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For the first time, the Bode Museum itself is the focus of an exhibition. The history and present of the tradition-rich museum are closely interwoven with Berlin: The major events of contemporary history - the two world wars, National Socialism, German division - have not passed the museum by without leaving a trace and continue to shape the house and its collections to this day.

Veranstaltungen in Berlin: Klartext. Zur Geschichte des Bode-Museums
© Staatliche Museen zu Berlin / Zentralarchiv

The goal of the special exhibition is to better understand the Bode Museum and its historical role in society and the city. Critical reflection on its own past offers new perspectives for the future. Objects, some of which have never been exhibited before, provide exemplary insights into previously unexamined topics and make museum history comprehensible.

The tour is divided into four central focal points: The collections, the building, research and the public. Paul Hofmann, head of the restoration workshop, and Carolin Marie Kreutzfeldt, scientific museum assistant in advanced training at the Sculpture Collection and Museum of Byzantine Art, will guide visitors through the exhibition.

How does a collection become a museum? The façade of the Bode-Museum is one of Berlin’s iconic images. But while the exterior of the museum is thoroughly familiar to residents and visitors of Berlin alike, many are unaware of what’s inside, and of the history behind it.

The museum is home to sculptures, Byzantine art, painting, and coins spanning some 2,000 years of human history, however the factors that make a collection a unique and its history often remain concealed.

As part of this special exhibition, which is spread across the entire building, the Bode-Museum takes a critical look in the mirror, asking how it became what it is today. This undertaking incorporates not just the fascinating history of the collection and the building – which are closely connected with the history of Berlin itself – but also the museum’s employees and visitors.

A special exhibition of the Skulpturensammlung und Museum für Byzantinische Kunst, Münzkabinett and Zentralarchiv of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin

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