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Deutsches Technikmuseum - May

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The Websites of the donation Stiftung Deutsches Technikmuseum Berlin at a glance:


The donation contains six locations:

Exhibit of the Month May 2015

Photo: The two approximately 40-cm-long tools are completely covered with rust.

Tools virtually from the "belly of history": Wrench and scriber from the interior of the Quadriga copy © SDTB / Photo: C. Kirchner

Tools inside the Quadriga, ca. 1956

Many people don’t know that the copper "Quadriga" (four horse chariot) on top of the Brandenburg Gate, Berlin’s most famous landmark, is actually a copy made in 1958.

The original version, which was designed by Gottfried Schadow and wrought by Emanuel Jury in 1794, was almost completely destroyed in WW II during the battle for the government district, which took place in April 1945, approximately 70 years ago.

The carcass of that classical monumental sculpture were simply discarded; the one horse head that survived can be found on display at the Märkisches Museum in Berlin.

In 1956 the East Berlin city council resolved to reconstruct the gate and the Quadriga. During the Quadriga’s subsequent reproduction process, this spanner wrench and this scriber were inadvertently left in one of the four horses’ heads.

Photo: The large bodies of three horses fill the high workshop shed almost completely. Two restorers weld cracks in the hindlimb of one horse.

Unusual objects in the museum's workshop in 1991: The horses of the copper "Quadriga"

But how did these tools end up here in our museum?

In 1990/1991 the Quadriga copy underwent restoration work in the workshops of the Deutsches Technikmuseum - in the rapture of boundless freedom on the 1989 New Year`s Eve night when the wall fell, the celebrating crowds had caused massive damage to it. The tools came to light during the restoration work.

Built as part of Karl Gotthard Langhans’ customs wall in 1789-1791, the Brandenburg Gate and, to a even greater extent, its ornamental figures in the form of the Quadriga were potent symbols right from the start: They were a bone of contention between Prussia and France, tragic witnesses to WW II and the resulting partition of Berlin and, most recently, the emblem of German reunification.