Merkel opens new Bauhaus museum

Dessau: Germany opened a new Bauhaus museum on Sunday, with a large police presence underscoring how the cutting edge art and design school remains a target of the nation’s right-wing more than 80 years after it was shut down by Hitler. Presiding over the opening of the 28.5-million-euro ($32 million) museum in the eastern German town of Dessau, Chancellor Angela Markel said “we still sense a fascination with the (Bauhaus) project” a hundred years after it was founded in the nearby town of Weimar.

The museum’s opening was “a highlight of the Bauhaus celebrations,” said Merkel, adding that many of its products from chairs, lamps through to kitchen utensils and textiles are now “classics of modern design.” Hundreds of events have been taking place around the world to celebrate the anniversary. This includes the opening in April of a new Bauhaus museum in Weimar. Bauhaus moved from Weimar to Dessau in 1925 before it shifted to Berlin in 1932. One year later and shortly after he seized power, Hitler shut the school down with the Nazis labelling the movement “degenerate art.”

The closure of the Bauhaus in Germany after just 14 years resulted in many of its leading figures, including its founder, the architect Walter Gropius joining those fleeing the nation in the face of the rise of the Hitler. The result was to spread and draw on the Bauhaus building ideas in new cities around the world, including in the United States, Russia and Israel. The ambassadors of many of those nations were also present at Sunday’s opening. Home to one of the largest ensembles of Bauhaus architecture, Dessau’s Bauhaus heritage has in the past been the target of right-wing with more than 120 radical right-wingers marching on one of the town’s iconic Bauhaus buildings about two years ago. — DPA