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The Humboldt: A palace for Berlin and the world?


Upload July 2, 2021

A very German story has ended with the completion of the Humboldt Forum in a replica of Berlin’s former Royal Palace.

The site – where the Kaiser once resided and the Palace of the Republic of Communist East Germany once stood – sparked controversy from the start.

The Humboldt Forum in the capital’s newly rebuilt Berlin Palace is one of the most sensational and debated projects in recent years in Germany. Some critics ask why the Palace of the Republic was torn down to build a structure outwardly reminiscent of the Kaiser’s aspirations to global power and quest to secure Germany’s “place in the sun.” Others wonder if exhibitions of items that originated in a colonial context should be held here. Can the true intercultural dialogue the Forum wishes to initiate take place in these surroundings? And, behind its Prussian baroque façade, does the modern structure actually work?

Like Hamburg’s Elbe Philharmonic Hall, the Berlin Palace creates ripples far beyond the bounds of its home city. This documentary follows the Humboldt Forum project from concept through construction, as well as the debates surrounding it. The film also gives viewers a taste of what awaits visitors behind the building’s baroque façade.

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