Teenagers behind latest act of vandalism on Berlin’s Museum Island

Posted by Storm Simpson on 26 October 2020

A group of teenagers sprayed graffiti on a work of art outside Berlin’s Altes Museum. This is the second act of vandalism for the city this month.

The previous incident saw 60 artworks from the German capital’s museum complex, Museum Island, smeared with an oily liquid. Police said the incidents are unrelated. 

Two suspects were temporarily detained by the police on Friday night [October 23] after a huge granite bowl on display in front of the Altes Museum was defaced by some teenagers and adults, according to Associated Press (AP).

The Altes Museum forms part of Museum Island and holds many antiquities. Located in the heart of Berlin it is one of the city’s pre-eminent tourist attractions and a UNESCO world heritage site.

The graffiti sprayed on the granite bowl was not political according to Berlin police.

Museum experts are puzzled by the motive behind the vandalism, saying that there appeared to be no thematic link between the targeted artworks.

They are optimistic that the ‘apparently random damage’ can be undone, according to AP.

The Altes Museum was “the first house on site” on the Museum Island. Built between 1825 and 1830 by Karl Friedrich…

Posted by Altes Museum on Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Investigators said that they watched hours of surveillance footage after dozens of exhibits were vandalised at the Museum Island complex on October 3 but found no obvious evidence of anyone applying the mysterious oily liquid.

News of the October 3 incident was kept from the public for more than two weeks, according to The Guardian. The museums that were vandalised are the Pergamon Museum, the Alte Nationalgalerie and the Neues Museum.

The New York Times reports that German journalists from the Die Zeit and Deutschlandfunk broke the news on Tuesday, October 20, when they reported seeing ‘visible marks’ on 19th-century paintings, stone sculptures and Egyptian sarcophagi.

The Guardian reports that the German media has linked the acts of vandalism to conspiracy theories propagated on social media by influential ‘coronavirus deniers’ in recent months.

‘One such theory claims that the Pergamon Museum is the centre of the “global satanism scene” because it holds a reconstruction of the ancient Greek Pergamon Altar,’ says the report. 

‘Attila Hildmann, a former vegan celebrity chef who has become one of Germany’s best-known proponents of the baseless QAnon conspiracy theory, posted messages on Telegram in August and September in which he suggested that the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, was using the altar for “human sacrifices”.’

German museum authorities maintain that they and the police have no clear leads in this matter and refused to comment on the reports that link the attacks to conspiracy theories and Hildmann, according to the New York Times.

The Pergamon Altar was considered the eighth wonder of the world by the ancient Romans. And even today it still…

Posted by Pergamonmuseum on Thursday, February 21, 2019

Picture: Facebook/Altes Museum

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