• Germany's news in English
 

Palace loses historic wood to recycling firm

Published: 10 Nov 2012 11:35 GMT+01:00

The 300-year old wood, which had been preserved for centuries under the site of the original Prussian palace, was excavated to make way for a modern concrete foundation for the new Humboldt Forum that is to take its place, wrote Der Tagesspiegel newspaper on Friday.

A €559 million reconstruction of the Stadtschloss palace is slated to be rebuilt in central Berlin, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the heart of the city. Though its exterior will look like the old palace, the interior will be modern and house some of the city’s museums as the Humboldt Forum.

The reconstructed facade of the new Humboldt Forum alone will cost €80 million to build, just €23 million of which has so far been raised from private donations.

The original Baroque palace, a winter residence for Prussian royalty, was damaged during World War II and then demolished by the communist East German government in 1950.

Mired for years in financial problems, the reconstruction project's fund raisers could have sold the recently excavated wood to private individuals, suggested the paper, who would pay high prices for furniture or flooring made from original wood which once formed part of the Hohenzollern residence.

“The wood is in excellent condition,” a spokesman from the Züblin Spezialtiefbau contracted with the excavation job told the paper.

But it does not belong to the palace patrons, or to the site's legal owners, the Humboldt Forum Institute, but to the Züblin building contractors.

“The wood passes automatically into the possession of the firm which is entrusted with the ground and excavation work,” Manfred Rettig, head of the Berlin Palace Foundation told the paper.

Züblin, apparently concerned only with removing the wood from the site, has in turn passed it on to a recycling firm “RWG 1 Baustoffrecycling” in Spandau, north of Berlin. “The wood belongs to us,” a spokesman for the recycling firm told the paper.

He added that several private individuals have already phoned to express interest in the historic material.

Wilhelm von Boddien, head patron and fund raiser for the Humboldt Forum project told the paper he was also interested, but he would have to pay if he wants to use the wood in the reconstruction, raising the authenticity of the controversial and expensive endeavour.

The Local/jlb

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

13:01 November 10, 2012 by keeps71
The incompetence of these people is staggering. Yet no one loses their job and they are free to repeat their idiotic mistakes. There has been a building site there for roughly 23 years and the end result will be yet another 559 million euro waste of space. German city councillors.... ruining the character of Berlin, brick by brick, since 1989. Morons.
15:33 November 10, 2012 by catjones
This is a building searching for a purpose and funding and finding neither. Just another Disney character added to berlin's before-the-war look.
10:27 November 11, 2012 by DoubleDTown
I'm no artsy architect or educated preservationist, but it always strikes me as odd the way Germany "preserves" its "denkmal" buildings. (okay, I know, this Denkmal was already gone) So often it's all about having the facade look like the old facade, even if every stone and board is replaced. I've seen a manor house gutted to the sandstone walls, with the 300 year old flooring literally chain-sawed out of the thing and thrown into dumpsters to be replaced with poured concrete. I've seen half-timber houses been 100% replaced a piece at a time -- heaven forbid they actually knock it down to build the replica.
Today's headlines
Schumacher Jr lives up to his name
Schumacher Jr is too young to drink any of that champagne. Photo: DPA

Schumacher Jr lives up to his name

Mick Schumacher Jr did his famous father proud on his Formula Four debut on Saturday by claiming a trophy as the best rookie and finishing ninth, despite starting 19th. READ  

Deutsche Bank to sell Postbank
Deutsche Bank acquired Postbank in 2008. Photo: DPA

Deutsche Bank to sell Postbank

Germany's biggest lender Deutsche Bank announced late Friday it was seeking to sell its Postbank subsidiary as part of a revamp to improve profitability. READ  

Far left activists attack immigration office
Photo: DPA

Far left activists attack immigration office

Far-left extremists attacked an immigration office in Leipzig early on Friday morning. It was the second targeted attack on an official building in the city in recent months. READ  

Steinmeier: Armenia wasn't genocide
Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier. Photo:DPA

Steinmeier: Armenia wasn't genocide

Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier insisted on Friday that calling Armenian massacres genocide risks belittling the Holocaust, after President Joachim Gauck broke a taboo by using the word on Thursday. READ  

