Art dealer Inge Baecker, who championed Fluxus and action artists, among those killed in devastating floods in Germany

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German gallery owner Inge Baecker was among the victims of the devastating floods in Western Europe. The Bad Münstereifel-based art dealer and historian has represented several Fluxus and action artists, including Nam June Paik and Allan Kaprow.

Germany and Belgium experienced record flooding which destroyed entire cities. So far, 188 people have died in Europe, according to Reuters. Hundreds of people are still missing and many are without electricity or running water.

According to German media, Baecker was suffering from an illness and had to use a respirator in his house during the flooding. Reports indicate that when the ventilator’s battery failed, it was too depleted to continue calling for help.

Baecker started working with Kaprow in 1970, the year she opened her gallery, first in Bochum and then in Cologne. She also organized an acclaimed exhibition for John Cage at the Kunsthalle Düsseldorf in 1975. During her career she worked with many German institutions and had close ties with members of the Brazilian, Russian and Turkish art scene. .

The last exhibition in its space, “Visions to the Universe”, which included works by Ugo Dossi, Stephan Reusse and Mary Bauermeister, opened in September 2020. Although the gallery is still active, it had not opened new exhibition since then.

Baecker opened its space in Bad Münstereifel in 2003. The small town was one of the most affected by the summer floods.

Meanwhile, Burg Blessem, a 13th-century castle in the town of Erftstadt was partially destroyed in a mudslide caused by the sudden flooding, and Lüdenscheid’s Neuenhof Castle, which dates from the 17th century, was also damaged. A special container used specifically for the protection of cultural heritage arrived today from Cologne to Arwheiler, one of the worst affected areas, in an attempt to wash the mud from the city archives and store them until further steps are taken.

Germany has pledged 300 million euros ($ 354 million) in immediate aid and billions more in the coming months to help repair and replace homes, streets and bridges.

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