Work Destroyed in Fire at Hamburger Bahnhof

The Museum for the Present located at Berlin’s Hamburger Bahnhof was damaged after a fire. One art work by Kai Althoff titled “Aus dir”, and valued at around $50,700 dollars was destroyed. Museum staff announced that they were not sure whether the museum will open this week. Around 70 firefighters extinguished the fire and used exhaust fans to extract the smoke. Museum staff also removed works of art.

Berlin state museums director Peter-Klaus Schuster said that the destruction of the Kai Althoff was a “great loss” for the Hamburger Bahnhof.

One of the possible causes of the fire is a lightning strike. Berlin’s Museum for the Present opened in the former railway station, Hamburger Bahnhof, in November 1996. This gave the Nationalgalerie not only the first permanent home for its collection of contemporary art but also a venue for innovative exhibitions and events.

The exhibition area of about 8,000 square metres is dedicated to art from the second half of the 20th century onwards. The collection contains works from Berlin’s State Museums as well as very many items belonging to the private Berlin collector, Erich Marx. At the core of the Marx collection are works by such internationally renowned artists as Andy Warhol, Cy Twombly, Robert Rauschenberg, Roy Lichtenstein, Anselm Kiefer and Joseph Beuys. The collection also includes over 450 drawings by Joseph Beuys “The secret block for a secret person in Ireland”, and about sixty by Andy Warhol. Also on show are representatives of Minimal Art and the Provera.

The “Berlin Circle” by the English artist Richard Long and a work by Günther Uecker were directly inspired by the Hamburger Bahnhof. The whole of the ground floor in the western wing is devoted to works by Joseph Beuys. They include well-known installations such as “The End of the 20th Century” 1982/83, “Unschlitt/Tallow” 1977, and “Richtkräfte” (Directional forces) 1974-77 created from one hundred wooden blackboards.

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Published in: on July 30, 2003 at 2:45 am  Leave a Comment  
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