public law. The registered office of the Foundation is in the Luther House in Wittenberg. 82 employees are currently involved in the protection, research and communication of the heritage of the Reformation in Lutherstadt Wittenberg, Lutherstadt Eisleben and Mansfeld-Lutherstadt.

The executive bodies of the Foundation are the Board of Trustees and the Chairperson, and these are supported by the Academic Advisory Board.

Board of Trustees

The Board of Trustees shall decide on all matters that are of fundamental importance for the Foundation, insofar as they have not been transferred to the Chairperson.

Members of the Board of Trustees

Staatsminister Rainer Robra, Vorsitzender des Kuratoriums, Staatskanzlei und Ministerium für Kultur des Landes Sachsen-Anhalt

Dr. Sigrid Bias-Engels, Stellvertretende Vorsitzende des Kuratoriums, Die Beauftragte für Kultur und Medien

Andreas Grobe, Finanzministerium des Landes Sachsen-Anhalt

Dr. Thies Gundlach, Vizepräsident des Kirchenamtes der Evangelischen Kirche Deutschlands

Dr. Johannes Schneider, Evangelische Kirche in Mitteldeutschland

Prof. Dr. Udo Sträter, Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg

Oberbürgermeister Torsten Zugehör, Lutherstadt Wittenberg

Oberbürgermeisterin Jutta Fischer, Lutherstadt Eisleben

Bürgermeister Gustav Voigt, Mansfeld-Lutherstadt

 

Academic Advisory Board

The Academic Advisory Board is charged with advising the Chairperson and the Board of Trustees on academic matters, particularly those pertaining to the history of the Reformation and the preservation of historic monuments.

Members of the Academic Advisory Board

Prof. Dr. Dr. Johannes Schilling, Kiel (Vorsitz)

Prof. Dr. Ulrich Barth, Halle

Prof. Dr. Volker Leppin, Tübingen

Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Schenkluhn, Halle

Prof. Dr. Heinz Schilling, Berlin

Günter Schuchardt, Eisenach

Gisela Staupe, Dresden

 

Governmental Office ‘Luther 2017’

The Governmental Office ‘Luther 2017’ is dedicated to the implementation of the Luther Decade in preparation for the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. As the official point of contact, it is responsible for overseeing the joint tasks of general and tourism marketing, creates cultural themes and event formats, and serves as a partner for foreign cultural and educational policy.

Its objective is to illustrate the impact of the Reformation on art, culture, society and politics, to publicise Germany as the ‘Land of the Reformation’ internationally, and to convey the heritage of the Reformation, such as through cultural education initiatives.

This organisation is supported and financed by the Federal Government of Germany and by the States of Bavaria, Brandenburg, Hesse, Rhineland-Palatinate, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia.

www.luther2017.de

 
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