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Museumsinsel will acquire a Centre for Cultural Education and Learning in 2017
The Reinhold Würth Zentrum für kulturelle Bildung und Vermittlung (Reinhold Würth Centre for Cultural Education and Learning) at Haus Bastian has been made possible by major endowments from private individuals. Photo: Staatliche Museen zu Berlin / Anika Büssemeier.

BERLIN.- In the new Reinhold Würth Zentrum, interdisciplinary, cross-collection art-education offerings will be made available to the general public. The Bastian family have presented the former gallery building to the Stiftung Preussischer Kulturbesitz (SPK) as a generous endowment to be used for cultural purposes. The building, which was built by David Chipperfield, is located directly adjacent to the Museumsinsel on Kupfergraben. A generous donation from businessman and collector Reinhold Würth will not only enable the SPK to acquire the building in the coming year, but also fund the start of operations.

The German Minister of Culture, Monika Grütters, expressed appreciation for Reinhold Würth's patronage, as well as the generous and charitable involvement of the Bastian family in finding a future-oriented use for this gallery building. In a statement, she said: 'In close proximity to the Neues Museum (which was also designed by David Chipperfield) and the Museumsinsel entrance building, the most prominent task of the museums is taking concrete shape – cultural education and learning will now get their own building. This has been made possible through the generous involvement of two patrons: Heiner Bastian and Reinhold Würth.'

SPK President Hermann Parzinger added: 'On the Museumsinsel, we have to contend with a serious lack of space for work relating to modern art education and learning. Strict landmark protection requirements have made it impossible to create enough space through renovations for the diverse and constantly growing needs of cultural education and, in turn, to do justice to an ever-more clearly defined set of political demands for precisely this aspect of our museum work. With the new Reinhold Würth Zentrum für kulturelle Bildung und Vermittlung at Haus Bastian, we are finally in a position to be able to react to this growing demand and expand the art-education offerings on the Museumsinsel. The Stiftung Preussischer Kulturbesitz and the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin are grateful to both donors for their civic involvement, which will also have a great impact on future generations of museum visitors.'

Michael Eissenhauer, Director-General of the Staatliche Museen, declared: 'We're happy that the Reinhold Würth Zentrum at Haus Bastian lends a visibility to the educational mission and standards of the Staatliche Museen, which reach far beyond the Museumsinsel. For us, the building should become an interface for our diverse collections, the Museumsinsel, the future Humboldt Forum, and the international guests and citizens of this city.'

In a public statement, Reinhold Würth announced: 'As a cultural location operating in the "background", the institution will enrich the exchange of information, opinions, and ideas in the great artistic sphere of the Berlin museums, for laymen and experts alike.'

Speaking on behalf of his family, Heiner Bastian explained: 'Our family is happy that the building that we planned and realized with David Chipperfield will also be devoted to culture in the future. A commercial sale was entirely out of the question for us. We have always been aware that there is a special responsibility that comes with architecture in such proximity to the Museumsinsel. By giving it to the foundation, we are fulfilling this responsibility, especially since the building is so appreciated by the foundation. We would also like to thank Mr Würth for his commitment.'

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