"DER ALTAR – von Pergamon nach Berlin: Eine Zeitreise" – A new novel by Ralf Nürnberger

21.02.2019
Pergamonmuseum. Das Panorama

The recently released novel DER ALTAR – von Pergamon nach Berlin: Eine Zeitreise (THE ALTAR – From Pergamon to Berlin: A Journey Through Time) by Ralf Nürnberger was produced as an accompaniment to the exhibition PERGAMON – Masterpieces from the Ancient Metropolis with a 360° Panorama by Yadegar Asisi. In his book, Nürnberger recounts the fascinating history of the discovery and excavation of the ancient city of Pergamon in Western Asia, the journey of the finds to Berlin, and the fraught genesis of the Pergamonmuseum in the context of the proclamation of the German Empire in 1871 and the historical turmoil of 1918. 

The Pergamon Altar, constructed by Attalid rulers in the second century BCE in the acropolis of Pergamon, a city in Asia Minor – later destroyed, buried and forgotten – was unearthed in 1878, and laboriously transported to Berlin. DER ALTAR tells this fascinating story, woven in with the fates of the people who were enthralled by this “wonder of the ancient world”, who fought for half a century to have it reconstructed and presented on Berlin’s Museumsinsel, and of those who wanted to prevent it. All against the backdrop of the turbulent course of German history.

DER ALTAR – von Pergamon nach Berlin: Eine Zeitreise is published by Panometer GmbH’s own publishing arm, with a foreword by Andreas Scholl, Director of the Antikensammlung – Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, and supported by Yadegar Asisi. ISBN: 978-3-945305-25-6, price: €13.90.

Ralf Nürnberger

Born in Berlin, Ralf Nürnberger chose theatre as his profession when he was just 19 years of age. He began as a stage technician at the Schaubühne am Halleschen Ufer, before heading to Bremen as the directorial assistant to Frank Patrick Steckel. There, he soon began creating his own productions, and then went on to work as a director at a range of theatres. He also produced some of his own scripts. In 1989, he began directing opera in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. In 1997, artistic director Fritz Wendrich secured his services as the head director at Staatsoperette Dresden, where Nürnberger remained until the end of Wendrich’s tenure in 2003. Stints followed in St. Gallen, at Oper Leipzig, in Dortmund, at Staatstheater Karlsruhe, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Staatstheater Saarbrücken and the Seefestspiele Mörbisch. For many of his productions, he also designed the sets. He worked as a translator for Oper Leipzig, the Staatsoper Stuttgart, for Theater Chemnitz, Oper Bonn and for NDR. His first novel, Canaletto, was published in 2015. DER ALTAR was produced as an accompaniment to the exhibition PERGAMON – Masterpieces from the Ancient Metropolis with a 360° Panorama by Yadegar Asisi.