Here’s How your Donation for the reconstruction of the Berlin Palace is utilized

Report of our Work from 1992 to 2010, and the Transfer of our Preparatory Accomplishments and the Donations to the Building Contractors


Since its founding in 1992, the Union for the Reconstruction of the Berlin Palace (Foerderverein Berliner Schloss e.V.) has committed itself to the rebuilding of the Berlin Palace, together with its historic facades. Through our steadfast work which began in 1993/94 with the creation of the Palace simulation and was followed by continuous public relations and lobbying efforts, we have succeeded in achieving a political majority for the project. Following the decisions of the German Bundestag and the federal government, the Palace will now be built with the start of construction anticipated in the spring of 2011 and completion in about 2016/17.

This success was only possible for us because numerous donors equipped us with the necessary financial means without which our work and the related initial steps toward reconstruction would not have been able to be done. So right here we would like to thank all those who have remained loyal to us even during difficult times and have believed with us in the success of our endeavors.

This magnificent support was given to us because we have made the quality of our work our highest  verifiable standard. In so doing, the desire of our donors and members for a reconstruction of the Palace facades as true to the original as possible has been the key guiding principle of our efforts.

The main goal of the Foerderverein continues to be the rebuilding of the exterior of the Berlin Palace true to the original. However, we accepted the basic decision of the German Bundestag on July 4, 2002 which contemplates a modern western wall for the Schlueterhof and a new east front for the Palace because without this concession, the rebuilding of the Palace would not have obtained the necessary political majority. To realize this goal we have , since 2004, been gathering tax favored donations throughout Germany and also abroad.

From the beginning, the following maxim has applied to our collection of donations for the historic Palace facades:

The planning of the Palace facades, and the production of models and prototypes, as well as the final carrying out of the various facade elements in sandstone must correspond to the quality of the original to the extent humanly possible. This is required by the historic edifices in the area surrounding the Palace, which would otherwise be demeaned if we were to approve a simple , poor imitation of the historic Palace. No one would give his money for a bad copy.

The high expectations for the outer facades to be as true as possible to the originals requires a meticulous, detailed research effort into the historical archives. The results thereof must be translated into the plans by an architect with the necessary historical knowledge and one who, above all, has a great sensibility for embodying the research in the plans being developed. We have found just such a partner in the Stuhlemmer firm. Their  planning work has enjoyed great recognition in all the expert circles which are involved in the Palace project.

Only a few stone sculptors have the necessary education and the required sensitivity to get the proper feel for the superb artistry of the Schlueter sculpting workshop and its great masters. We have found such blessed artists and put them under contract and thus are able to guarantee the sculptural quality of the facade models we have developed. The planning and reconstruction process and the expertise we have obtained from it have already been translated into action since 2004. Our research work concerning the Berlin Palace goes back much farther.

Andreas Schlueter: Cartouche from Portal I of the Berlin Palace. recreation by the sculptor Eckart Boehm, Potsdam

It covered first and foremost the evaluation, digitalization and computer-aided photogrammetric measurement of more than 3,000 Palace photos as the basis for the reconstruction of the building plans for the Palace which had already been forgotten in the 18th century. Furthermore, almost 4,000 construction documents from all the periods of Palace building were viewed and evaluated. This meticulous multiyear investigative work has afforded the architects and artists we have engaged a significant advantage in knowledge which now will be transferred to the actual realization of the construction project by the contractors. The scale drawings created under contract for us of the three baroque facades and of the Schlueterhof courtyard of the Palace which are exact to the original with less than 1% deviation, formed the basis for the architectural competition entitled “Rebuilding of the Berlin Palace – Construction of the Humboldt Forum” which was decided at the end of 2008. In the meantime, our building plans are also the basis for the blueprints and construction planning of the architectural team surrounding Prof. Franco Stella, the winner of the competition, who now finally has been awarded the task of building the Berlin Palace and the Humboldt Forum.

Finally, the contractor has been named by the federal government and the Bundestag:

The state “Foundation Berlin Palace – Humboldt Forum” will be the prime contractor for the Palace and also our partner in the collection of donations.

The contractor for the Palace and Humboldt Forum has been finally determined. It will be the Foundation “Berlin Palace-Humboldt Forum” which was established in 2009 and is a charitable, public entity. As overall construction supervisor, it will provide for the anticipated explicit integrated guarantee and product responsibility of the state for the entire construction project in the awarding of contracts. It will probably delegate these matters to the chosen architects as overall planer and to the general contractor chosen through the competition.

Therefore these entities must assume the responsibility for the technical and artistic qualities of the facade elements which up to now has been left to the Foerderverein. This is so because the possible delivery of the facade elements by a third party contracted for by us is, on account of the guarantee requirement, a highly risky business. The associated removal of the facade elements from the guarantee of the two above-mentioned institutions , to the detriment of the many small hand work businesses, would allow confusion to arise, which, in case of construction damage would lead to immense complications as one would expect. Mutual accusations of guilt would become the norm. The state cannot permit this as the main financier of the project. It must be exempt from the risks of construction.

We and the Foundation are of one mind on this matter.

The rebuilding of the Berlin Palace is without parallel. Thus, whether the Foundation also later acts as the operator of the Building or delegates this to the chief users is still open. The Foundation incorporates in itself the interests of all the parties. The federal government and the city state of Berlin furnish the Foundation with the funds for the construction. The users will subsequently give the means for the furnishing of the museums and the operation of the building.

The Foundation is likewise the partner of the donation collecting entities and is establishing for this purpose one central bank account into which the results of the collection effort can be paid. The Foerderverein Berliner Schloss will also hand over to the Foundation all monies already collected which have not been expended or earmarked as being required for future work. To this end, an agreement is expected to be concluded in 2010 which will govern the tax free transfer of the results of our efforts. Already in December the sum of 1 million Euros. was transferred. In 2010 the legal transfer of the Palace construction plans and the already completed facade models in the scale of 1 to 1 will be made.

In the summer of 2010, the Foundation will establish a sculpture workshop in Berlin Spandau which will continue the work carried on up to now by the Foerderverein, presumably with the same experts who were already under contract to us. Because of its “Know How” and its responsibility with respect to the desires of its donors, the Foerdervein wishes to be involved in the inspection commission which will decide on the quality of the individual sculptural pieces.

All fundraising possibilities are to be utilized.

The profits from the possible minting of a special Euro/Palace coin would open up additional sources of funds.

A lottery would afford further money and, via the desire to win, acquire additional funds from those of our citizens to whom the Palace is of less significance.

Major donors who would prefer the Foundation as partner, because of its public standing, over that of  a collecting charity, can likewise give their donations directly to the Foundation.

The Foerderverein is prepared to be flexible whatever the demands. The total success of the rebuilding of the Berlin Palace is what matters to us. All of our efforts must be subordinated  to this goal.