In this anniversary year, four objects from the Barbier-Mueller collection are exhibited at the International Museum of the Reformation, illustrating once again the bonds that unite the two institutions. In the first room of the museum, the public is welcomed by an imposing object coming from the Toba Batak of Indonesia, a community with the distinctive feature of having founded a national Lutheran church in the early 1930s. A Kongo “power object” depicting a warrior figure armed with a spear and strewn with nails is exhibited in the room devoted to the religious wars. As a reminder of the centrality of education in the Geneva of Calvin’s time, visitors can admire a piece of pottery from Burkina Faso that symbolizes the transmission of ancestral knowledge. Furthermore, an ancient statue from Costa Rica depicting an executioner with his victim’s head under his arm resonates with the punishments formerly inflicted on Protestants in the period following the revocation of the Edict of Nantes.
Samantha Reichenbach, Curator at the International Museum of the Reformation