Neuer Aachener Kunstverein. Photo: Wikipedia.

Neuer Aachener Kunstverein Damaged by Fire

The Neuer Aachener Kunstverein (NAK) in Germany is recovering from a blaze that swept through the institution on Friday, June 12. When the fire brigade arrived at the scene at 5 AM, several garbage bins, located at the rear of the building, were burning, and the fire had already spread to NAK’s roof and interior. Police have launched an investigation into the cause of the fire, which is still unknown, and are looking into whether a burning object was thrown into one of the trash receptacles.

To extinguish the blaze, fire workers had to saw part of the building’s roof open. According to Monopol, the interior of the institution and the artworks on display at the time suffered severe fire, smoke, and water damage. Maurice Funken, the director of NAK, estimated the artworks to be valued at $90,000. An expert has been appointed to examine the pieces and to begin the restoration process. The works are insured by the institution, and NAK’s building is insured by the city of Aachen.

The opening of a new exhibition of works by Berit Schneidereit and Markus Salle, scheduled for Saturday, June 19, has been postponed. New dates for the shows will be announced on NAK’s social media channels. Established in 1986, NAK, one of the youngest art associations in Germany, developed its founding principles in the aftermath of the legendary Fluxus Festival, which took place at the Aachen University of Technology in 1964 and in which Joseph Beuys, Wolf Vostell, and other artists played important roles. It moved into its current premises in 2001.