Kassel clears Documenta 2017 managing director of illegal activity

Museum Fridericianum, Kassel, 2017


An investigation into the misuse of funds for the 2017 edition of Documenta, brought by the Kassel state prosecutor’s office has been dropped, The Art Newspaper reports. Documenta, which takes place every five years, had exceeded its budget by €5.4m, resulting in a legal complaint issued by right-wing members of Kassel city council.

The 2017 edition of the quinquennial took place across two locations, Athens and Kassel, and it was overspending in the former that led to a budget shortfall, forcing ‘the company’s shareholders, the city of Kassel and the state of Hesse, to step in with emergency loan guarantees.’

Annette Kulenkampff, the managing director of Documenta, was investigated for her financial management of the exhibition. The investigation found no evidence of embezzlement, while Kulenkampff has maintained that she ‘repeatedly tried to warn shareholders about the looming deficit at Documenta’. She left her position last November following a ‘mutual agreement’ with Documenta’s shareholders.

Kulenkampff has said in a statement: ‘it leaves the path clear for a successful future for Documenta. It was and remains important to me to prevent any damage to Documenta.’

Sabine Schormann will take up the role of managing director on 10 November. Documenta expects to find an artistic director for the 2022 edition by early 2019.


10 August 2018