22 June 2015

Two open days

"Tage der offenen Tur" seems to happen at various times at various venues, unlike the annual Open House in London. For the organisation, it's a PR exercise (and potential fundraiser) - for the public, a day out to somewhere that's normally closed to them.

Such as the construction site that's going to be the reconstructed Schloss, to open in 2019 -
Impressive entrance - to come
Vast inner courtyards
That 18th-century look
Making and moving sculptures
Original photos and plans
The Schloss dome will echo the dome of the Dom nearby
Even some costumed Prussians wandering around
At the end of WW2 the Schloss was burned out but structurally sound, and could have been restored, but it was in the East Zone and was designated a symbol of Prussian militarism. In 1950 it was dynamited, to be replaced by a Staatsrat (built 1964) and the Palast der Republik (1973-6), which was closed to the public due to asbestos in 1990; purification was completed in 2003, and then it was torn down (2006-8).

Much debate has accompanied all this - and a wonderful publicity stunt. Says wikipedia, " In 1993, [the Friends of the Palace] pulled off a further remarkable achievement, erecting a canvas mockup of a portion of the Stadtschloss facades in 1: 1 scale on the world's largest scaffolding assembly. Privately funded by donations and sponsorship it stood for a year and half, and is considered to be what turned public and official opinion in favour of reconstruction." Peter Schneider, in Berlin Now, says "the artful tromp l'oeil also contributed to the overall idealization. Thanks to its canvas alter ego, which reacted to every gust of wind, the bombastic Schloss gained a lightness the original never had."

When the Schloss is finished, the Dahlem museums will move in, as will the history of science department of Humboldt University, which is nearby.

Part two of the day (Sunday 18 June) came about by chance - on our way to a museum in the Kulturforum we noticed that the Philharmonie also had an open house. And very participatory it was, with the audience participating in singing, waltzing, breakdancing, and of course, activities for kids, the audience of the future.
Musicians and other "official bods" wore red shirts
Simon Halsey supervised the choral singing, including a bit of Carmina Burana
The impromptu Gartenschlauchorchester joined the horn players for a short concert
Another short concert by the Berlin Phil's 12 cellos - tango music
Waiting for the full orchestra - a packed hall for the last concert of the day
Seeing/hearing the Berlin Philharmonic (everyone including Sir Simon in red shirts), has got to be one of the highlights of our time here. 

The open day, it was announced, had 12,000 visitors, and the tombola [missed that] raised 8,000 euros towards a trip to Taiwan.

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