Barberini Museum Potsdam Off to a Bumpy Start, Director Peter Joch Resigns

The Barberini Museum, Potsdam Photo: Barberini Museum

The founding director of the Barberini Museum in Potsdam, Peter Joch, is leaving his post a little over one year into his contract, the German Art Magazin reports.

But it’s business as usual as far as the site’s construction is concerned. The museum was commissioned by software billionaire Hasso Plattner, to house his collection of East-German artworks. The museum is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2016, and is set to open in 2017.

According to the German daily Der Tagesspiegel, Joch was hired to oversee the construction of the museum, which is erected on the site of a historic palace built by Frederick the Great (1712-1786) and modeled on the Palazzo Barberini in Rome. The baroque palace was destroyed in World War II. Designed to combine a recreation of the historic façade with a modern interior, the space will offer approximately 4,000 square meters of exhibition space.

The museum’s permanent collection will include some 80 works by 18 GDR artists including Wolfgang Mattheuer, Bernhard Heisig, Willi Sitte, and Werner Tübke.

On Friday, the managing director of the Barberini Museum, Rouven Westphal, announced the completion of the first phase and revealed that Peter Joch’s contract had been terminated with mutual consent, and with immediate effect. Joch had expressed a desire to seek out new challenges. The director’s contract still had 10 months to run.

Westphal emphasized Joch’s contribution to the successful completion of the challenging preliminary phase of construction, and praised his role in positioning the institution within the world’s museums.

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