Cathedral-museum equips great parts of the exhibition „treasures of faith“ in the Berlin Bode-museum
Berlin/Hildesheim (bph) – Summit conference in Berlin: Signifying evidences of mediaeval churchart are to be seen right away in the Bode-museum at the river Spree. „Treasures of faith“ the exhibition is called, which was inaugurated yesterday evening by minister of state for arts Bernd Neumann. Important exhibits of the show, which can be seen till 30 September 2012, come from the cathedral-treasure of the diocese Hildesheim and the arts-and-crafts-museum in Berlin. The reason for the exhibition is very functional: Both museums are closed for years to come because of rigorous renovation workings.
Orated on the occasion of the inauguration
About 70 works of outstanding sacral treasureart – reliquari, liturgic devices, books and textiles – are exhibited in the Berlin Bode-museum for the next two years, many of them weren't to be seen together so far. So among others from the Hildesheim cathedral-treasure, which belongs together with the cathedral and the church St. Michaels to the UNESCO world heritage since 1985, the huge bronze baptismal font, the formidable main work of medieval bronzecast, the argent Bernwardroods and the huge golden madonna from the early 11th century found a momentary home on the Berlin museum-island. Because of the cathedral-restoration the church St. Antony's is rebuilt into a new cathedral-museum until the year 2014, the director of the museum, Prof. Dr. Michael Brandt, has lent parts of the museum's inventory to other museums, to show at least a part of the diocese's treasures. „World heritage in world heritage“ might be a subhead therefore of the exhibition, says minister of state for arts Neumann, for the Berlin museum-island is part of the world heritage itself.
Many works of art of the famous Welfen-treasure from the stock of the arts-andcrafts- museum are to be seen in the exhibition, the former churchtreasure of the monastery St. Blasius in Braunschweig. There hardly is another churchtreasure which shows the development of the gold work in the Middle Ages in a comparable comprehensive manner. Among others the Welfen-rood is shown which is originated from south-Italy, the sustain-altar of Eilbertus Coloniensis and the cupolareliquary from Cologne.
For Prof. Dr. Michael Eissenhauer, general manager national museums of Berlin, the exhibition is not less than a „worldsensation, a unique and delightsome opportunity“. To convey the beauty and at the same time their sacral determination to the visitors is the prioritiy objective, says Eissenhauer in front of 500 guests, which came to the exhibition's opening onto the museum-island. According to the term churchtreasure „thesaurus ecclesiae“ it also has a double meaning: a material costliness and a spiritual sainthood. „We want to convey the aura of the works and their original intention, for all works saved the aura of being exceptional.
It was eminently important to the organizers, to present the art treasures not any desired. That this is succeeded, shows the contrast of the cupolareliquary from the Welfen-treasure with the headreliquary of saint Oswald from the Hildesheim cathedral-treasure. Both works originated from the outgoing 12th century: Whereas the exhibit from the Welfen-treasure reminds of a crossed dome, the other work of art from the cathedral-treasure makes clear based on the characteristic appearance, that it contains a headreliquary. Though originated at the same time, namely in the outgoing 12th century, both masterpieces show the fascinating range of variation of mediaeval churchart.
The displayed items are not only worth for a museum, the Hildesheim vicar general Dr. Werner Schreer emphasised in his greeting and refered to the duplicate function of the museum: the connection of exhibition and exploration together with the active use of many exhibits in the church service. „The treasures of faith are not relics of bygone times, which fascinate us by aesthetic reasons. They are historical evidences of our common tradition, which roots in the jewish-christian and the antiquephilosophic culture.“
„Treasures of faith. Masterpieces from the Hildesheim cathedral-museum and the arts-and-crafts-museum in Berlin in the Bode-museum“, 30 September 2010 till 30 September 2012, adress: Bode-Museum, am Kupfergraben 1, 10178 Berlin, opening hours: every day 10 am till 6 pm, Thursdays till 10 pm, admission charge: 8 euros, reduced 4 euros, children and teenager till 18 years for free, internet: www.smb.museum.de
For the exhibition a 160-pages, continuously coloured catalogue was published by the publishing house Schnell + Steiner: Schätze des Glaubens (Treasures of faith), ISBN: 978-3-7954-2434-3, 19,90 euros.