Three weeks ago, a vandal made a calculated yet seemingly untargeted attack on over 70 artworks and artefacts in several different museums within Berlin’s Museum Island. An oily, staining liquid was sprayed onto objects displayed in the Pergamon, the Alte National galerie and the the Neues Museum, all of which were out of range of CCTV coverage.
The authorities are only reporting the incident now, after having informed the lenders of the artworks, assessed the extent of the damage and launched a criminal investigation into the crime. Culture Minister Monika Grütters expressed her dismay at the attack ‘against artistic forms of expression, against the cultural heritage of all of us, against civil forms of debate and thus against the principles of our democratic self-image’.
Deutsche Welle speculated on the coincidence of the date of the incident, 3rd October, with German Unity Day, but no evidence of a link has revealed itself. Indeed, the choice of objects themselves seems fairly random. Moment will update on any developments…
In other news, a museum in Krefeld, Germany is potentially set to lose four Mondrian paintings due to a lawsuit filed by the artist’s heirs. Catch the whole story in this 5-minute audio report.