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Our institution proudly looks back on a long tradition and boasts a unique collection of just under 7000 replicas of original works of art taken from all cultures of the world and from all epochs. Besides replicas of works from European and Egyptian art periods, we also offer objects from Central and South America, India and Africa. The oldest replicated artefact is the 25,000 year old Venus of Willendorf, while the largest is the 42 metre high Column of Marcus Aurelius from Rome. We are unique in that, in selecting a work, interested purchasers can choose from our entire collection of moulds, hundreds of which are themselves centuries old.
More than any other material, plaster is ideally suited to recreate faithfully the intricate details of historical original objects. A special recipe containing the finest, high-quality gypsum alabaster is used in the production. The production of art replicas from moulds sometimes 200 years old is complicated and extremely elaborate. The mould has to be specially treated before and after each cast is made, in a process which sees a multitude of separate components assembled together before the completed cast is subsequently modelled. The valuable historical moulds undergo constant restoration to preserve them for future generations. Many of the moulds are very old and several have outlived the originals on which they are based that have either been destroyed, lost or have incurred damages. These moulds now recreate a state of preservation that has been irrevocably lost in the original. The collection of moulds is continually expanded and is available for scientific and scholarly research.
A representative selection of plaster and bronze casts is on display in the exhibition and sales room. Staff from the Replica Workshop are on hand to answer any special inquiries or requests.
In 1988, the National Museums in Berlin, in cooperation with the Freie Universität Berlin, opened the Collection of Plaster Casts of Ancient Sculpture in a building opposite Charlottenburg palace, in close vicinity to the Replica Workshop. Since 2005, the National Museums have also presented a permanent exhibition at Rotes Rathaus, Berlin's town hall. This exhibition, focused on the Berlin School of Sculpture around Johann Gottfried Schadow und Christian Daniel Rauch, shows models exclusively from the Gipsformerei.
Collection of Plaster Casts of Ancient Sculpture, an institution of the Freie Universität Berlin
Schlossstraße 69 b
opening hours Thursday to Sunday 2 pm to 5 pm (free entrance)
Berliner Rathaus (Berlin Town Hall)
opening hours Monday to Friday 9 am to 4 pm (free entrance)