Moscow Square, Erfurt
Restoration by the Wüstenrot Foundation, Autumn 2019
After four years of planning and restoration, the large mosaic "The Relationship of Humanity to Nature and Technology" (1980-1984) by Spanish artist Josep Renau (1907-1982) returns to Moscow Square in Erfurt. The mural was saved from destruction in 2012, before the Cultural and Leisure Centre on Moscow Square was demolished. It was professionally removed and stored in containers until its restoration.
The Wüstenrot Foundation pursues the research, conservation and visualization of cultural heritage in Germany, including the cultural heritage of the GDR. Although characterized by great creative achievements, it is still particularly endangered by a lack of esteem. Numerous murals by artists of the GDR have been destroyed and long forgotten, and their high artistic value is still partly obscured by the perception of the often ideological content. With the rescue of the approx. 7 x 30 m mosaic exterior wall painting "The Relationship of Humanity to Nature and Technology" by Josep Renau, the Wüstenrot Foundation for the first time restored an exemplary work of architecture related art in a public space. The installation answers to the desire of many citizens to have "their" mural returned as an element creating identity and shaping the cityscape. Additionally, the restoration is supposed to revalue the architectural and artistic heritage of Renau and the GDR in the public eye. Supported by civic initiative and by the Thuringian State Office for Monument Preservation and Archaeology, the Wüstenrot Foundation, together with the City of Erfurt, was able to facilitate the renewed installation of the mosaic in its old location on a new supporting structure. The Wüstenrot Foundation has restored the mosaic, which has been a listed object of the State of Thuringia since 2008 and is owned by the City of Erfurt, in accordance with the requirements of the preservation order. The planning and restoration costs amounted to approx. 800,000 €.
"The Relationship of Humanity to Nature and Technology " (1977-1984)
Wall mosaic, Moscow Square, 99091 Erfurt
Client Restoration: Wüstenrot Foundation, Owner: City of Erfurt