Cultural Context Dissertation // Political Influence: Berlin's Memorialisation & The Neues Museum

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Political Influence

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Berlin’s Memorialisation The Neues Museum

How does the political context of a civic building impact upon its cultural identity?

Laura Hastings


How does the political context of a civic building impact upon its cultural identity?

Laura Hastings Critical Study ARC6010 S18101972 BA (Hons) Architecture School of Architecture and Design Birmingham City University 15th February 2021 Word Count: 5,475


Political Influence

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Berlin’s Memorialisation The Neues Museum



Abstract The city of Berlin has been left scarred by layers of history, rooted in politics, and past events spanning from the Prussian Empire to contemporary Germany. Since the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, Berlin has adopted an approach of memorialisation to remember its history whilst forming a new national identity. To understand the political influence on Berlin’s memorialisation, collective memory and more broadly its cultural identity, the renovation of the Neues Museum has been used as an architectural case study. Analysis of theoretical principles surrounding memorialisation, authenticity of memorials, collective memory, and the impact of urban politics on Berlin’s landscape provides a basis in which to evaluate the political influence exerted on the renovation of the Neues Museum and the promoted identity of Berlin. State involvement in memorials provides a less authentic representation of collective memory and in doing so aims to promote a national identity that is heavily influenced by urban politics and the desire to capitalise on tourism. In this respect, the Neues Museum is a monumental memorial; originally one built to promote Prussian political ideology and contemporarily restored primarily as an attraction for city tourism.



Contents

Introduction

Page 3

Historical Context

Page 3

Theoretical Principles

Page 9

Case Study: The Neues Museum Museum Island

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Politics of The Neues Museum

Page 25

Renovation & Conservation

Page 31

Conclusion

Page 39

References

Page 40

Figures

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Bibliography

Page 46


Museum Island, ©TiagoAlexio (2019)


Introduction Berlin’s past is recorded within the layers of its urban memory (Huyssen, 1997). Its historical context in many ways is a political one from the Prussian Empire to present day. These political contexts and the numerous historical scars left on Berlin are difficult to forget, with their memory engrained in the very fabric of Berlin’s cityscape (Crinson, 2005). Whilst the scars of the past are very much evident, urban politics is playing a role in deciding what kind of cultural identity Berlin should portray; many memories are being physically erased from the built environment through a process of selection to achieve a more ‘desirable’ reflection of Berlin today. This essay will question the extent to which political context impacts upon the collective memory (Ibid.) of the wider urban environment of Berlin. It will delve into the political influence on the cultural identity of the Neues Museum as a case study, used to represent the many facets of Berlin’s history (Layton, 2015).

Historical Context The Neues Museum is located on Museum Island (museuminsel), Berlin as part of a collective of five museum buildings shown in fig.2. The Neues Museum, the second building on the Island, having been commissioned by Prussian monarch Frederick William IV was designed and built by Stüler between 1834 and 1855. Its purpose was to exhibit pre-historic and Egyptian collections as a means of education (Gaehtgens, 1996). The collection of Museums on Museum Island grew as did the political influence of Prussia and latter, the German Empire- becoming a symbol of Germany’s strength. The Neues Museum was very much in the political firing line of World War II, suffering extensive bomb damage which left only 60% of the original structure intact (Anon, 2009). The division between East and West Berlin and Cold War following WWII meant that the Neues Museum stood in ruin for almost 60 years. Following the fall of the Berlin wall in 1989, a new master plan for Museum Island was drawn up in the late 1990s, with the competition for the restoration of the Neues Museum later being awarded to David Chipperfield Architects and Julian Harrap (Ibid.). The historical context of Berlin is shown in fig.1. 3


Figure 1, Illustrated Visual Timeline of Berlin, By the Author (Hastings, 2021)



Map of Berlin Legend River Spree Museum Island Buildings Memorial for the Murdered Jews of Europe Berliner Schloß Pre 1989 West Berlin Berlin Wall Division Stumbling Stones 1:5,000 Scale 0m

250m

Memorial for the Murdered Jews of Europe

Figure 2, Map of Berlin Showing Buildings & Memorials Referenced, By the Author (Hastings, 2021)


Alte Nationalgalerie Bode Museum Pegamon Museum

Neues Museum

James Simon Galerie

Altes Museum

Berliner Schloss & Previous Palace of the Republic


Memorial for the Murdered Jews of Europe, ©EisenmanArchitects (2005)


Theoretical Principles Memorialisation in the context of Berlin has been used by a range of authors to underpin theoretical research. Key themes regarding urban politics, authenticity of memorials and representation of memory have been explored in response to both Berlin’s wider urban landscape and particular architectural examples such as Gunter Demnig’s Stumbling Stones project (fig.6), the reconstruction of the Schloß (figs. 4&5) and the Memorial for the Murdered Jews of Europe (fig.2).

Urban Politics & Surfaces of Memory Through ‘Voids of Berlin,’ Huyssen (1997) expresses Berlin as a metaphorical void to represent several key points in Berlin’s history. He explores Ernst Bloch’s interpretation of Weimar Berlin as being “functions in the void,” referring to the void left by the collapse of the bourgeois culture, to be filled by an “insubstantial culture of distraction,” as seen during the avant-garde ‘golden years’ of the Weimar Republic. Huyssen then argues how Fascism transformed Berlin into a “literal void that was the landscape of ruins in 1945.” Creation of voids in Berlin continued with the programme of Sanierung (urban renewal) in the 1950s, to make room for modern architecture (Ibid.). Most recently, Berlin’s void exposed the divisions between political ideology in the cold war, with west Berlin being mapped by the Soviet Union as a capitalist void in a socialist world (fig.3). Huyssen portrays a Berlin that is multifaceted, one which he explores the “notion of city as text,” and the transformation to “cities of signs as images,” (Huyssen, 1997, pp.57-58) whereby visual representation has become more prominent due to the shifting urban politics, with a will to create aesthetically pleasing, key and centralised spaces that appeal to a new kind of city tourism (Ibid.). Huyssen’s (1997) arguments are effective at providing insight into the political influences on Berlin’s contemporary memorialisation. Whilst his research does not recount primary sources or experience, his arguments reference alternative authors Ernst Bloch and Karl Scheffler (cited in Huyssen, 1997, p.62) and theoretical understandings of Bernard Tschumi and Saskia Sassen (cited in Huyssen, 1997, p.66) within the same field. Huyssen’s theory provides an insight into political bias and the impact this has on collective memory through selection. It also acknowledges the impact that capitalist ideology not only has on the erasure of memory but also on the urban politics of today with the desire to create revenue through city tourism. Huyssen provides an avenue for later enquiry when questioning the level of political influence on the restoration of the Neues Museum. 9


