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MKGTurnhalle © KPW Papay Warncke und Partner Architekten

Hamburg Entrepreneur Funds Renovation of the MKG

Dr. Michael Otto and his wife donate 500,000 euro to the Hamburg Museum of Arts & Crafts (MKG). Funds allow add additional exhibition space

By a generous 500,000 euro gift from Dr. Michael Otto and his wife Christel, the Hamburg Museum of Arts and Crafts will be able to reactivate its historic gymnasium and thus complete its renovation and restructuring. Michael Otto, entrepreneur and CEO of the Otto Group: “The historic gym will once again be a central starting point of the building and give the museum a new appeal. My wife and I are thrilled and delighted to support this project. “

Million Project: From Gymnasium to Exhibition Hall

The former light-filled space in the centre of the monumental building, erected in 1876 as a school, can currently only be experienced by historic photographs as the highest room of the house has been divided by a concrete ceiling. Since the 1950s, the central axis thus has been lost along with the generous impression of the two-winged building. With exhibition levels not fitted to meet the demands of visitors with handicaps, and visitor flow significantly impaired, structural changes became urgent. Thus, the false ceiling will now be removed and an attractive open space restored that will contribute to visitors feeling welcome. Next to funds from Otto, the German Federal Government will contribute 300,000 euro from the Special Heritage Programme V . The Foundation Preservation Hamburg will cover the restoration of the historic building structure with 200,000 euro.

Milestone to Mark the End of Renovation

This final step in the reorganisation of MKG has been supported and recommended by Hamburg’s heritage preservation authorities. Emphasising the historical connection between school and museum, the MKG is a unique landmark of German architecture of the arts and crafts movement of the 19th century. As the world’s only museum of its kind, the MKG still resides today in his ancestral house. Started in 2009, renovation works are scheduled to be finished by November 2015.

Economy Funds Culture

The commitment of Hamburg’s economy for the Hamburg Museum of Arts and Crafts has a long tradition. One only has to recall the donation of ten million DM by Harold Hartog (1910-2007). The funds from the Chairman of the Unilever Group allowed to start the development of the museum’s middle tract. Between 2000 and 2006, the basement was linked to the annex and the terrace to the hall of mirrors. Works also included the installation of the directorate and administrative offices along with restrooms and lockers for the public. The reactivation of the historic sports hall will complete the works.

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