In this series:
Part 1 – The Story so far
Part 2 – Johannes Gutenberg and his museum
Part 3 – A new museum
Part 4 – The Commission
Part 5 – The Artist
Part 6 – The Decision
Part 7 – The Gates
One of the chosen few
Part 8 – The Process
Part 9 – Talkin’ ’bout a Revolution
Part 10 – Lost and Unlost
Part 11 – But where are the originals?
Part 12 – Mystery solved?
Making a mark
“What the world is today, good and bad, it owes to Gutenberg. Everything can be traced to this source, but we are bound to bring him homage, … for the bad that his colossal invention has brought about is overshadowed a thousand times by the good with which mankind has been favored.” Mark Twain
In 1900, a group of right-minded citizens built a museum to honour his 500th birthday (give or take a couple of years…) with a collection of books, apparatus and machines donated by publishers, manufacturers of printing machines and printing houses.
Initially a department of the City Library, it moved to the new library building on the Rheinallee in 1912 and then separated in 1927 to its (almost) final location in the Römischer Kaiser, a Renaissance building dating back to 1664 and originally part of Zum Marienberg, a private palace built by Edward Rokoch, a leading light in the business world at the time and the most significant private building of its time.
Fast forward to 27 February 1945
Royal Air Force Bomber Command – Campaign Diary – February 1945
458 aircraft – 311 Halifaxes, 131 Lancasters, 16 Mosquitos – of Nos 4, 6 and 8 Groups to Mainz. 1 Halifax and 1 Mosquito lost. The target area Mainz was covered by cloud and the bombing was aimed at skymarkers dropped on Oboe. No results were seen by the bomber crews but the bombing caused severe destruction in the central and eastern districts of Mainz; this was the city’s worst raid of the war. 1,545 tons of bombs were dropped. 5,670 buildings were destroyed, including most of the historic buildings in the Altstadt, but the industrial district was also badly hit.
And that was the end of the Gutenberg Museum
Tomorrow: A new museum