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Sammlung Boros Collection of Contemporary Art

Sammlung Boros is a private collection of contemporary art housed inside a WWII bunker that requires booking weeks in advance

February 10th, 2015
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A bunker built in 1943 to protect 1,200 passengers from aerial bombardment in Berlin’s Mitte district, has played several roles since then. It was not destroyed after the war due to its location in a residential area. Being situated in the Soviet part of the city, it was briefly used by the Red Army as a prison. Later, the building became an ideal place to store tropical fruits, gaining the name ’Banana Bunker’.

The Bunker was classified as a listed building and was still waiting for its greater purpose. Following the fall of the Wall, it experienced a reincarnation and was turned into a nightclub in 1992. Known at one point as the ‘most hardcore club in the world’, the techno-fetish club was shut down four years later. Yet, it managed to contribute to the burgeoning techno scene and enrich the city nightlife’s image.

Therefore, when Christian Boros acquired this massive concrete World War II relict in 2003, he not only gained a 3,000-square-meter space for his modern art collection but also a piece of Berlin’s colorful history. Along with his wife and architect Jens Casper, he redesigned the Bunker to house an interesting collection of contemporary art and build a penthouse on the roof, where he planned to move in. The process took five years and saw the removal of 450 cubic metres of concrete walls. Finally, Boros opened the Bunker’s heavy steel doors to the public in 2008.

The first showing of the collection ran for four years and attracted 120,000 visitors over 7,500 tours. The second exhibition opened in 2012. “Sammlung Boros #2,” features 130 works, sculpture, installation, painting, drawing, video and photography by 23 artists, including Ai Weiwei, Thea Djordjadze, Klara Liden, Wolfgang Tillmans and Cerith Wyn Evans.

The group tours offered from Thursday through Sunday must be booked ahead of time. Due to safety regulations, the Bunker can only be visited in groups of up to 12 people which means that online booking has to be done weeks beforehand as the exhibition is still very popular. Sammlung Boros is certainly a great chance to experience an interesting selection of art away from the major museums and exhibition centres.

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