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Latest from the renovation and move – May 2011

Past Splendor from the City Forest – The Darmstädter Hof

In early April, the Frankfurt Historical Museum was able to recover 27 sculptured objects in the Stadtwald during a large-scale operation. They belong to the remains of the former Darmstädter Hof on the north side of the Zeil, which was built in 1757 as the city residence of the Counts of Hesse-Darmstadt.
The Darmstädter Hof, with its baroque splendor facade, was later converted into a hotel. In March 1871, Emperor Wilhelm I even stayed here. However, the property was demolished in 1899 and replaced by the M. Schneider department store. The city of Frankfurt purchased the facade for 25,000 marks. 200 cubic meters of stones were initially stored on the Gutleutstrasse, and in 1952 they were moved to the city forest near the Frankfurt interchange. The three large piles of stones created in this way were to provide a suitable climbing opportunity for mouflons that had been abandoned in an enclosure. The Frankfurt Historical Museum was now able to carry out a small sighting and recovery of selected sculptured objects with funds from the Department of Culture and in coordination with the City Forestry.

It turned out that an average of ten stones without ornamentation had to be lifted, examined and rearranged in order to identify a usable stone.

The conservation condition of the remaining 80% of the stones is naturally disastrous. Many stones have already been completely destroyed by moss. Soil, rain, ice and humidity do the rest. A reconstruction of the complete facade is hardly possible, especially since many stones have been removed "privately".

Latest from the renovation and move – April 2011

Charlemagne was the last to go

The Historical Museum is now completely cleared out. The last to leave were 50 stone objects. They were exhibited in the outdoor showcases – the so-called Lapidarium – on the north and east sides. The dismantling of the individual sculptures and the transport work took four days. Charlemagne also had to leave.
On the occasion of the clearance of the Historical Museum before the imminent demolition in May, Head of the Department of Culture Prof. Dr. Semmelroth and Museum Director Dr. Jan Gerchow explained the current status of the "New City Museum" project at a press event on March 22 and at the same time symbolically laid hands on the statue of Charlemagne in front of the entrance. In bright sunshine, half of Frankfurt watched as the two-ton sandstone figure of Charlemagne, suspended from a heavy-duty transport crane, was slowly lifted from its pedestral and swung onto the low-loader.

Now more than the last and most photographed sculpture by tourists as a motif, the statues from 1843 will be placed in an outdoor depot of the museum for four years. Then, however, Karl will return. According to the current redesign, it will be on permanent display in the permanent exhibition on the second floor.