The Easel

4th October 2022

Berlin’s controversial Humboldt Forum is finally complete—but ‘the work inside begins now’, German Culture Minister says

Can you spend €800m on a new museum and have misgivings? Well, consider the lavish Humbolt Forum, just opened in Berlin. Built to resemble a Prussian palace, its design, says one critic, is “like an imposing Disneyland castle minus the fun”. Inside, it’s an “ethnographic museum for the 21st century”, showing items assembled during Germany’s imperialist era. Some are viewed as looted art. One official says it is “not a conventional museum but a place of negotiation”. Indeed!