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Side by Side

Poland – Germany. A 1000 Years of Art and History

23 September 2011 to 9 January 2012

Berliner Festspiele. The project is being realised by the Royal Castle in Warsaw, and Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin, and funded by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and Media, and the Minister of Culture and National Heritage of the Republic of Poland.

Bronisław Komorowski, President of the Republic of Poland
Christian Wulff, President of the Federal Republic of Germany

Exhibition curator Anda Rottenberg

Main sponsor METRO GROUP

The Outreach programme is made possible by Deutsche Bank Stiftung

Partner Friede Springer Stiftung, Polish Embassy, Polish Institute Berlin, Stiftung für deutsch-polnische Zusammenarbeit, Adam Mickiewicz Institut, Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz, City of Warsaw, Wall, Visit Berlin, Dussmann. Das KulturKaufhaus, Polkomtel

Media partners rbb fernsehen, rbb radioeins, rbb kulturradio, rbb Inforadio, Der Tagesspiegel, Zitty Berlin, Dialog, Geschichte, Business & Diplomacy, Exberliner

Mobility partner DB-Bahn AG

The Royal Castle in Warsaw and Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin are jointly developing the exhibition entitled “Side by Side. Poland – Germany. A 1000 Years of Art and History” which will be on view in Berlin from September 23, 2011 to January 9, 2012.
The exhibition is being shown as  part of the International Cultural Programme of the Polish EU Presidency 2011.

The project outline has been supervised by an scientific board headed by Professor Władysław Bartoszewski. The exhibition curator is the Polish art historian Anda Rottenberg, known for a number of internationally acclaimed exhibitions and long-serving director of Zachęta National Gallery of Art in Warsaw.

Poland and Germany look back on over 1000 years of shared history. The complex nature of the history of the two neighbours has above all been shaped by major political developments and events, which have removed from the horizon areas of cultural common ground in such fields as culture, religion, language and economy.

Both German and Polish cultural memory is often shaped by emotion and prejudice. Nonetheless, there seems to be a consensus on both sides of the River Oder that a new process of understanding, which begun over 20 years ago, has been forming a basis of a lasting friendship. Polish presidency of the European Union is a unique opportunity to strengthen this vital dialogue through an exhibition in the German capital. This will be the very first time that the 1000 years of Polish-German history in all its manifestations is depicted in a major exhibition.

Approximately 700 historical and contemporary exhibits – with some 250 paintings, 30 sculptures, 60 incunabula, 80 manuscripts and 60 prints – will be shown in 19 rooms of the gallery’s ground floor with a total area of 3,200 square metres. Apart from traditional works of art the exhibition includes over 60 documents, 100 craft objects, 150 photographs, film material and books as well as examples of music including compositions by Arnold Schönberg, J.F. Telemann, J.S. Bach and the others. The exhibits from numerous Polish, German and international museums and collections are witness of the culture in Poland and Germany. The list of lenders includes the National Museum in Warsaw, the Łódź Museum of Art, the Victoria & Albert Museum in London and the Vatican Library.

Among the special highlights is the presentation of Jan Matejko’s monumental work the ‘Prussian Homage’ on loan from the National Museum in Kraków. Contemporary artists have also ventured a look into the future with works that were especially commissioned by the Martin-Gropius-Bau.

A comprehensive education programme addressed to school children and students is designed to advance cultural exchange between Poland and Germany. The programme that provides information is aimed to contribute to the further integration of Europe and mutual understanding.