30th Council of Europe Art Exhibition "The Desire for Freedom. Art in Europe since 1945" (Berlin, Tallinn, Milan, Cracow, 2012-2014)


The Exhibition "The Desire for Freedom" is a first attempt to look at art since 1945 in a pan-European context without the usual ideological limits which the Cold War initiated. Twelve chapters will explore the artists’ reflections about the ideals of universal human rights, freedom, equality and democracy.



The 100 exhibits come from almost all European countries from Portugal to Russia, from Scotland to Albania and Greece. Thus the exhibition also encompasses art from regions in Europe to which less attention has been paid and thus transcends the usual separation of art from East and West, North and South.



The exhibition is initiated and coordinated by the Museum of German History in Berlin. The main exhibition which will be shown in Milan in the Palazzo Reale, in Tallinn at the Kumu museum and in Cracow at the contemporary art museum. Ancillary exhibitions and conferences will be further organised in : Berlin at the Collegium Hungaricum, Prague at Dox contemporary art centre, Thessaloniki at the Macedonian Contemporary Art museum and Sarajevo National Gallery.



A 350-page catalogue will be published in English, German, Italian and other languages. The texts will be written by a wide range of historians, critics and curators from 30 countries who have also researched the artworks in their country. An eBook of 1000 pages in German/English with a long description of each work will be sold together with the printed version.



Free kits for teachers and educational material for students and schoolchildren will be available, as well as special workshops at the various venues run by experienced teachers and based on the themes of the exhibition. Children will be offered the opportunity to share their creative proposals during the workshops. A programme with new educational formats for boys and girls at all types of schools will be developed. A project for evaluation, using different models of audience research to test visitors’ receptiveness to the ideas in the exhibition will be initiated. Furthermore a special educational programme for young children aged 3-6 years and a programme for presenting the project in the social media – e.g. via a special YouTube channel, blogs, Twitter, etc., which will target teenagers and young adults will be presented.


The exhibition has been realised with the support of the culture programme of the European Commission.



Berlin (Museum of German History): 17 October 2012 - 10 February 2013

Milan (Palazzo Reale): 14 March - 2 June 2013

Tallinn (Kumu Art museum): 28 June - 3 November 2013

Cracow (Contemporary Art Museum): 18 October 2013 - 26 January 2014

Prague (Centre for contemporary art, DOX): 14 November 2014 - 16 March 2015




List of past exhibitions
Art Exhibitions Fact File




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Kathrin Merkle
+33 388 41 28 84

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Cultural events of the Council of Europe