26. November 1999
Federal Service Cross for Heidelberg Art Historian Prof. Peter Anselm Riedl
Undersecretary of state Michael Sieber: "High commitment in research and teaching and outstanding merits in preserving the national heritage" Vice-Rector Susanne Weigelin-Schwiedrzik congratulated Prof. Riedl on behalf of the Rector
"Professor Peter Anselm Riedl has made an excellent name for himself as a university teacher and scholar in the field of modern and contemporary art history." With these words undersecretary of state Michael Sieber from the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Science, Research and Art awarded the Federal Service Cross to Prof. Riedl at the Kunstverein Heidelberg on 26 November.
Prof. Riedl was born on 23 February 1930 in Karlsbad (former Czechosolovakia). After attending school in Germany he began his university studies in 1949, switching three years later from his original subjects (German literary history and English studies) to art history and classical archaeology. In 1955 he received his doctorate at the Faculty of Philosophy and History of the University of Heidelberg. After graduation Riedl spent a number of years at the Institute of Art History in Florence, moving from there to take over directorship of the sculpture and medal collection of Hamburg's Kunsthalle. After gaining his Habilitation at the University of Marburg in 1967, his first professorial post was the Extraordinary Chair of Modern and Contemporary Art History at the University of Heidelberg, which was converted into a full professorship a year later. Riedl remained at Heidelberg University until 1998.
In his speech, Michael Sieber underlined not only the high standards of academic excellence achieved and maintained by Prof. Riedl but also emphasised his approachability for his students and the commitment he displayed in academic self-administration. In recognition of his many merits the University awarded him the Grand University Medal.
A central concern in Riedl's activities has always been the preservation of the national heritage. He has been and/or still is a member of a number of national and regional committees devoted to the protection of Germany's architectural and artistic treasures, notably in Baden-Württemberg itself (Heidelberg, Karlsruhe, Tübingen). Alongside this he has also devoted much of his time since 1969 to the city of Heidelberg and its monuments, urban planning and architecture. "The philosophy and the high standards of architectural preservation work in Heidelberg owe a great deal to his influence," said Sieber. Though now retired, Prof. Riedl's commitment to these various causes is unwavering.
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