Pointless vandalism or a targeted act? World-renowned museums in the heart of Berlin apparently caused extensive damage to works of art and artifacts on October 3.
Media reports say dozens of exhibits on Museum Island in Berlin have been damaged by strangers. According to Zeit, it is “one of the most extensive attacks on works of art and antiquities in the history of post-war Germany”.
According to a report by “Zeit” and Deutschlandfunk, one or more unknown perpetrators had at least 70 objects in the Pergamon Museum, New Museum, Old National Gallery and other locations that had been splashed with an oily liquid. These include Egyptian sarcophagi, stone sculptures and 19th century paintings. The liquid has left visible marks on it.
The incidents are said to have taken place on October 3, the day of German unification, and have not yet been made public. It was initially unclear whether the day had been chosen on purpose. Initially nothing was known about the motives of the perpetrator or perpetrators.
The police are apparently urgently looking for witnesses
At the request of “Zeit” and Deutschlandfunk, the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation and the Berlin police confirmed that there was damage to the exhibits, the report said. A preliminary investigation into material damage has been started.
According to the “Tagesspiegel”, visitors who booked museum tickets for October 3 were contacted by the State Crime Police (LKA) and urgently asked for help.
At the request of the dpa news agency, the police did not provide any information on Tuesday evening. The Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation was not available for comment in the evening.
Museum Island is a UNESCO World Heritage Site
The Museum Island has been on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 1999. The Pergamon Museum celebrated its 90th birthday at the beginning of October. It is named after its most famous attraction, the Pergamon Shrine. Dating back to the 2nd century BC, it belonged to the residence of the mighty kings of Pergamon, who created a cultural metropolis modeled on Athens in the west of what is now Turkey.
As one of the few museums in Germany, the Pergamon attracts more than a million people every year – when fully open. The group of Altes Museum, Bode-Museum, Alter Nationalgalerie, Neue Museum with the famous Egyptian pharaoh bust of Nefertiti and the James-Simon-Galerie as the most recent building attracted nearly 3.1 million people.