Symposium Dedicated to the Sanchi Gate Sandstone Replica in Front of the Humboldt Forum

Humboldt Forum

The installation of the Sanchi Gate just outside the Humboldt Forum was celebrated on 20 April 2023. Reconstruction of the ancient Indian gate, supported by two specialist sculptors from India, was carried out in Bamberg by the Bamberger Natursteinwerk Hermann Graser.

“Berlin’s Sanchi Gate” is a copy of the East Gate, the main portal of four entrance gates to Sanchi’s great stupa (shrine) – one of ancient India’s most important Buddhist monuments. The first true-to-scale plaster cast was acquired in London in 1886; it embellished the lobby of Berlin’s former Völkerkundemuseum (Museum of Ethnology) in Stresemannstraße. In the early 1970s, a second cast made from artificial cement was installed outdoors at the Berlin-Dahlem museums. The gate became a landmark at that location, allowing countless museum visitors to relax in its shade while enjoying their coffee.

The desire to carry over this tradition arose while planning the move of the Museum für Asiatische Kunst (Museum of Asian Art) ‒ Staatliche Museen zu Berlin’s permanent exhibition to the Humboldt Forum. It became a reality thanks to the Stiftung Humboldt Forum im Berliner Schloss. A Sanchi Gate has stood in Berlin-Mitte since last December – this time hewed of the finest red sandstone from a quarry in Röttbach. A symposium on 20 April 2023 – focusing on the work from art historical, architectural, urban planning and artisanal perspectives – paid tribute to the new installation of the Sanchi Gate.