Over 60 exhibits – including Egyptian sarcophagi and 19th-Century paintings – have been damaged with oily liquid splatters in Berlin’s Museum Island complex.
Museum bosses said the 63 exhibits, situated in Berlin’s Museum Island in the historic heart of Berlin, were probably damaged by vandals between 10am and 6pm on 3rd October.
Prof. Dr. Christina Haak, deputy director of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin (The Berlin State Museums), said the suspects did not show any pattern to the items they targeted with an oily liquid.
For example, frames were damaged in the Neue Nationalgalerie modern art gallery but not the paintings themselves.
During a press conference, Haak called it “the most extensive damage that state museums have suffered so far”.
The full extent of the damage is still being evaluated.
It has also proved difficult for investigators to determine the alleged offences being carried out on CCTV footage.
Based on their investigations so far, the police suspect that the vandalism took place during opening hours on 3rd October.
Monika Grutters, 58, government commissioner for culture and media, was informed of the incident on 4th October.
Grutters called it an attack on “artistic forms of expression, against our cultural heritage, against civil forms of disagreement, and therefore against our democratic values”.
She added: “It needs to be clarified how this amount of damage could have been carried out unnoticed, and how such attacks can be prevented in the future.”
The investigation is ongoing.
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