Didem Ekici’s (2007) ideas support Huyssen’s (1997) theories regarding the political influence on memorials to increase city tourism and commerce. Ekici aligns focus to the demolition of the Palace of the Republic, an example of socialist architecture situated in East Berlin, to allow for the reconstruction of the Schloß; an attempt to create visual, urban and national unity; shown in figs.4 and 5. He triggers a discussion surrounding surfaces of memory, building on the theory of aura, as explored by Walter Benjamin (citied in Ekici, 2007, p.26), whilst also acknowledging the views of opposing texts by Wilhelm Von Boddien and Jakubeit (citied in Ekici, 2007, p.32), which instead champion the illusion of continuity to erase memories of the Nazi regime, a sacrifice to create a new sense of cultural identity, that reflects the Germany of today. Ekici concludes that both rejection and support of the notion of aura creates surfaces of memory and a new sense of cultural identity (Ekici, 2007). Ekici’s reference to other theories and opposing arguments provides a convincing discussion as to how memory is represented. He uses the statistic that “98% of former East Berliner residents favoured [the preservation of the People’s Republic] according to a study in 1992,” (Ibid.) to show the political division apparent even after the reunification triggered by the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, as a quantitative measure of evidence for his discussion. The exploration of multiple perspectives provides an effective argument that regardless of authenticity, preservation or replication, the cultural identity created are “surfaces of memory,” which represent aspects of the past. Ekici provokes speculation as to the kinds of “surfaces of memory,” expressed throughout the Neues Museum and to what extent these are political manifestations. In an alternative perspective on surfaces and their response to memory, John Allen (2007) evaluates the theoretical work of Siegfried Kracauer (cited in Allen, 2007). Allen delves into the meaning of surface and the interpretation today is a “flat, depthless plane,” (Allen, 2007, p.22) but should be considered instead with “depth, in this evocation, acts as a synonym for cultural truth, authenticity.” According Allen the observation of “ornamental clues,” and “mapping the surface phenomenon,” enabled Kracauer to understand depth in the “cultural mood of Weimar Berlin,” (Kracauer cited in Allen, 2007, p.24).

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Figure 3, Soviet Map of Berlin from 1988 identifying West Berlin as a void, as discussed by Huyssen (1997), Source: (Schüler, 2014)

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Figure 4, The Palace of the Republic, ©NaraelleHohensee (2005), Annotated by Author (Hastings, 2021)

Figure 5, The Berliner Schloß, ©Waldemar Titzenthaler (1903), Source:(Hohensee, 2005), Annotated By Author (Hastings, 2021)

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Memorial Types & Authenticity The Stumbling Stones Holocaust memorial by Gunter Demnig is scattered throughout Berlin and is used by a range of authors as an example to dissect the types of memorials in Berlin and to evaluate their authenticity in response to political intervention (Harjes, 2005; Gould, & Silverman, 2013). Gould and Silverman (2013) explore the contrast between monumental memorials, where the state typically is involved and ‘countermemorials,’ such as the Stumbling Stones, which are independent, and authentic representations which sit within the “vernacular landscape,” as discussed by Paul Stangl (2008). Their discussion regarding political influence on monumental memorials of urban politics and capitalising on memorial commerce relates to the themes explored by Andreas Huyssen (1997), in the ways that chosen memorial sites that are ‘state sanctioned’ have been developed to attract city tourists; suggesting that monumental, state memorials are less authentic as they depict a desired national identity. Jordan (2005) instead hints that a collection of monumental, state supported, memorials does not necessarily guarantee a “homogeneous identity.” The text written by Gould and Silverman (2013) refers to a great number of alternative texts and authors found within the similar theme of authentic Memorialisation and political influence. Use of theoretical sources of literature provides a convincing and interesting discussion. Their record of their experience in the ‘Germany Close Up’ initiative as primary research, identifying their experiences and perspective as American Jews and as visitors to such memorials. Kirsten Harjes (2005) provides an alternative perspective on Berlin’s Holocaust memorials, analysing both the Stumbling Stones project and the Memorial for the Murdered Jews of Europe communicated in figures 6 and 7. Her writing refers consistently to the political influence upon memorials, expressing that Stumbling Stones are inexpensive to create, lack the requirement for financial assistance, so is a truly democratic memorial as it has “no formal obligation to support the government efforts to promote a particular vision of the contemporary national identity,” the Stumbling Stones project is free from urban politics (Harjes, 2005). Harjes’s writing differs from the alternative texts referenced in this essay as it fails to evidence theoretical texts or incorporate supportive primary research. As a result of this, the text portrays a subjective tone, yet may still be deemed beneficial when explored in conjunction with texts under similar themes.

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Developing on the theme of authenticity in memorials, Paul Stangl (2008) introduces the idea of ‘vernacular landscape,’ as was referred to by Gould and Silverman (2013), when discussing the authenticity of the Stumbling Stones project. Stangl (2008) discusses how research on collective memory is primarily based on monumental memorials; instead, Stangl addresses the manifestation of collective memory in the vernacular urban landscape to create memorials of symbolism or direct representation without “objective depictions of memory.” Whilst Paul Stangl does not engage with primary experience or research to justify his theoretical discussion, he does use the examples of changing modernist identities in East Berlin and the adoption of the Athens charter, all which were later dropped following the reunification of Berlin. These examples are rooted in historical context used as evidence. Stangl’s views are also supported by theoretical underpinning from a range of authors in the similar themes of collective memory and representation amongst Berlin’s architecture.

