Tuesday 19 August 2014

buried treasure or spandau ballet

The Local (Germany's English daily) reports that the chief of the German Socialist Unity Party (die Sozialistische Einheitspartei Deutschlands, the SED dissolved after the reunification of the country and recast as the Party of Democratic Socialism with a cadet coalition of liberal political parties) is demanding that the granite colossal—the head at least, of Vladimir Lenin join an ensemble of other displaced statues in the Spandau Citadel.
The party chief insists that this chapter in German history ought to be acknowledged as any other, and is requesting that the head be retrieved from the spot in Kรถpenick Forest on Berlin’s outskirts, where it was interred after being dismantled with the dissolution of the Soviet Union. The majestic marbles that would keep the giant head company are the likenesses of prestigious Germans that Kaiser Wilhelm II commissioned and displayed along the Siegesallee (Victory Avenue) at the axis of the city’s Tiergarten district. The statues and Siegessรคule (the iconic Winged Victory) were relocated during WWII because they were in the way of architect Albert Speer’s designs for Welthauptstadt Germania to another park of the park—where the column remains today. Allied powers feared that the statues could incite imperialist sympathies and wanted to toss them on one of the numerous rubble heaps of Berlin. A museum curator convinced the authorities however to bury the statues on the grounds of Schloss Bellevue—the residence of today’s Bundesprรคsident. The horde was rediscovered in 1979 and eventually made their way to Spandau Citadel, which will become a showcase and proper home for these statues and others, telling the city’s history through monuments and memorials due to open to the public early next year.