Public Art: Germany’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites in ComparisonUniversity

Half of all UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Germany are free to visit, and 40 percent are completely accessible. This was revealed in a study conducted by the University of Europe for Applied Sciences (UE), carried out in conjunction with the current collaboration with British artist LUAP on the theme of public art. The study analyzed the 123 World Heritage Sites in Germany in terms of accessibility, entrance fees, and Google ratings.

“Public art, such as UNESCO World Heritage Sites, plays a significant role, as it often provides access to culture for disadvantaged groups. Through our collaboration with LUAP and the installation of the Pink Bear Pavilion at the altonale cultural festival in Hamburg, we aim to draw attention to this issue. The interior of the bear’s head showcases works by the British artist as well as final projects by students on diversity and inclusion. The installation and the artworks make it clear: culture and education should be accessible to everyone and not just a privilege of a few,” commented Prof. Dr. Jiré Emine Gözen, Vice President for International Affairs and University Development at the University of Europe.

Brandenburg Holds the Most UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Germany Eastern Germany boasts the highest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, led by Brandenburg: Park Sanssouci, Babelsberg Palace, and the Marble Palace – with a total of 16 sites, nearly 40 percent of all German World Heritage Sites are located here. Saxony-Anhalt follows with 15, and Berlin has 14 cultural sites, including the Museum Island.

The Saarland has the fewest sites – only the Völklingen Ironworks is counted as cultural heritage. Similarly, the northern states have relatively fewer sites to offer – in Hamburg, it’s the Speicherstadt and part of the Wadden Sea, and in Bremen, it’s the Town Hall and the Roland Statue.

Cultural Heritage Accessible to Everyone: Costs and Accessibility Half of the sites in Germany are freely accessible. This includes museums, which often offer special rates for disadvantaged groups. Thirty-eight percent of all UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Germany are fully accessible to people with limited mobility, with 22 sites partially accessible and 16 with supportive assistance. This ensures that the majority of people have the opportunity to experience these precious treasures.

Cologne Cathedral Tops the List of UNESCO World Heritage Sites UNESCO sites in Germany enjoy great popularity, with an average rating of 4.6 stars on Google. However, the Cologne Cathedral stands out: With a total of 69,658 Google reviews and an average rating of 4.8 stars, it is Germany’s most popular cultural heritage site. The Muskauer Park in Upper Lusatia has far fewer reviews (9,298), but also boasts 4.8 stars. Rounding out the top three, with 4.8 stars and 2,753 reviews, is the Margravial Opera House Bayreuth.

Art has the power to unite people from diverse backgrounds, which is why it should be inclusive and accessible to everyone, regardless of financial or physical barriers. The partnership with UE, which also awards scholarships, is a step in this direction. It not only promotes talent but also strengthens cultural diversity and cohesion. Public art, such as UNESCO World Heritage Sites, plays a crucial role in preserving and enriching a community’s cultural identity. Inclusion and diversity are the cornerstones of a vibrant art scene,” commented Paul Robinson on the collaboration with UE.

About the Study
The 123 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Germany were examined for accessibility, costs, and Google ratings from April 23 to May 5, 2024.

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