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Kaiser Wilhelm Museum

Beuys’s site-specific work to stay put in Krefeld (for now)

Collector Helga Lauffs has donated the works, subject to conditions

Martin Hentschel, the director of the Kaiser Wilhelm Museum in Krefeld, western Germany, has confirmed to The Art Newspaper that five installations by Joseph Beuys will not be removed by its owner, Helga Lauffs, as the works have been donated to Krefeld by Lauffs.

The artist-installed, site-specific works were made in the 70s and 80s for his local museum. Beuys was born in Krefeld in 1921. Lauffs, who amassed a substantial art collection with her late husband Walther, ended a 40-year loan to the museum in 2007 claiming it was unable to properly care for the collection. Although the city of Krefeld agreed to finance a renovation, Lauffs sold works from the collection at Sotheby’s in 2008, including pieces by Beuys and Yves Klein. A year later, further works by Beuys were sold by Lauffs to London and Zurich gallery Hauser & Wirth. However, the artist’s installations will now remain in Krefeld. The museum has begun a renovation to provide its few remaining works from the Lauffs collection with the conditions required for their proper conservation (The Art Newspaper, May 2008, p11)