Berlin (dpa) – With the Humboldt Forum, one of the central German cultural projects in the heart of Berlin begins its opening round today. After almost three decades of fierce disputes about form and content and seven years of construction, the now 677 million euro project will initially only be opened digitally due to corona.
It is unclear when the first exhibitions in the center for art, culture and science will be shown. The opening of the individual areas is planned in three stages by the end of 2021.
The Humboldt Forum is behind the partially reconstructed baroque facade of the Berlin City Palace. The approximately 40,000 square meter building designed by the Italian architect Franco Stella is located directly across from the world-famous Museum Island. It will be used by two museums of the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation, the State of Berlin and the Humboldt University.
Exhibits from Asia, Africa, America and Oceania as well as objects on the history of Berlin are to be shown. The colonial past of exhibits is a hot topic of discussion. The reconstructed facade stands for the time of the Hohenzollern, under whose rule the German Empire became a colonial power. In what is now Namibia, uprisings by ethnic groups under German orders were brutally suppressed. According to historians, around 65,000 of the 80,000 Herero and at least 10,000 of the 20,000 Nama were killed.
Criticism was also triggered by the cross and dome with a widely visible biblical verse calling for the submission of all people to Christianity. Subsequently, the Hohenzollern built the palace during the Revolution of 1848, and the cross and dome marked the monarchy’s claim to power.