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Berlin: Humboldt-Forum distances itself from biblical inscriptions

Berlin - The Humboldt Forum has distanced itself from the Bible verses on the dome of the Berlin City Palace. According to BZ, the federal foundation announced on Monday that it would put a sign on the roof terrace of the museum building. "All institutions of the Humboldt Forum expressly distance themselves from the claim of sole validity and rule of Christianity, which the inscription expresses," should therefore be written on the board.

A spokeswoman for the forum explained that one had to distance oneself from the “claim to power” of Christianity, which was conveyed with the biblical lines “as well as a multitude of symbols on the facade”.

Archbishop: The inscription is the message of freedom
The Archbishop of Berlin, Heiner Koch, interpreted the inscription on the dome differently. For him, the verses emphasized "that people should only bow to God and not pay this honor to any earthly power." This speaks of great freedom.

The inscription is a historical compilation of Bible verses. The words come from the Acts of the Apostles and the Epistles of Paul. The Prussian King Wilhelm IV decided at the time to select the biblical passages: “There is no other salvation … except in the name of Jesus, for the glory of God the Father. That in the name of Jesus all those knees who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth should bow.”

Historians demand a critical relationship to their own history
The Humboldt Forum has been criticized since it opened on July 20. Last week the historian Götz Aly complained about the exhibition concept of the ethnological museum. "This exhibition is really scandalous," said Aly during a discussion about colonialism in the premises of the cultural institution.

With regard to the so-called Luf boat exhibited in the ethnological museum, the 74-year-old complained, according to BZ , that the visitors did not receive any information about the cultural background. "You will learn nothing about the destruction of this culture by two German warships."

Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier also emphasized that the Humboldt Forum must take a critical approach to its own cultural context. At the opening of the ethnological museum on September 22nd, he said: “The truth is: When it comes to the colonial era, we Germans who are so historically aware have too many gaps! We have blind spots in our memories and self-perception."

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