Figure 6, Stumbling Stones (Stolpersteine), ©Sean O’Connor (n.d.) Source: (Apperly, 2019), Annotated by Author (Hastings, 2021)

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Figure 7, Memorial for the Murdered Jews of Europe, ©EisenmanArchitects (2005), Annotated by Author (Hastings, 2021)

Evolving Time & Memorialisation On the broader theme of Holocaust memorialisation, Sharon Macdonald (2013) provides an alternative, anthropological view, portraying Europe to be a ‘memoryland’ due to the increasing contemporary desire for collective memory to be preserved in the fear that the past may be forgotten. Macdonald introduces theories of ‘memory phenomena’ about the work of C.F. Kansteiner, to describe an increase in memory obsession. The theory of ‘memory craze’ further relates to the increasing attention of memory phenomenon and the surge of “place distinctiveness,” whereby “places are publicly imbued with time-depth.” These introductory ideas are furthered by her chapter exploring cosmopolitan memory, a discussion grounded in the theoretical works of Daniel Levy and Nathan Sznaider (cited in Macdonald, 2013), referring to the transition of memory cultures away from a national identity and instead being “deterritorialised.” Macdonald further examines the prospect that growing Europeanisation is increasing the cosmopolitisation of memory as it is no longer limited to a single nation state. Macdonald’s discussion is grounded mainly in the theoretical text of Levy and Sznaider with alternative authors referred to consistently throughout the text to provide a range of perspectives. She also introduces primary research carried out during her experience visiting the sites of the Nuremberg rallies. Her interviews with visitors create an understand of ‘moral witnessing’ and the relationship between people and a place associated with past trauma due to a sense of moral obligation. 15


Jennifer A. Jordan (2005) provides an insight into how Berlin’s memorialisation evolves over time, focusing on post WWII remembrance. Jordan notes three key changes of interest: substantial changes to aesthetic forms of memorials including the increasing gravitas of ‘authentic’ sites and “non-traditional memorial forms;” changes to the content of represented collective memory; and the changes in the relationship between the people and the state, referring to the urban politics at play. Jordan concludes Berlin to be a landscape of both remembering and forgetting, with these relationships evolving with changes to the political, economic, and social contexts. The understanding of memory evolution in conjunction with memorial types develops on the ideas explored by Gould and Silverman (2013) with themes of urban politics linking to the work of Andreas Huyssen (1997). Jordan refers to supplementary authors and theory within the field of memory to understand how collective memory evolves over time. The reference to supported architectural and sociological theory grounded in detailed historical context provides a sense of credibility to Jordan’s argument. Her discussion regarding evolving memorial representation can be applied to the case study of the Neues Museum to understand how its identity has developed organically over time with the changing social, economic, and political contexts.

Overview It is evident from research that Berlin’s past is multifaceted and layered by depths of history. To understand the process of memorialisation and its impact on the portrayed identity, research has provided an insight into the variations of memorials and their levels of political influence; ranging from the authentic in the ‘vernacular landscape,’ and countermemorials, which reflect social, individual memory, to state sanctioned, politically influenced monumental memorials which represent a desired national identity and collective memory. As an alternative perspective, surfaces of memory (Ekici, D. 2007) acknowledges that cultural identity is created regardless of memorial authenticity. A range of authors (Huyssen, 1997; Ekici, 2007; Gould, & Silverman, 2013) evidence how contemporary urban politics has influenced monumental memorialisation through seeking to optimise commerce through city tourism. This implores the question to what extent was the renovation of the Neues Museum, as a case study, defined by political profiteering rather that one of collective memorialisation?

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Bode Museum, ©DarshanGajara (2019)


James Simon Galerie & Neues Museum, ©KarliCumber (2020)


Museum Island Museum Island is located in central Berlin. To understand the political influence on the Neues Museum as a case study, it is imperative to explore the political and historical context of its neighbouring buildings (fig.13). The Altes Museum (Old Museum) was the first museum built on the site in 1830, designed by Karl Frederick Schinkel and commissioned by Prussian Monarch Frederick William III to be an independent academic institution (Gaehtgens, 1996). Its neo-classical style embedded within the eighteen ionic Saxon sandstone columns that open the Lustgarten elevation sits opposite the Berlin Palace (Anon, Stone World, 1999). The Altes Museum was a means for Prussia to compete with Napoleon’s Musée Napoléon in Paris; Napoleon’s architectural show of power in his “expansionist politics,” had created a European attraction (Gaehtgens, 1996). It should be suggested that whilst the Altes Museum was built primarily as a political rival to Napoleon’s French Empire, the Altes Museum desired to generate an early form of urban political tourism, as discussed contemporarily by Huyssen (1997).

Figure 8, Altes Museum Sketch, By the Author (Hastings, 2021)

The Neues Museum (New Museum) was the second addition, built by Friedrich August Stüler between 1841 and 1859, as an extension to the Altes Museum (Anon, David Chipperfield Architects, n.d.). The commission by Frederick William IV was an initial attempt for “the entire Spree Island behind the museum to be made a sanctuary for art and science,” (Gaehtgens, 1996, p.56) the first dream of Museum Island as it stands today. The Neues Museum construction remained a political one with Frederick William IV placing both museums back into his personal administration, suggesting that the “state did not want to relinquish power of the arts,” (Ibid.). 19


Figure 9, Neues Museum Sketch, By the Author (Hastings, 2021)

The growing political influence of Berlin under the Prussian Empire was further manifested in Museum Island through the construction of the Alte Nationalgalerie in 1876 (Smith, 2001). Johann Heinrich Strack was the architect, commissioned by Frederick William IV based on Stüler’s plans. The Nationalgalerie was designed to be worthy of housing German contemporary art, much of which was propaganda, painted scenes based on victorious battles and key Prussian events to consolidate the political might of the empire (Gaehtgens, 1996). As Museum Island continued to expand the political influence and importance of the collection of buildings also increased. In many ways the Alte Nationalgalerie was intentioned as a monumental memorial (Gould, & Silverman, 2013), erected to reinforce and portray a particular national identity of Prussia at the time.