Schumacher Jr launches Formula race career
Mick Schumacher on test day earlier in April. Photo: DPA

Schumacher Jr launches Formula race career

Michael Schumacher's 16-year-old son starts his Formula Four career this weekend, under the pressure of living up to the famous family name of the seven-time Formula One world champion. READ  

Property of the week
In Pictures: The Local's Property of the Week
Photo: Mr Lodge

In Pictures: The Local's Property of the Week

A highly sought-after location, great connection to public transport, and a very stylish interior – Does that sound good to you? Then you’ll love this week’s property! READ  

Germany's most polluted cities
The sun rises behind a coal-burning power station in Lower Saxony. Photo: DPA

Germany's most polluted cities

The Federal Environment Ministry has named the most polluted places around the country, with Stuttgart claiming the undesirable title of Germany's most polluted city. READ  

Göring's daughter fails in bid to win father's assets
Edda Göring photographed in 1942. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Göring's daughter fails in bid to win father's assets

The Bavarian government rejected on Thursday an attempt by Hermann Göring's daughter to win back her father's assets, which the government seized in 1948. READ  

Tugce accused admits to delivering fatal blow
Tugce Albayrak's death shocked Germany. Photo:DPA

Tugce accused admits to delivering fatal blow

When 22-year-old Tugce Albayrak was fatally beaten in a MacDonald's car park in November 2014, Germany was left in a state of shock. On the first day of her attacker's trial he admits to 'boxing her on the ear.' READ  

Prosecutors want info on spies' help to US
Gerhard Schindler, head of the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), Germany's foreign intelligence agency. Photo: DPA

Prosecutors want info on spies' help to US

Federal prosecutors have asked for access on files from the Bundestag (German parliament) inquiry into mass surveillance, after news that German spies helped the US eavesdrop on European leaders and businesses. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Gallery
German beer day: take the tour
Features
Off to Norway at 18 km/hour
Shutterstock
Sponsored Article
10 things you didn’t know about Zagreb (and why you should go)
Gallery
The smileys Germans love to text
Sponsored Article
What expat parents should ask before choosing a school
National
Expats face Monday deadline to register to vote for UK election
Politics
A Greek learning politics in Germany
Features
The battle of the "Gates of Berlin"
National
Germany's favourite baby names of 2014
National
Germany's 'very poor' lobbying record
National
VIDEO: Mario Draghi suffers anti-ECB confetti attack
Politics
Merkel's 15 years at the top of German politics
Features
Spice up asparagus season with The Local's serving suggestions
Travel
Lowest of the low: how woman exploited Germanwings crash
Sport
Football and the €30,000 firework
Technology
Why scientists oppose killer robots
National
Germanwings co-pilot 'searched suicide info'
Technology
Electrifying 'Ostalgia'
National
Which city is Germany's worst for drivers?
National
'Cannibal cop' gets 8 years
Can the 'nightmare' of a pilot downing a plane be prevented?
National
LIVE: Co-pilot suspected of crashing plane
Pupils mourn lost classmates
National
Freed after 25 years on death row
National
Cologne Cathedral returns from space
Features
Paddy's Day, Berlin style
Is your workload 'out of control'? You're not alone...
National
Why east Germans are happy to get it on on camera
National
What would you do with a 250-year-old pretzel?
Features
Just why is the German flag Schwarz, Rot, Gold?
Business & Money
Getting German workers and bosses thinking positive
National
Uplifting thoughts to get you through the last week of winter
National
Who wants the Olympics more - Hamburg or Berlin?
National
Last-minute drama of Germany's Eurovision 2015 entry
National
German photographer takes world's top prize
Features
Meet the woman getting Germans to drink more – and better – beer
Gallery
Get inspired for International Women's Day with German heroes
Green party proposes first-ever cannabis legalization plan
Gallery
In pictures: Germany's seven most livable cities
National
Singapore canes Germans for train graffiti
Politics
Surprise! Germans love feeling like they run the EU
Politics
Anger over plan to show women what men earn
Travel
Munich tram fans bicker over new bell
Features
Kafka: puzzling translators 100 years on
Business & Money
France or Germany: Which country really is the best country to work in?
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

7,252
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd