More than 60 artworks and artifacts at some of Berlin’s best-known museums were smeared with an oily liquid by an unknown perpetrator or perpetrators earlier this month, authorities said Wednesday.
They were hopeful that the apparently random damage can be repaired, but said the motive was a mystery. The attack took place on 3 October, the anniversary of German reunification.
Investigators said they had watched hours of surveillance camera footage but hadn’t found any obvious sign of anyone applying the liquid.
German reports have speculated whether supporters of a far-right conspiracy theorist may have been involved. Attila Hildmann, who has spread conspiracy theories about the Covid-19 pandemic, has also claimed that one of the five museums, the Pergamon Museum, is home to the “Throne of Satan”.
Germany’s culture minister, Monika Gruetters, strongly condemned the damage to the artworks.
She said in a statement that “there is justified hope that the damage can be repaired,” but said that Berlin’s state museums once again need to answer questions over their security precautions.