Figure 10, Alte Nationalgalerie Museum Sketch, By the Author (Hastings, 2021)

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Figure 11, Bode Museum Sketch, By the Author (Hastings, 2021)

The establishment of the German Empire in 1871 created a need for the quality and size of collections in Museum Island to increase in size and quality to “reflect the status of the empire, to testify on the empires global, imperial claims,” resulting in Kaiser Wilhelm II’s commission of the Bode and Pergamon Museums (Gaehtgens, 1996, p.64). The Bode Museum was originally opened in 1904 in a neo-baroque style (Plass, 2006). Now named after curator Wilhelm von Bode, the museum was originally the Kaiser Wilhelm Museum (SPK, n.d.). The Pergamon Museum was completed between 1907 and 1930, designed by both Alfred Messel and later Ludwig Hoffmann, designed in a neoclassical style as a home to the Pergamon alter (SPK, n.d.). The Alte Nationalgalerie, Pergamon and Bode Museums were constructed as memorials to the rise of the German Empire, memorials of political power to promote a particular civic and national identity (Gould, & Silverman, 2013), this state involvement in the creation of a civic identify is described by Harjes (2005) as undemocratic and reflects the monarchy of the time.

Figure 12, Pergamon Museum Sketch, By the Author (Hastings, 2021)

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Bombing through World War II caused irreparable damage on Museum Island, leaving imperial buildings in ruins and empty shells. The fate of the museums only worsened in 1949 with the division of post-war Berlin and Germany, leaving the Museum Island in the responsibility of the soviets when the artefacts in the museum collections were divided between the East and West; because of the division, museums were duplicated on either side. The fall of the Berlin wall in 1989 provided grounds for reunification of the city and its museum collection in 1990 (van Aalst, and Boogaarts, 2002). The memorialisation that followed ensued a largely ‘western’ attitude which involved the demolition of soviet architecture and memorials in favour for the reconstruction of imperial or pre-war architecture to provide a sense of visual and continuity as discussed by Ekici (2007); in the context of the Schloß reconstruction and demolition of the Palace of the republic. This approach also triggered the restoration programme of Museum Island in the late 1990s. It could be argued that, through Ekici’s (2007) theory of surfaces of memory, the restoration allowed the erasure of the damage caused by both soviet and wartime pasts and to reinstate a sense of continuity. The restoration of Museum Island desires to create a singular “museum complex,” (van Aalst, and Boogaarts, 2002, p.204) developed equivalently to a university campus, designed to be a ‘cluster’ or cultural and entertainment centre that appeals to city tourism and existing “half-hour visitors,” (Ibid.). Boogaarts and van Aalst (2002) detail the shift of museums from places of collections to places of mass entertainment. Museum Island, through redevelopment by the Berlin authorities and the Staatliche Preussischer Kulturbesitz (State Prussian cultural heritage organisation) (SPK) has become a monumental memorial complex, influenced by urban politics and economic optimisation for city tourism (Huyssen, 1997). The recent construction of the James-Simon Galerie visitor centre provides evidence for the influence of urban politics. The centre was designed by David Chipperfield to serves as “an entrance hall and guide to island’s major sites,” (Marcus, 2019). As a result, the authenticity of Museum Island as a collective of monumental memorials can be questioned, with state involvement seeking to portray a desired national identity tainted by an intention to attract tourism and commerce. In this respect, the Neues Museum shares this lack of memorial authenticity in its contemporary ambition to become a major tourist attraction.

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James Simon Galerie Meets Neues Museum, ©ChristianMackie (2021)


Politics of The Neues Museum The influence of politics on the civic identity of the Neues Museum can be studied by scrutinising the historical context of the museum. The Neues Museum was originally constructed as the second addition to Museum Island, as an educational institution to be added to the personal administration of Frederick William IV, along with the Altes Museum. Political influences are evident from its conception through the Prussian monarch reinstating state authority and control over the arts (Gaehtgens, 1996). Whilst the Neues Museum originally exhibited pre-historic and Egyptian artefacts (Chipperfield, 2018), Prussian political attitudes are reflected throughout; “eventually these rooms began to speak more redolently of the mid-nineteenth century as a last fling of Prussian Enlightenment than of the ancient civilisations they were intended to evoke,” (Anon, 2009, p.815). An original key, political motif was Wilhelm von Kaulbach’s frescoes (figs. 14-17). Six paintings circling the main staircase and hall depicting a Prussian perspective of history from the Tower of Babel to the victory of the Prussian Empire (fig.14). Both the subject of such works and their influential positioning provides a reflection of the original political climate in which they were produced. Lidichi’s (cited in Macdonald 2006) theory of ‘poetics’ and ‘politics.’ ‘Poetics’ refers to the way artefacts and objects are configured in a museum space to produce meaning, claiming a realistic representation of reality. ‘Politics,’ instead refers to the production of “social knowledge,” through such museum exhibitions (Ibid. pp.70-80). Kaulbach’s frescoes evidence a political agenda throughout the original museum, through the state promotion of Prussian political strength. Their destruction in 1943 erased their existence from the surfaces of the main hall, creating an altered political identity, one which now resonates with the reunification of Berlin, and the restoration of the original volume situated within the Neues Museum (fig.15). Theoretical principles regarding memorialisation are useful in determining the civic identity of the original Neues Museum and the extent to which political influence has affected its authenticity. As the museum was commissioned by Frederick William IV in 1841 (Chipperfield, 2018) it is reasonable to argue that it was a state financed, state-sanctioned construction designed to promote a specific national identity portraying the strength of the Prussian Empire. In this respect, using Gould and Silverman’s (2013) definition for monumental memorials as being state sanctioned and state financed, the Neues Museum was originally built to be a monumental memorial to Prussian Imperialism.

