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Shots fired at the Schwules Museum

28. February 2023

On the morning of February 24, Museum employees discovered evidence of an attack which occurred on the Schwules Museum in Berlin-Tiergarten. Two window panes, the illuminated sign with the Museum’s name, and a work of art hanging in front of the entrance door were damaged. It is not known exactly when the shots were fired. However, it is assumed that the crime occurred at night. The Gay Museum filed charges against unknown persons. The Berlin police investigated the scene and collected evidence. The full extent and costs of the damage are not yet known.

Six spots hit by shots were found on the front of the house. The window panes of the reception area were damaged in four places and the neon sign in one place. A piece of art above the front door was also hit by a gunshot. It is a black triangle made of felt, created for the current exhibition Queering the Crip, Cripping the Queer.

Nothing is known about the weapon used, but so far no projectiles have been found at the scene. The board of the Gay Museum assumes this was a targeted attack on the museum. There are currently no leads on the persons who committed the crime. Even though various threats against the Gay Museum are repeatedly registered through phone calls or online comments, there were no specific threats.

The last comparable attack occurred in April 2020. A window pane was severely damaged by an attack with rocks and had to be replaced. The perpetrators could not be caught. In 2016, there was a previous attack with firearms. Metal bullets were also used to damage a window to the reception area in six places.

The Gay Museum was founded in 1984 and is one of the largest LGBTQ museums in the world. The collection alone includes about 1.5 million archival items, and up to four exhibitions are shown simultaneously in an exhibition space of nearly 700 square meters. It is funded by the state of Berlin and offers thousands of visitors an insight into queer history, art and activism every year.