Enfilade

Progress Report on the New Berliner Stadtschloss

Posted in museums by Editor on June 16, 2015

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Belvedere © Berlin Palace–Humboldtforum Foundation /
Franco Stella

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As reported this past weekend by AFP (via ArtDaily). . .

The German capital celebrated a milestone Friday [12 June 2015] in the rebuilding of its Prussian-era royal palace that is set to house a world history museum billed as the country’s top cultural project. From 2019 the ‘Berliner Stadtschloss’ or Berlin City Palace replica will be the home of the Humboldt Forum global collection, to be curated by the British Museum’s outgoing chief Neil MacGregor, dubbed the “pop star of the museum world” by local media. On Friday, government ministers and culture officials met at what is now a raw concrete and steel structure for the so-called topping-out ceremony that marks the end of the major structural work which started two years ago. MacGregor, who was reportedly hand-picked for the job by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, hopes to “tell the story of humanity” with artefacts from Berlin’s many rich collections, ranging from European antiquity to East Asian arts.

The 590-million-euro ($660 million) domed venue is a reconstruction of a historical jewel of Baroque architecture located on the city’s Unter den Linden boulevard, near the Protestant Berlin Cathedral and Humboldt University. The original palace was badly damaged in World War II and its remains blown up by East Germany’s communist regime, which replaced it with its 1970s Palace of the Republic, a giant block with orange tinted windows that housed its assembly and a cultural and recreation centre.  After the Berlin Wall fell in 1989 and Germany reunited the following year, bitter debate long raged about whether to keep the communist monument or raze it to rebuild Berlin’s original palace—with the latter option approved by the German parliament in 2007.

The replica, designed by Italian architect Franco Stella, will now be fitted on three sides with baroque sandstone facades recalling the old Hohenzollern palace built between the 15th and 18th centuries, and a fourth modern front facing the Spree River. The Humboldt Forum will house artefacts from Berlin’s Ethnological Museum, Asian Art Museum as well as Humboldt University, libraries and cultural centres. . . .

The full article is available here»

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