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German Tapestry

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Detail of soil, grass and leaves in black and white

The President of the Federal Republic of Germany, Dr Frank-Walter Steinmeier unveiled the German Tapestry during a visit to Pukeahu National War Memorial on 6 November 2017. Gifted to New Zealand on behalf of the people of Germany, the ‘Flandern’ (Flanders) tapestry is part of a series based on photographs of 14 First World War battlefield sites.

Group of people, some in military uniform, standing in front of floral wreath

Manatū Taonga Ministry for Culture and Heritage

The President of the Federal Republic of Germany, Dr Frank-Walter Steinmeier, laying a wreath inside the Hall of Memories alongside his wife Ms Elke Büdenbender and New Zealand's Minister of Defence Ron Mark, November 2017.

Artist Stephan Schenk, who was present at the unveiling, explained how the work was a ‘reminder of the untold misery and horror and was created to remember the victims of this inconceivable catastrophe of the twentieth century.’ The large-format works were all created from the major First World War sites in Europe and overseas. Schenk deliberately chose only a very small section of the historical ground or water, travelling to Verdun, Gallipoli, Flanders, and the Skagerrak (Jutland) for his recordings. These works were displayed in Germany 2014−2016.

The gift of the tapestry is a significant event. It is a symbol of reconciliation following the two world wars and represents the changed nature of the relationship between New Zealand and Germany encompassing trade, education, and culture.

The tapestry has been officially gifted to New Zealand’s parliament.

More information

The German Empire in the First Word War – NZHistory

Germans – Te Ara The Encyclopedia of New Zealand

How to cite this page

German Tapestry, URL: https://nzhistory.govt.nz/media/photo/german-tapestry, (Manatū Taonga — Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated