Where once lived the Prussian kings built a new cultural centre – an almost exact copy of the former Palace. The cross on the dome of the reconstructed building is not like all.
It’s been seven years since he laid the first stone of the “Humboldt Forum”, where in the near future will house the ethnological collections of the Berlin state museums and host various cultural events. Initially, the opening of a new cultural centre in the German capital, was scheduled for 2019, when we celebrated the 250th anniversary of the famous German traveler and Explorer Alexander von Humboldt (Alexander von Humboldt). Nothing ever came of it: construction was delayed.
Now at issue and scheduled for the end of 2020 commissioning. The rising cost of construction has provoked discontent and controversy as the question of whether the so necessary Christian cross on the dome are not related to the religion of the Palace, which, according to the authorised government of Germany for cultural Affairs Monica Gruetters (Monika Gr?tters), aims to become “a forum for understanding in equal dialogue of world cultures”.
From the very beginning the Palace was erupting
Construction is underway on the site where once stood the city Palace of the kings of the Hohenzollern dynasty. The first stone was laid on 31 July 1443, the year the elector Frederick II. Even then, the construction has caused resentment: residents of the city, which then had 8,000 people do not want to give idyllic landscape under monumental building. In 1448 Berliners even flooded the building pit, but all their protests were in vain. The Palace was rebuilt, and the rebellious citizens lost their political and economic freedom because of its resistance.
From 1698 to 1713, the residence of the Prussian king Friedrich was rebuilt according to the plans of the famous city Builder Andreas schlüter (Andreas Schl?ter) – in the style of the then fashionable Baroque. The Palace dome is 60 meters high for centuries set the tone in the sky over Berlin. The Palace was badly damaged during the Second world war, and in 1950, the GDR leadership ordered the demolition of the ruins, and in their place was erected one of the main architectural symbols of the GDR – the Palace of the Republic. He, too, was demolished after the reunification of Germany, replaced by new construction, the result of which will be reconstructed Prussian Palace.
The reconstructed Palace and his new appointment
“The Humboldt forum” the silhouette and proportions reproduces the outlines of the old Palace, though filled with modern “stuffing”. Part of the former shape was gilded cross on the dome, which was once a chapel. And this cross became the “Apple of discord”.
Opponents installed on the dome of the new Palace indicate that the new building has nothing to do with religion and designed to foster dialogue between different world cultures. The head of culture of city Council of Berlin, Klaus Lederer (Klaus Lederer), in particular, believes that cross “the wrong signal”: “Its monopoly status is contrary to virtually everything, what created the “Humboldt Forum” – to show how the ambiguous, diverse, complicated, extensive and deep are our roots”.
On the cross is the inscription, recommending her to read to worship Jesus. All this “not so scary”, says Johann Hinrich Claussen (Claussen Johann Hinrich), representative for cultural Affairs of the Evangelical Church: “first, no one is going to expose Berlin to the missionary, and secondly, this appeal is unlikely someone will be able to read from below”. In the historical context of this statement even subversive, said Claussen media companies MDR, because the Apostle Peter in the Bible are taken from this inscription, did not want to worship those in power, and only Christ. That is, in essence, the text symbolizes an act of defiance to the establishment.
Jürgen Zimmerer (J?jürgen Zimmerer), Professor of world history at the University of Hamburg, belongs to the camp of the opponents of the cross on the dome. The Baroque reconstruction of the Palace in its present form means, he said that as if there were no such events in the history of Germany as the two world wars and the Holocaust. At the forefront of Prussia as a historical epoch. “In this context, the cross also means the power of the Hohenzollerns by the grace of God, i.e., the undemocratic doctrine of the Royal reign”, concludes jürgen Zimmerer, saying that the cross is not a suitable forum intended for meetings and discussions with thinkers and creative people from around the world.
Should we be afraid of the cross on the dome?
In response to criticism of the “Humboldt Forum” held a debate with the participation of members of the public. The outcome: most people think the dome (along with the cross!) a historical monument. Christoph Marksis (Christoph Markschies), the President of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences, in particular, said, “As a historically minded person I am glad that the task of reconstruction of facades from the perspective of art history and conservation of the monuments were taken seriously”.
Mazyek Aiman (Aiman Mazyek), the head of the Central Council of Muslims in Germany also sees no problem: “the Cross on the dome is a cultural and historical heritage, and I don’t feel on this occasion no anxiety.”
After a few years the controversy over the cross on the dome of another German protracted be forgotten. Berlin will get a new attraction, and tourists – new motif for photos. Member of the Board of the Fund “Forum of Humboldt” and former President of the Bundestag Wolfgang Thierse (Wolfgang Thierse) put it this way: “I think no-one would seriously interpret the cross as a symbol of someone’s triumph… don’t be afraid of the cross on the dome. It is an expression of our pluralism and the manifestation of our liberal approach to pluralism.”