Museum Reitberg, a warehouse of art

After Kunsthaus, it was time to visit Museum Reitberg that houses Buddhist and Hindu art from China, India, Japan, and Southeast Asia. There were some Tibetan bronzes, African masks and sculptures, and artworks from the ancient Americas, too.

Perhaps it makes sense to call it a warehouse of art as thousands and thousands of artworks sit in perfect harmony with each other.

Thanks to Baron Eduard von der Heydt, a German banker and philanthropist whose donations formed the core of Reitberg’s collection, the sheer size and variety stuns visitors from Asia—from where most of the pieces are collected at huge sums.

Reitberg is surrounded by a beautiful park and its interiors are so designed that sunlight adds its own lustre to the bronze sculptures. These artworks are placed against huge doors and windows. As you walk past them, the view of the verdant park lends a beautiful contrast to the well-burnished art pieces.

The obvious delight apart, Reitberg never fails to remind you how terribly slipshod we have been when it comes to preserving art. So much so that it calls for a trip to Reitberg to see a splendid Nataraj placed right in the centre of an artistically lit big hall. And, when you pay 15 francs for a huge poster of Bodhisathva, you can’t help sensing self-pity reading the core.

(Pics: SH)

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