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As Germany attempts to minimize electricity use in response to Europe’s energy crisis, a site-specific commission by Dan Flavin at the modern art museum Hamburger Bahnhof in Berlin has been turned off for the first time after running for 26 years.
Sam Bardaouil and Till Fellrath, the curatorial team newly named as joint directors of Hamburger Bahnhof, turned on US light artist’s Untitled on October 18. (1996). The project had been illuminating the building’s windows and stone façade in neon green and yellow lights since the museum opened in 1996, making a striking declaration of what visitors may anticipate within the 19th-century former railway station.
“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 a formal statement from the co-directors of the museum published online.
The action follows Bettina Jarasch’s declaration in July that the architectural lights for the city’s monuments, including the Brandenburg Gate and Victory Column, would be turned off to preserve energy.
The Hamburger Bahnhof is in compliance with federal energy-saving rules put in place by the German government this month and has no intentions to shut off any additional electrically powered operations.