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20 June 2000

University of Heidelberg's Manfred Lautenschläger House Officially Opened

Honorary senator Manfred Lautenschläger hopes that his donation will be "a contribution to a more modern form of tax legislation for Germany"—Rector Prof. Dr. Jürgen Siebke expresses the gratitude of the University: "A patron in the best and most profound sense of the term"
Haus Lautenschläger
Photo : Rothe
Manfred Lautenschläger
Photo : Ortner
At a ceremony taking place today, the University of Heidelberg and its honorary senator Manfred Lautenschläger will be celebrating the official opening of the "Manfred Lautenschäger House of the University of Heidelberg". The mansion bearing the name of the honorary senator and member of the University Council, Manfred Lautenschläger, houses two new research units whose declared aim it is to propose some very far-reaching changes to the tax system of the Federal Republic. Lautenschläger hopes that by placing the building at the disposal of the University he will be able to make "a contribution towards a more modern form of tax legislation for Germany". Rector Prof. Dr. Jürgen Siebke assured him of the gratitude of the University: "Our honorary senator Manfred Lautenschläger is a patron in the best and most profound sense of the term."

For Siebke there is a major difference between sponsoring and patronage. "Sponsors donate funds and funds are of course crucial. But at the same time sponsoring is also a form of advertisement for the sponsor, or more precisely for the product he has put on the market." The principle behind sponsoring, which came into its own in the 20th century with the advent of mass media, is that of give-and-take, he said. With patronage, which has been around since antiquity, things are different. Here we have a prominent and prosperous individual member of society generously supporting the arts or sport "primarily for the good of the cause". In this connection Siebke recalled the historical figure of Maecenas, the intimus of Emperor Augustus and a generous friend to the poets Horace and Virgil. "At a time when financial resources are getting scarcer all the time," he continued, patrons like Manfred Lautenschläger have a very special significance.

Manfred Lautenschläger is the founder and present chairman of the supervisory board of Marschollek, Lautenschläger und Partner Holding AG (MLP). The Jugendstil mansion in the northern part of Heidelberg's Handschuhsheim district was acquired by the founders of MLP in 1977 and after major renovation work it was used from early 1978 as the head offices of the company. Five years later in 1983, the company had grown considerably and moved its offices to the Breitspiel area (southern Rohrbach). By this time Manfred Lautenschläger was the sole proprietor of the mansion and he let it out to a company of lawyers. When they moved out in 1998, Manfred Lautenschläger offered the building to the Rector of the University free of charge for research purposes.

One of the research groups working in the building is headed by Prof. Paul Kirchhof. After 12 years as a constitutional court judge, Kirchhof is now working with his assistants on the simplification of German tax laws. During his term in office as a judge, Kirchhof was crucially involved in a number of rulings on tax matters that caused quite a stir at the time (see:

The second group is directed by Prof. Dr. Manfred Rose of the Faculty of Economics at Heidelberg University, the present director of the University's Alfred Weber Institute. Prof. Rose attracted international attention with his "easy taxation system", installed under his supervision in Croatia and Romania and hailed by international experts as the simplest, easiest-to-use and most efficient tax system in the world. With his assistants Prof. Rose is working at the Handschuhsheim location on a simplified model for German tax legislation (see

(Further information on the honorary senatorship for Manfred Lautenschläger in 1999 at:

Please address any inquiries to:
Dr. Michael Schwarz
Press Officer of the University of Heidelberg
phone: 06221/542310, fax: 54317

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Updated: 01.07.2000





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