Future Location of Berlin’s Old Masters Back in Debate

Berlin’s Gemäldegalerie / Photo: Roi Boshi via Wikicommons

Berlin’s collection of old masters may move to the city’s Museum Island. In an article in Sunday’s Berliner Morgenpost, Germany’s new culture minister Monika Grütters advocated for the collection’s move from their current location in the Gemäldegalerie to what she says is a more prominent placement on Museum Island. This goes against plans announced before she took office. The so-called Machbarkeitsstudie (feasibility study) released late last August, advocated for the country’s prized collection of old master paintings to remain in their current location and for a new museum to be constructed to house works of art from the 20th Century.

Those plans arose out of a protracted debate after Heiner and Ulla Pietzsch donated their collection of surrealist works to the state, on the condition that they be put on permanent public display. The new museum would also allow for the city to display its collections of modern art, which have long been kept in storage save during temporary shows like the successful Der geteilte Himmel series. The study also priced out a potential move of the old masters collection to a new building on Museum Island. However, it found that the price of such a building, which was estimated at €375 million ($514 million) to be unfeasible. An estimated €130 million ($178 million) would be required to build the new museum of 20th century art located near the Gemäldegalerie in the so-called Kulturforum.

—Alexander Forbes

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