I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. First they rip down a perfectly good boxy building (the Palast der Republik) only to replace it with another one.
The half-a-million-euro Stadtschloss, it was announced yesterday, will be a massive concrete box – a big, undecorated warehouse on “Museum Island”. With no “historical” Baroque façade! In the middle of the city. For now at least. Unless private donors cough up the 80 million euros required. So says the cash-strapped German government.
Wilhelm von Boddien, Prussia-fanatic and head of the private foundation responsible for collecting the money, said, “no worries, 80 mill will be a synch to collect”. We’ll see. So far, he’s squeezed 20 million euros out of gullible grannies and spent 10 million of it on paying himself and running his dubious “foundation”.
Meanwhile the outdoor advertising company Megaposter is making a mint on huge H & M ads on the site as it constructs an “infobox” overseeing the Schlossplatz construction site.
What counts is the content of the building, not the outside appearance, said Berlin state secretary for culture André Schmitz (SPD). “The Humbolt Forum must come!” Sure, there’s NOTHING more pressing on Berlin’s agenda than moving the Polynesian canoes from the Dahlem Museum to a half-finished concrete box in Mitte.
Berlin, you are a joke. That’s why we love you.