This was the heart project of Aachen silversmith Hubertus Förster: The equipment of St. Hedwig's cathedral in East Berlin. It was rebuilt jointly by German and Western artists in 1963. Now, the redevelopment plans of the Berlin-Brandenburg Archbishop's Palace bring about horror.
Fear of the heights of the archdiocese because of reconstruction?
In 2013, the Berlin-Brandenburg Archbishopric began to implement controversial renovation plans for the church: the bone of contention was and remains closing a large opening in the central building. Until now, it allowed to see the lower church with the tombs of bishops and was a central element of the design of the architect Hans Schwippert.
Rainer Maria Woelki, then archbishop of Berlin, called for lithurgical reasons to close this opening. The goldsmith from Aachen, Hubertus Förster, is convinced that the bishop would have been afraid of heights at the "hole" and that this is the only reason for forcing the plans of reconstruction.
Aachener Hilfe for East Berlin
St. Hedwig Cathedral in Berlin, east of the city, was destroyed during the Second World War. The Düsseldorf-Aachen architect, Hans Schwippert, designed this unique new building in 1963 with a low church and a grand opening in the middle of the cathedral. Aachen silversmiths Hubertus Förster, Fritz Schwerdt and Aachen glass artist Anton Wendling took care of the interior design.
For Förster, the only artist living today, 90 years old, the conversion project of the cathedral is a scandal. Thus, the total art work of all participants will be permanently destroyed. Alongside the descendants of the other artists, Förster complains about the protection of the copyright in the Berlin Court of Justice. A judgment is expected in October 2019.
Renovation should begin soon
The Berlin Administrative Court had previously rejected the trial. Förster hopes that the basic redevelopment plans of the diocese of Berlin can still be stopped. His designed tabernacle and the cross were mined in the church a year ago. Where are now the two valuable works, the artist does not know it. St. Hedwig Cathedral has been closed for a year and reconstruction work will begin soon. The opening in the central building was already closed by an improvised wooden floor.