Munich’s Haus der Kunst Secures $21.4 Million Renovation Grant

David Chipperfield will redesign the museum, originally built by the Nazis.

Haus der Kunst, Munich, 2013. Photo by Avda/, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Germany’s federal parliament, the Bundestag, has granted Munich’s Haus der Kunst €20 million ($21.4 million) in funding towards the historic building’s upcoming renovation, the Bavarian State Ministry of Education, Science and the Arts has announced in a joint statement with the museum.

The federal government money brings the total public funding to €78 million ($83.7 million), after the Bavarian government already pledged €58 million ($62.2 million) to the crucial modernization work in 2012.

David Chipperfield will take on the task of redesigning the historic building, which is scheduled to undergo the essential maintenance work at the end of 2017, according to the AFP.

Installation view of Gilbert and George's exhibition at Haus der Kunst in 2007. Photo: Lehman Maupin, New York

Installation view of Gilbert and George’s exhibition at Haus der Kunst in 2007.
Photo: Lehman Maupin, New York

Originally dubbed “House of German Art,” the museum was opened by Adolf Hitler in 1937 to promote the National Socialist interpretation of art, becoming symbolic of the persecution of so-called “degenerate” artists during the Nazi regime.

Through the years, the museum has made a concerted effort to challenge its sinister past through a diverse and multifaceted program, and has since established itself as one of the most important public institutions in Germany. The museum’s status is reflected in the sizable federal and state funding that it has secured.

“On behalf of the entire staff of Haus der Kunst I am immensely thankful to the budget committee of the German Bundestag for making this bold gesture of support to the museum, director Okwui Enwezor said in a statement.

The Reichstag building in  Berlin. Photo by Mfield, <a href= target="_blank" rel="noopener">Matthew Field</a>, GNU Free Documentation License.

The Reichstag building in Berlin. Photo by Mfield, Matthew Field, GNU Free Documentation License.

“This affirms and strengthens our core mission to serve old and new audiences, and provide them a lively forum and strong access for the encounter and appreciation of the art and ideas of different generations of contemporary artists,” he added.

Rüdiger Kruse, the Bundestag’s Budget Committee spokesperson for culture and media added “Haus der Kunst possesses the potential to radiate far beyond Bavarian borders. With this subsidy by the German parliament the goal is to strengthen excellence in culture and to foster a place of cultural communication.”

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