Turkish-German man suspected behind attacks on Berlin's renowned museums
German police and museum officials reported that vandals have damaged more than 70 artworks and artifacts at some of Berlin’s most renowned museums, including the Pergamon Museum and the Neues Museum.
The instigator of the attacks is thought to be Attila Hildmann, a Turkish-German “activist” and “conspiracy theorist” who once had railed against government measures to contain the coronavirus.
Valuable paintings, stone sculptures and sarcophagi at three institutions on the German capital’s UNESCO-listed Museum Island were sprayed with an “oily liquid”, leaving visible stains, as a result of the attacks.
The site is also home to precious artifacts including a legendary bust of the Egyptian Queen Nefertiti and Babylon’s Ishtar Gate, but no damage was reported to these artifacts.
Berlin police believe the vandalism occurred on Oct. 3, Germany Unity Day, during opening hours at the museums.
Police said they initially decided not to go public about the incident out of “tactical considerations related to the investigation,” but local media broke the story on Oct. 21.
German media called it “one of the biggest attacks on art and antiquities in German post-war history”.
The media also noted that the Pergamon Museum has in recent months been targeted by conspiracy theorists.
Several German journalists said that Hildmann could have incited the attacks by pointing to alleged screenshots of his social media posts, which have since been deleted.
Through the internet, Hildmann had claimed the museum held the “throne of Satan” and was the center of a “global satanist and corona criminal scene” where “they sacrifice humans at night and abuse children.”
Raised by a German family and stands out as a well-known chef, Hildmann is known for his vegan recipes in the Anatolian cuisine concept in Turkey.