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Federal government and Berlin secure Hamburger Bahnhof for 170 million

  • Giffey und Roth

    Franziska Giffey (l, SPD), Governing Mayor of Berlin, welcomes Hermann Parzinger (r), President of the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation, to a press conference at the Nationalgalerie der Gegenwart in Hamburger Bahnhof. Daniel Wesener (2nd from left, Bündis90/Die Grünen), Berlin's Senator for Finance, and Claudia Roth (2nd from right), Minister of State and Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media, also attend.

  • Hamburger Bahnhof

    The building of the Hamburger Bahnhof Museum for Contemporary Art on Invalidenstraße.

With a total of around 170 million euros, the federal government and the state of Berlin have secured the Hamburger Bahnhof Museum as a location for contemporary art.

This was announced in Berlin on Tuesday by Minister of State for Culture Claudia Roth (Greens) and Berlin's Governing Mayor Franziska Giffey (SPD).

Highlighting the importance of art and culture in times of crisis

The purchase highlights "the importance of art and culture especially in times of crisis," Roth said. Hamburger Bahnhof and the neighboring Rieckhallen are "places for our democracy." The federal government had paid 66 million euros for the Hamburger Bahnhof. Berlin simultaneously secured the Rieckhallen site for a good 100 million euros via a land swap and budget funds.

«A good day for culture»

Giffey spoke of a "good day for culture, not only in Berlin, when one of the most important venues for contemporary art in Germany and internationally comes back into public hands." The former railroad property, Hamburger Bahnhof was once the terminus of the railroad line between Hamburg and Berlin, had been acquired by the real estate company CA Immo Deutschland in 2007. In the meantime, the Rieckhallen, which are particularly suitable for contemporary art, were to be demolished.

New name: Hamburger Bahnhof - National Gallery of Contemporary Art

Partly because of these uncertainties, the renowned collection of the entrepreneur Friedrich Christian Flick had been withdrawn. It had been the artistic basis for nearly two dozen exhibitions since 2004. Museum directors Sam Bardaouil and Till Fellrath now want to install Hamburger Bahnhof more visibly within the National Gallery network. Previously known as the Museum der Gegenwart (Museum of Contemporary Art), the museum is to be called the Nationalgalerie der Gegenwart (National Gallery of Contemporary Art) in addition to Hamburger Bahnhof in the future. The museum has large collections of contemporary art.

This corresponds to the designations of the Alte Nationalgalerie with art from the 19th and early 20th centuries and the Neue Nationalgalerie with art from the 20th century. This era will also determine the neighboring construction of the Museum of the 20th Century, which is to be built by 2026 with a budget of around 450 million euros. The Nationalgalerie still includes the sites Friedrichswerder Church, Museum Berggruen and the Scharf-Gerstenberg Collection. In view of the rescue of the site, which had long been considered endangered, Fellrath spoke of a "historic day".

Hamburger Bahnhof becomes more firmly anchored in the cultural landscape

Bardaouil and Fellrath, most recently successful as co-curators of the French Pavilion during the Venice Biennale and as curators of the Lyon Biennale, want to anchor Hamburger Bahnhof more firmly in the cultural city of Berlin. As a "never-ending exhibition," one commissioned work per year is to expand the art installations at and around the building. In addition, collaborations are planned. Next year, for example, US artist Liam Gillick will be showing a light installation at the Pergamon Museum on Museum Island.

Author: dpa/
Publication date: 16 November 2022
Last updated: 16 November 2022

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