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Coventry Exhibition Opens to Critical Acclaim in twin city Dresden

An award-winning art exhibition which was devised by and premiered at Coventry’s Herbert Art Gallery & Museum in 2013, has this week opened to great acclaim in Dresden, Germany.

Caught In The Crossfire is a landmark contemporary art exhibition of artistic responses to conflict, peace and reconciliation, which explores how artists grapple with both the brutality of war and the desire for peace. Following its award-winning run at the Herbert, it is poignant that the first venue on the exhibition’s tour should be at the Museen der Stadt in Dresden – a city that suffered a fate so similar to that of Coventry during the Second World War and is now a twin city with Coventry.

On the night of 14 November 1940, Coventry was heavily bombed and Coventry Cathedral destroyed. Just a few weeks later, the cathedral Provost made a speech from the ruins, calling for forgiveness for those who had carried out the attack. After the war, Coventry actively developed links with other cities which had suffered similar destruction, including those in former enemy countries, such as Dresden. Coventry became a symbol for the destruction of war and the suffering of civilians, but it also came to stand for what can be achieved in terms of forgiveness and reconciliation. 

Caught In The Crossfire is made up of works from the Herbert’s collections as well as loans from other private and public collections, and includes works by Terry Atkinson, Banksy, Muirhead Bone, Iftikhar Dadi & Nalini Malani, Al Johnson, John Keane, kennardphillipps, Langlands & Bell, Cornelia Parker and Jamal Penjweny. It opened at the Museen der Stadt in Dresden on 5th July and is already attracting acclaim from critics and visitors alike.

Chris Kirby, Head of Collections at the Herbert said: “Caught In the Crossfire has gone on display in Germany as part of the highly successful Herbert Touring programme, which has seen some of the Herbert’s innovative exhibitions touring to other museums all around the UK. This is the first time that one of the Herbert’s exhibitions has toured outside of the UK, and it couldn’t be more fitting that the Dresden museum is our first venue. We have greatly enjoyed working with our partners in Dresden and hope that Caught In The Crossfire raises a lot of public interest in the city."

Caught In The Crossfire is on display at the Museen der Stadt, Dresden, until 5th October 2014.