I had the great pleasure, this morning, of visiting your museum and was duly impressed by the layout, by the wonderful ambient of a large room hidden under street level, by the lighting and calm of the whole. I spent well over an hour delving in the history of Wiesbaden, admiring not only the manner in which the video presentations enhance the exhibits, but also the scope of the small exhibition too. Despite a lack of physical space, the museum manages to cover a great deal, and most certainly inspires further research and interest amongst its visitors.
I was especially interested in the small model of the old Town Hall, and the story surrounding it, having looked at the building itself only a short while before. Also the marvellous oak chest – a good three metres long and bound in iron bands – which was once used to protect the town’s money. Today we only see bank statements, or massive steel safes when used in a crime film, so it was interesting to see how the finances of an ancient town were protected a few hundred years ago.
In fact, it is just this form of history which I would love to have been able to share with friends unable to travel to Wiesbaden, or who do not live in Germany. Sadly, your policy of not allowing photography in the museum cuts down the possibilities of sharing such a fascinating piece of culture with others, a policy which can be very hard to justify indeed unless, that is, the museum wishes to use their displayed items to raise the necessary – if not vital – capital needed to further the museum’s aims, and expand its collection.
Sadly your lack of a tourist shop, of even a single postcard an interested visitor could purchase to keep the visit visually alive in their mind, prevents this. Perhaps, in view of the long history covered by the museum, this incredibly short-sighted policy will come under review eventually, if not in your time, then perhaps when a more open and business-oriented person takes your place. Let us hope it is soon, so that visitors in the near future may share their experiences with other unable to visit the museum.