Ambitious Street Art Museum to Open in Berlin in 2017

Berlin is a street art hotspot.

ROA mural in Berlin. Photo: Henri Neuendorf

The streets of Berlin contain such a high quantity of street art that they may already qualify as an outdoor museum. But now the German capital is due to get a new dedicated Museum of Urban Contemporary Art to provide a forum for the history and development of the art form.

The museum is due to open in mid 2017 because the building needs to undergo extensive renovations before it can admit the public.

Curator Yasha Young is the driving force behind the museum project. Photo: Urban Nation

Curator Yasha Young is the driving force behind the museum project.
Photo: Urban Nation

Organized by the Urban Nation cultural foundation, which supports citywide urban art projects, the museum is being funded by a €900,000 ($999,981) grant from the Berlin Lotto Foundation, which supports social, cultural, environmental, and charitable projects.

According to Tagesspiegel, more precise details of the museum will be announced mid May. The foundation has stayed tight-lipped on what visitors can expect. However, an anonymous employee gave away an enticing hint, saying that the building will be “very unusual.”

Victor Ash mural in Berlin. Photo: Henri Neuendorf

Victor Ash mural in Berlin.
Photo: Henri Neuendorf

In the meantime, Urban Nation will commission street artists to paint 12 large-scale murals on the walls of buildings lining Schöneberg’s Bülowstrasse, the street where the museum will be based.

Berlin’s stellar reputation for urban art stretches back to 1961, when Soviet backed East Germany built the Berlin Wall. The wall’s symbolic significance of the wall as a divisive medium turned it into an obvious place for the city’s residents to express their frustrations.

JR mural in Berlin. Photo: Henri Neuendorf

JR mural in Berlin.
Photo: Henri Neuendorf

The city’s famous East Side Gallery—a stretch of the Berlin wall that has been left standing—still bears the murals created during the Cold War, and remains one of the city’s most popular tourist destinations.

The wall’s reputation has since attracted a large variety of street artists from around the world to Berlin. Artists such as Os Gemeos, ROA, Victor Ash, JR, Blu, and many more have painted prominent murals throughout the city.

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