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Figure 14, Elevation of Main Staircase in the Neues Museum, Stüler, A., Source: (Wrede, 2013), Annotated by Author (Hastings, 2021)

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Figure 15, Side Profile Photograph of Main Staircase in the Neues Museum, ©Jorg von Bruchhausen (2020), Annotated by Author (Hastings, 2021)

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Figure 16, The Tower of Babel, von Kaulbach, W., Source: (Wiki Commons)

Figure 17, Homer and The Greeks, von Kaulbach, W., Source: (Wiki Commons)

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Harjes (2007) also suggests that political agenda impacts upon the authenticity of a memorial, instead the Neues Museum originally depicted a state perceived collective identity. This civic identity and political influence only increased with the development of Museum Island and the German Empire establishment. The Neues Museum was badly damaged because of bombing in 1943, during WWII. Whilst this damage lost a great deal of original features and artwork, it arguably provided the opportunity for contemporary restoration and new identity for the Neues Museum. Had the damage never occurred, it is possible that we would not have the museum that stands today. The fall of the Berlin Wall instigated the reunification of Berlin, allowing for the return of artefacts and consolidation of Berlin’s museums; kick-starting a process of memorialisation with the new availability of financial support for memorials, which was not accessible prior. The Neues Museum is an example of such memorial, with the state enabling its recent restoration. However, the state involvement of urban politics held influence over the portrayed identity of the museum, with vested interest in optimising commerce and the attraction to international visitors (Huyssen, 1997; Ekici, 2007). Heathcote (2009) describes how the “German people, their press and their politicians are deeply involved in their public buildings,” (Heathcote, 2009, p.3) resulting in Chipperfield’s design being reduced. Whilst Gould and Silverman (2013) evaluate the authenticity of a memorial in response to state involvement, suggesting a lack of authenticity in the Neues Museum restoration because of state financial assistance; noted by Harjes (2007) to provide an obligation for a monumental memorial to carry a certain identity. It is important to understand that had it not been for urban politics and state involvement, the Neues Museum may have never been restored if it was not a viable commercial project. Overall, whilst the civic identity of the Neues Museum has evolved overtime in a similar way to Berlin’s collective memory, as theorised by Jennifer Jordan (2005). Whilst it was originally intended to be an educational institution, political undertones produced an early monumental memorial to the Prussian Empire. Whilst it has now been tainted by contemporary urban politics through the optimisation of city tourism (Huyssen, 1997), the Neues Museum represents the reunification of Berlin and the promotion of a new German national identity. Throughout the history of the Neues Museum it is state support has limited its authenticity as a memorial of collective memory (Harjes, 2007).

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Photograph of Neues Museum Exterior, ©RoyGard


Renovation & Conservation The politics of memory is engrained in the very fabric of the Neues Museum, particularly in its restoration by David Chipperfield Architects and Julian Harrap who won the design competition in 1997 (Chipperfield, 2018). The approach for the project was noted to be a “third way,” one which “the contemporary reflects what has been lost without imitating it,” (Chipperfield, 2018, p.250). Julian Harrap provided a democratic, conservational approach which highlights the fragments of time, the shift between old and new to explore the historic narrative of the museum (Rattenbury, 2009). To maintain a sense of archaeological and historical authenticity, the restoration abides by the Venice Charter, a set of articles which ensure the identification between the old and new. The following articles from the Venice Charter are the most apparent in Chipperfield’s restoration of the Neues Museum:

“ARCTICLE 10. Where traditional techniques prove inadequate, the consolidation of a

monument can be achieved by the use of any modern technique for conservation and

construction, the efficacy of which has been shown by scientific data and proved by

experience…

.…ARTICLE 12. Replacements of missing parts must integrate harmoniously with the

whole, but at the same time must be distinguishable from the original so that restoration

does not falsify the artistic or historic evidence.

ARTICLE 13. Additions cannot be allowed except in so far as they do not detract from

the interesting parts of the building, its traditional setting, the balance of its

composition and its relation with its surroundings.

ARTICLE 14. The sites of monuments must be the object of special care in order to

safeguard their integrity and ensure that they are cleared and presented in a seemly

manner. The work of conservation and restoration carried out in such places should be

inspired by the principles set forth in the foregoing article.” (Anon, Venice Charter, 2006)

The Venice Charter itself, whilst a guide to restoring authentic monuments has been influenced by the contemporary politics of heritage. It provides a basis for heritage management that was born out of western modernity in the 1960s and 1970s (Smith, 2006). Smith introduces the concept of ‘authorized heritage discourse’ as the conservation of memorial sites intended to be passed onto future generations which “forge a sense of common identity based on the past,” (Smith, 2006, p.29). The Venice Charter 31


is an example of how the selection of narratives, in this case western, “elite historical and cultural experiences,” (Smith, 2006, p.93), are deemed to be an ‘authorised heritage’ and form the basis for national identity (Ibid.). The Venice Charter and its approach to conservation shares similarities with those of John Ruskin’s English Theory of Monument (Nys, 2018). Ruskin (cited in Jokilehto, 2007) led the anti-restoration revolution to rally for change from attitudes of restoration to conservation, to preserve a historic authenticity. With 40% of the original Neues Museum structure having been destroyed during the 1943 bombing (Anon, 2009), David Chipperfield’s design intervention intended to restore the original volume of the building whilst adding contemporary elements to connect and improve circulation between the existing fabric (Chipperfield, 2018). The new main staircase expresses the footprint and volume of the original, constructed instead from concrete; a white cement and a Saxonian marble chip mix, which “sits within the majestic hall that is preserved only as a brick volume, devoid of its former ornamentation,” (Chipperfield, 2018, p.250). The materiality expresses the intent of the Venice Charter in which the original structure is emphasised whilst maintaining a sense of the void and contrast with the new (Anon, Venice Charter, 2006). Figures 18-20 show the main staircase at points in history, expressing the damage caused and the relationship between the contemporary restoration and Stüler’s original design. Other structural conservational methods utilised by Chipperfield meet the requirements outlined in Article 12 (Anon, Venice Charter, 2006). Figures 22 and 23 show the restored, new volumes having been “built of recycled handmade bricks,” chosen to both complement the preserved sections whilst emphasising them (Chipperfield, 2018, p.250). The renovation of the southern and eastern colonnades and Doric, sandstone columns, re-established the “pre-war urban situation,” (Ibid.) whilst adhering to the Venice Charter through the contrast of old and new.

