Lights out at landmark Berlin art installation due to energy crisis 

1 min read
17 October 2022, Berlin: View of the light installation by US artist Dan Flavin on the exterior façade of the Museum Hamburger Bahnhof. Out of solidarity in the energy crisis, the museum will turn off the light installation. Credit line: Joerg Carstensen / DPA / Profimedia

The looming winter energy crisis in Germany has turned off some very well-known lights outside one of Berlin’s cultural landmarks.

The Hamburger Bahnhof in the capital, a national gallery of contemporary art, said on Tuesday it would switch off the neon lights used for the installation “Untitled” by Dan Flavin, which has adorned the building’s facade since it opened in 1996. 

The blue neon tubes on the pillars and the green illuminated arches of the neoclassical façade are distinctive features of the museum, and make the building visible from far away. 

“It is important that we, as an internationally renowned museum, set an example in the current situation and make our contribution to saving scarce resources,” said the co-director of the Hamburger Bahnhof, Till Fellrath.

According to the museum, Flavin’s installation has not been switched off since the museum’s founding. 

The power cut to the artwork is expected to last through the winter until the end of March. 

A cut in Russian gas supplies due to the consequences of the war in Ukraine has forced Germany to rapidly restructure its energy mix, provoking soaring electricity costs and concern about heating in winter. ©dpa

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