Monday, September 3, 2018


ANTINOUS has returned to the restored Imperial Palace of the German Kaisers ... as a replica facade statue.

He is back as a colossal ... 10-foot-tall ... replica of the famous Belvedere Antinous/Apollo statue in the Vatican. He is a copy of a colossal Antinous Belvedere which was sculpted in 1699 for the Hohenzollern Palace in Berlin for the kings of Prussia ... and later Kaisers of Germany.

The copy of the sculpture of Antinous from the ruined Berlin Palace is enormous ... almost three metres tall and weighing 1,443 kilos (1.5 tons). 

The body is made of Silesian sandstone. Given the eventful history of the original Antinous sculpture from the Berlin Palace and, more importantly to worshipers of Antinous, its sacred significance, his reconstruction poses an exciting task for the team building the new palace.

In 1543, a Roman copy of a Greek sculpture of Hermes was found near the Castel Sant’Angelo in Rome. It was then purchased by Pope Paul III for the Vatican’s sculpture garden. 

In 1624, the French sculptor Francois Duquesnoy used this as a model to fashion a small bronze that can today be admired in the Bodemuseum in Berlin. 

It was this work that Andreas Schlüter had in mind when he created his Antinous for the Berlin Palace in 1699. Schlüter’s sculpture was lost, however. 

A copy erected in the palace in the late nineteenth century was probably created in the workshop of Reinhold Begas. After suffering damage during World War II, but before the Berlin Palace was blown up in autumn 1950, this sculpture was salvaged and taken to the Bodemuseum along with other surviving sculptures.

In 2013, as part of the reconstruction of the Berlin Palace with three of its external facades and the Schlüterhof, negative impressions were taken, using silicon moulds, of all the original sculptures and fragments which had been preserved. 

The originals were then completely restored in preparation for being exhibited in the Humboldt Forum’s future sculpture hall. In 2017, the sculptor Andreas Hoferick restored Antinous' missing left arm, and the stone sculptor Wojciech Rostocki then used a plaster cast with the arm added to make a sandstone copy. 

After 300 years, a complete Antinous sculpture will once again stand on the third column from the north in front of Gate 6 in the newly constructed Schlüterhof.

The Berlin City Palace (Berliner Stadtschloss) was a royal and imperial palace in the center of Berlin, the historical capital of Prussia and subsequently Germany. 

It was the winter residence of the kings of Prussia and the German emperors … the kaiser in German.

The palace was almost destroyed in Allied bombing raids in World War II.

The ruins were razed by the Communist regime in East Berlin after the war because the palace represented "imperialist capitalism."

 In 2013 work started on reconstruction and a part of the exterior of the palace has been rebuilt. The completion is expected in 2019. The reconstructed palace will house the Humboldt Forum, a world centre for culture. More photos below:

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