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Figure 18, Photograph of the Original Staircase in Stüler’s Design, © Staatliche Museen zu Berlin (1910)

Figure 19, Photograph of the Staircase in Ruin, Source: (Alter, 2018)

Figure 20, Photograph of the New Staircase in Chipperfield’s Design, ©Jörg von Bruchhausen (2009)

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The Neues Museum restoration reflects theoretical ideas of the surfaces of memory explored by Ekici (2007) who expresses that a cultural identity is created through surfaces. In the context of the Neues Museum, its surfaces provide an insight into historical depth (Allen, 2007) through the preservation of the original, existing features and the contrast of new building fabric. In this sense the Neues Museum provides an authentic conservational approach to not only preserve the original, physical historic form, but to successfully communicate the historic narrative of the museum; the disaster of war damage is not erased in favour of the pre-war continuity of time, much like the demolition of the Place of the Republic (Ekici, 2007), instead exposed as an artefact itself. To further the understanding of political influence on the cultural identity of the Neues Museum, analysis of the political context associated with the restoration is necessary. Such restoration was only possible following the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 (Anon, 2009) and the reunification of Berlin, signifying the end of the Cold War. It is argued that the museum having been in East Berlin contributed towards its further demise following the bombing of 1943 (Chipperfield, 2018) as it was left by the soviets to fall into further ruin but was largely left untainted by socialist politics. Whilst the restoration itself, on a conservational level, is authentic in its preservation of original features and honest in its reflection of existing and new; the approach exercised in the Venice Charter follows western ideas of restoration and memorialisation, inspired politically, by the democratisation and decentralisation of the 1970s and 1980s (Jordan, 2005). The Imperial German architecture preserved within the Neues Museum evidences a favour for a continuity of time and aesthetic through its surfaces of memory (Ekici, 2007) and strongly represents Berlin’s reunification. It is an attempt to promote a specific national, unified identity.

34


Figure 21, Floor Plans of Neues Museum Restoration Showing New and Existing Elements, Redrawn By the Author (Hastings, 2021) Original Source: (Chipperfield, 2018)


Figure 22, Photograph of Neues Museum Exterior, ©RoyGardiner, Image Annotated by Author (Hastings, L. 2021) to Show Conservational Approach and Preserved Historical Elements in Contrast to the New.

36


Figure 23, Photograph of Neues Museum Exterior, ©RoyGardiner, Image Annotated by Author (Hastings, L. 2021) to Show Conservational Approach and Preserved Historical Elements in Contrast to the New.

37


Memorial for the Murdered Jews of Europe, ©DewangGupta (2019)


Conclusion To conclude, the approach to memorialisation and civic identity particularly that of Berlin, has been shaped by the politics of its historical context. Since the fall of the Berlin Wall and reunification, Berlin has struggled to promote an ideal national identity that reflects the Germany of today whilst being grounded in its past. The state approach has embodied the act of erasure and selection of collective memory to attempt to create a unified national identity. East Berlin’s socialist architecture has been erased in favour of restoring a pre-war identity, suggesting a continuity of time and visual unity. This is particularly evident in the demolition of the Palace of the Republic for the reconstruction of the Schloß, regardless of the opposition felt by east Berliners (Ekici, 2007). Despite the bests efforts of Berlin’s authorities, Jordan (2005) indicates an opposing view that ‘official’ state memorials lack a sense of democracy as they fail to gain populous consensus or acceptance by much of the community. A collection of official, monumental memorials does not guarantee the promotion of a homogeneous identity. In the context of the Neues Museum and similar state monumental memorials, urban politics has tainted their authenticity allowing the rise of independent countermemorials such as Gunter Demnig’s Stumbling Stones Project which sit in the context of the ‘vernacular landscape(Stangl, 2008) focussed on individual, social and urban memory (Crinson, 2005). Whilst monumental memorials are commonly state backed via commission or financial assistance, the political influence results in an obligation to the state to promote a specific cultural and national identity. Urban politics, as referenced in theoretical writing, (Huyssen, 1997; Ekici, 2007) has determined a shift in focus towards the attraction of international city tourists to optimise commercial viability. In the context of the Neues Museum, an argument presents itself questioning whether it would have been restored had it not been deemed a viable tourist attraction or means to profit from collective memory. It should also be noted that in its original conception, the Neues Museum was an educational institution, but one deeply influenced by Prussian political agenda to project an identity of strength and imperialism. As a monumental memorial (Gould and Silverman, 2013), in today’s context, it is limited in authenticity due to urban politics and state involvement. The archaeological restoration itself carried out by David Chipperfield Architects and Julian Harrap, is a sympathetic and authentic architectural intervention; a focus on conservation and preservation maintains the historic depth within its surfaces of memory (Ekici, 2007; Allen, 2007). One that is designed to represent the reunification of Berlin through the physical restoration of the original volume. 39


References ALLEN, J. (2007). The cultural spaces of Siegfried Kracauer: The many surfaces of Berlin. New Formations (61) pp. 20–33. ANON, (1999) "Altes Museum/Lustgarten", Stone World, [Online], vol. 16, no. 5, pp. 95. ANON, (2006), The International Charter for the Conservation and Restoration of Monuments and Sites (Venice Charter). APT Bulletin: The Journal of Preservation Technology, 37(4), 51-51. ANON, (2009), "Berlin's Neues Museum", 2009, Burlington magazine, vol. 151, no. 1281, pp. 815- 815. ANON, (n.d.) David Chipperfield Architects, The Neues Museum, [Online] Available at: https:// davidchipperfield.com/files/pdfs/4764/neues-museum-dca.pdf [Last Accessed 27th January 2021] CHIPPERFIELD, D. (2018), David Chipperfield Architects: Monograph Vol. II, David Chipperfield Architects, verlag der buchhandlung walther könig, Germany CRINSON, M. (2005), Urban memory: history and amnesia in the modern city, Routledge, Abingdon. EKICI, D. (2007), "The Surfaces of Memory in Berlin: Rebuilding the Schloß", Journal of architectural education (1984), vol. 61, no. 2, pp. 25-34. GAEHTGENS, T.W. (1996), "The Museum Island in Berlin", Studies in the history of art, vol. 47, pp. 52-77. GOULD, M., & SILVERMAN, R. (2013). Stumbling upon history: Collective memory and the urban landscape. GeoJournal, 78(5), 791-801. Retrieved December 21, 2020, from http://www. jstor.org/stable/42002548 HARJES, K. (2005). Stumbling Stones: Holocaust Memorials, National Identity, and Democratic Inclusion in Berlin. German Politics & Society, 23(1 (74)), 138-151. Retrieved December 27, 2020, from http://www.jstor.org/stable/23740916 HEATHCOTE, E. (2009), "The transformation of Berlin's museum", FT.com, [Online], [Last Accessed 29th January 2021] HUYSSEN, A. (1997) Present Pasts: Urban Palimpsests and the Politics of Memory, The Voids of Berlin, Stanford University Press. JOKILEHTO, J. (2007); A history of architectural conservation, Butterworth-Heinemann, Oxford. JORDAN, J.A. (2005), "A Matter of Time: Examining Collective Memory in Historical Perspective in Postwar Berlin", Journal of historical sociology, vol. 18, no. 1-2, pp. 37-71.

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LAYTON, G. (2015), Access to History: Democracy & Dictatorships in Germany 1919-1963, 2nd Ed, Hodder Education, London. MACDONALD, S (2013), Memorylands: Heritage and Identity in Europe Today, 2nd Ed, Routledge, Oxford. MACDONALD, S. (2006), A companion to museum studies, Blackwell Pub, Malden, MA. MARCUS, J.S. (2019), Berlin's Newest Art Temple; The James-Simon-Galerie is a gateway to the city's Museum Island, Dow Jones & Company Inc, New York, N.Y. NYS, R. (2018), David Chipperfield Architects: Monograph Vol. II, David Chipperfield Architects, verlag der buchhandlung walther könig, Germany. PLASS, S. (2006), Restored Bode Museum In Berlin Reopens, Late (East Coast) edn, The New York Times Company, New York, N.Y. RATTENBURY, K. (2009), Neues Museum by David Chipperfield Architects in collaboration with Julian Harrap Architects, Architects’ Journal, https://www.architectsjournal.co.uk/archive/ neues-museum-by-david-chipperfield-architects-in-collaboration-with-julian-harrap- architects [Last Accessed 28th January 2021] SMITH, D.F. (2001), Spirit of an Age: Nineteenth-Century Paintings from the Nationalgalerie, Berlin, Library Journals, LLC, New York. SMITH, L. (2006), Uses of heritage, Routledge, Abingdon. (SPK) Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz, (n.d.), Bode Museum, Masterplan Museumsinsel: A Projection into the Future [online] Available at: http://www.museumsinsel-berlin.de/en/ buildings/bode-museum/ [Last Accessed 27th January 2021] (SPK) Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz, (n.d.), Pergamon Museum, Masterplan Museumsinsel: A Projection into the Future [online] Available at: https://www.museumsinsel-berlin.de/en/ buildings/pergamonmuseum/ [Last Accessed 27th January 2021] STANGL, P. (2008), "The vernacular and the monumental: memory and landscape in post-war Berlin", GeoJournal, vol. 73, no. 3, pp. 245-253. VAN AALST, I. AND BOOGAARTS, I. (2002) ‘From Museum to Mass Entertainment: The Evolution of the Role of Museums in Cities’, European Urban and Regional Studies, 9(3), pp. 195–209.

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Figures Figure 1, Hastings, L. (2021), Illustrated Visual Timeline of Berlin, By the Author.

GAEHTGENS, T.W. 1996, "The Museum Island in Berlin", Studies in the history of art, vol.

47, pp. 52-77.

Anon, (n,d) "Berlin's Neues Museum", 2009, Burlington magazine, vol. 151, no. 1281, pp.

815-815.

David Chipperfield Architects, (n.d.), The Neues Museum, https://davidchipperfield.com/

Layton, G. (2015), Access to History: Democracy & Dictatorships in Germany 1919-1963,

2nd Ed, Hodder Education, London

Encyclopedia Britannica. (2021) Prussia, [online] Available at: https://www.britannica.com/

files/pdfs/4764/neues-museum-dca.pdf

place/Prussia [Accessed 12 January 2021]

Reichstag Fire, Roar Mag Collective, (2015), On this day in 1933: Marinus van der Lubbe

sentenced to death, [Online] Available At: https://roarmag.org/2015/12/23/

on-this-day-in-1933-marinus-van-der-lubbe-sentenced-to-death/ [Last Accessed 1st

February 2021]

Reichstag in 1920, Manuel Erbenich, (2010) Father of the Weimar Constitution,

[online] Available At: https://www.deutschlandfunk.de/vater-der-weimarer-

verfassung.871.de.html?dram:article_id=127137 [Last Accessed 1st February 2021]

Neues Museum from 1919 © bpk/Meßbildarchiv, Heathcote, E. (2009), Can David

Chipperfield’s new gallery in Berlin reconcile past and present?, Financial Times,

[Online] Available at: https://www.ft.com/content/f6daf546-aa07-11e9-b6ee-

3cdf3174eb89 [Last Accessed 1st February 2021]

Altes Nationalgalerie, ©Staatliche Museen zu Berlin/ Maximillian Meisse, Old National

Gallery, [Online] Available At: https://www.museumsportal-berlin.de/en/museums/

alte-nationalgalerie/ [Last Accessed 1st February 2021]

Kaiser Frederick (Bode) Museum 1904, ©Hermann Rückwardt

Altes Museum (2012), ©Avda

Pergamonmuseum (1912), ©Alfred Messel

WWI German Soldier (n.d.), [Online] Available at: https://www.shorpy.com/node/11708

[Last Accessed 2nd February 2021]

Fall of the Berlin Wall 1989, © HESSE, ULLSTEIN BILD/GETTY

Holocaust Victims, 1945, ©Yad Vashem Archives / Reuters file

42


Neues Museum 2009, ©JaneRicloebe

James Simon Galerie, (n.d.) ©SimonMenges

David Chipperfield, (n.d.) ©JensPassoth

Figure 2, Map of Berlin Showing Buildings & Memorials Referenced, Hastings, L. (2021), By the

Author.

Figure 3, Soviet Map of Berlin from 1988 identifying West Berlin as a void, as discussed by Huyssen

(1997), Source: C.J. Schüler, (2014), History of the Berlin Wall through maps, Here360,

[Online] Available at: https://360.here.com/2014/11/06/fall-wall-missing-pieces/, [Last

Accessed 5th January, 2021]

Figure 4, The Palace of the Republic, ©NaraelleHohensee (2005), Negotiating the past in Berlin:

the Palast der Republik, Smart History, [Online] Available at: https://smarthistory.org/

palast-der-republik/, [Last Accessed 5th February 2021]

Figure 5, The Berliner Schloß, ©Waldemar Titzenthaler (1903), Source: Hohensee, N. (2005),

Negotiating the past in Berlin: the Palast der Republik, Smart History, [Online] Available at:

https://smarthistory.org/palast-der-republik/, [Last Accessed 5th February 2021]

Figure 6, Stumbling Stones (Stolpersteine), ©Sean O’Connor (n.d.) Source: Apperly, E. (2019),

'Stumbling stones': a different vision of Holocaust remembrance, The Guardian, [Online]

Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2019/feb/18/stumbling-stones-a-

different-vision-of-holocaust-remembrance, [Last Accessed 5th February, 2021]

Figure 7, ©EisenmanArchitects (2005) Source: Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe,

Eisenman Architects, [Online] Available at: https://eisenmanarchitects.com/Berlin-

Memorial-to-the-Murdered-Jews-of-Europe-2005, [Last Accessed 5th February, 2021]

Figure 8, Altes Museum Sketch, By the Author (Hastings, 2021) Figure 9, Neues Museum Sketch, By the Author (Hastings, 2021) Figure 10, Alte Nationalgalerie Museum Sketch, By the Author (Hastings, 2021) Figure 11, Bode Museum Sketch, By the Author (Hastings, 2021) Figure 12, Pergamon Museum Sketch, By the Author (Hastings, 2021) 43


Figure 13, Museum Island Sketch Diagram, Hastings, L. (2021), By the Author.

Altes Museum, ©Jean-Pierre Dalbéra (2011)

Neues Museum, Joy of Museums, (2018), Neues Museum, [Online] Available at:

joyofmuseums. com [Last Accessed 5th February 2021]

Altes Nationalgalerie, ©Jörg Zägel, (2010)

Bode Museum, ©Dominik Wesche, (2011)

Pergamon Museum, Pergamonmuseum, [Online] Available at: https://www.smb.museum/

uploads/tx_smb/Pergamonmuseum.jpg [Last Accessed 5th February 2021]

James Simon Galerie, ©Gilala (2019)

Figure 14, Elevation of Main Staircase in the Neues Museum, Stüler, A. (n.d.), Source: Wrede, H.

2013, "Ausstattung und Aussage des Treppenhauses im Neuen Museum Friedrich August

Stülers", Jahrbuch der Berliner Museen, vol. 55, pp. 93-107.

Figure 15, Side Profile Photograph of Main Staircase in the Neues Museum, ©Joerg von

Bruchhausen (2020)

Figure 16, The Tower of Babel, von Kaulbach, W., Source: Wiki Commons, [Online] Available at:

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Der_Babelthurm_Merz_nach_Wilhelm_von_

Kaulbach.jpg, [Last Accessed 7th February, 2021]

Figure 17, Homer and The Greeks, von Kaulbach, W., Source: Wiki Commons, [Online] Available

at: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Homer_und_die_Griechen_Raab_nach_

Wilhelm_von_Kaulbach.jpg [Last Accessed 7th February]

Figure 18, Photograph of the Original Staircase in Stüler’s Design, © Staatliche Museen zu Berlin

(1910), Source: Google Arts and Culture, [Online] Available at: https://artsandculture.

google.com/asset/main-stairs-neues-museum-berlin-1910-friedrich-august-st%C3%BCler-

a-o/-QEn2zLAnbwjGw, [Last Accessed 11th February 2021]

Figure 19, Photograph of the Staircase in Ruin, Source: Alter, L. (2018), Rising From the Ruins

of War, Neues Museum in Berlin Mixes Old and New, Treehugger, [Online] Available at:

https://www.treehugger.com/rising-ruins-war-neues-museum-berlin-mixes-old-and-

new-4856966 , [Last Accessed 11th February, 2021]

Figure 20, Photograph of the New Staircase in Chipperfield’s Design, ©Jörg von Bruchhausen (2009) 44


Figure 21, Floor Plans of Neues Museum Restoration Showing New and Existing Elements,

Redrawn By the Author (Hastings, 2021) Original Source: Chipperfield, D. (2018),

David Chipperfield Architects: Monograph Vol. II, David Chipperfield Architects, verlag der

buchhandlung walther könig, Germany

Figure 22, Photograph of Neues Museum Exterior, ©RoyGardiner, Image Annotated by Author

(Hastings, L. 2021) to Show Conservational Approach and Preserved Historical Elements in

Contrast to the New.

Figure 23, Photograph of Neues Museum Exterior, ©RoyGardiner, Image Annotated by Author

(Hastings, L. 2021) to Show Conservational Approach and Preserved Historical Elements in

Contrast to the New.

©EisenmanArchitects (2005), Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, Eisenman Architects,

[Online] Available at: https://eisenmanarchitects.com/Berlin-Memorial-to-the-Murdered-

Jews-of-Europe-2005, [Last Accessed 5th February, 2021]

©KarliCumber (2020), James Simon Galerie & Neues Museum, Source: Unsplash, [Online]

Available at: https://unsplash.com/photos/f7FJNAXsB1I [Last Accessed 7th February 2021]

©ChristianMackie, (2021), James Simon Galerie Meets Neues Museum, Source: Unsplash, [Online]

Available at: https://unsplash.com/photos/xD_JjglBDyI [Last Accessed 12th February 2021]

©TiagoAlexio (2019), Museum Island, Source: Unsplash, [Online] Available at: https://unsplash.

com/photos/tveboMtwZ9c/info [Last Accessed 12th February, 2021]

©DewangGupta (2019), Memorial for the Murdered Jews of Europe, Source: Unsplash, [Online]

Available at: https://unsplash.com/photos/hxb2Xdr3Uhw [Last Accessed 12th February

2021] ©RoyGardiner, (n.d.), Photograph of Neues Museum Exterior ©DarshanGarjara (2019) Bode Museum, Source: Unsplash, [Online] Available at: https://unsplash.

com/photos/bqsu5imMn94 [Last Accessed 12th February 2021]

45


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49


Berlin’s history has scarred its urban landscape leaving traces of its past. Political influences have impacted Berlin’s memorialisation and the contemporary identity promoted by the state. The essay delves into evaluating the authenticity of memorials and analyses the Neues Museum as a case study to explore urban politics.

Laura Hastings