Berlin wind-conditions permitting, a crane was due Friday to host the 17-ton dome reminiscent of Prussian imperialism to top off the reconstructed Royal Palace in Berlin. The building houses the Humboldt Forum, a large museum project actually intended to transcend religious and national boundaries. At issue is not only a cross that will atop Berlin’s latest skyline eye-catcher but also a band of text compiled by 19th-century King Friedrich Wilhelm IV calling on all peoples to submit to Christianity when he had the dome added in the 1840s. Restorative advocates, via a donors association, argue the palace’s reconstruction, but with a very different modern interior, will restore Berlin’s visual axis starting at the Brandenburg Gate and reflect reconciliation also contained in Christianity. The Humboldt Forum, costing €644 million ($711 million) and approved by the Bundestag parliament in 2002, will feature artefacts from Asia, Africa, the Americas and Oceania and Berlin’s history as well as spaces for study and conferences. The original, dating back to the 18th century, survived World War II only as a shell; located post-war in walled off East Berlin. Communist authorities tore down those remains, erected a 1970s Palace of the Republic, which, after German unification in… Read full this story
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