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Staff Report

BERLIN, 3 September 2005—After a 56 million Euro restoration, Berlin's Academy of the Arts  has re-opened for business at its historic location at Pariser Platz 4 between Frank Gerhry's DZ Bank and the Adlon Hotel. Founded in 1696, the Academy of the Arts offers a look back at a turbulent history that includes Nazi domination, destruction during World War II, and the takeover by GDR Border Patrol after the division of Berlin. Designed by architects Behnisch & Partner and Werner Durth, the new glass and steel building reflects the dimensions of its original structure. Remnants of the former Academy have also been incorporated in the design, mirroring the building's history and destruction. Today, the Academy of the Arts serves as a public building where creative trends are explored and artistic expression is supported. A central place for the arts, the Academy organizes exhibitions, lectures, concerts, movie screenings, and theater and dance performances. Current members of the 370-member Academy of Arts include German Nobel literature laureate Günter Grass, Spanish writer Jorge Semprun, US architect Daniel Libeskind and Britain's Harold Pinter, composer Sir Harrison Birtwistle,  painter Bridget Riley and Lord Norman Foster.

Meanwhile, since first opening in May 2005, the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe has become the German capital's most visited site with up to 10, 000 visitors per day strolling through the narrow rows and convrete blocks of the Holocaust Memorial. Located in the direct vicinity of Brandenburg Gate, and the Reichstag, the Memorial, designed by New York architect Peter Eisenman, consists of 2,751 concrete blocks or stelae on 19,000 square metres (a five-acre field) and an underground informaiton center that hosts 2,000 visitors daily. In the western part of the field of stelae, 41 trees (mainly pine, linden, and Kentucky coffee trees) are planted in informal groups to form a transition to the Tiergarten park. The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe  is accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 

Stiftung Denkmal für die ermordeten Juden Europas

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