Artwork at Berlin’s Gay Museum damaged following gunfire attack

Six bullet points were found on the front of the Schwules Museum, causing damage to windows, the building's sign and an exhibition piece.

The former entrance of Berlin's Gay Museum.
Image: Instagram: @Schwulesmuseum

Berlin’s Schwules Museum (which translates to ‘Gay Museum’) has suffered damages to the property and artwork as a result of an alleged gunfire attack. The organisation disclosed the news through a statement published on February 28, adding that it has received various non-specific threats through phone calls and online comments in recent times.

Although it is not known exactly when the shots were fired, administrative employees discovered the damage on the morning of Friday, February 24, suggesting that the alleged crime may have occurred the night before. Six bullet points were found on the front of the building: four on the reception area windows, one on the museum’s neon sign and one on a piece of art hung above the former entrance door. The work, a black felt triangle, is part of the current Queering the Crip, Cripping the Queer exhibition.

According to the statement, authorities examined the crime scene and collected evidence, but no projectiles have been found and nothing is known yet about the weapon that was used.



Speaking to Dazed, Historian and Gay Museum board member Ben Miller, said, “I think it’s important to state that we don’t know who did this or why.

“However, I’m not sure it’s possible to think about this incident without considering the right-wing, anti-queer mobilisation that we’re seeing around the world. And I think it’s fair to say that we are certainly the target of that kind of mobilisation in general.”

This is reportedly not the first time that Berlin’s Gay Museum has been targeted. In 2020, a window pane was severely damaged and had to be replaced as a result of an attack using rocks. Additionally, in 2016, a window to the reception area was vandalised in six places with metal balls used in a gunfire attack.

Founded in 1985, the space is considered one of the largest LGBTQ+ museums in the world. The collection alone consists of approximately 1.5 million archive items, and up to four exhibitions are usually on show at a time in an area of almost 700 metres. It is funded by the state of Berlin and is located in the Tiergarten district of the German capital.

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