(October 2008) German stone-masons are facing a considerable increase of orders in the coming years. There is a trend toward reconstructing buildings destroyed during the second world-war in their original form. There is heated debate between the two fractions – those for restoring buildings in their original form and those against – as to whether reconstruction is not merely a sort of Potemkin village architecture. But the proponents are winning, in part because many private investors are prepared to donate considerable funds for such projects.
One outstanding recent example is the reconstruction of the Dresden’s Frauenkirche or Church of our Lady as it is also known. The structure was reduced to a pile of rubble in the middle of the city during the communist regime in East Germany after the war. Reconstruction began in 1994, lasted eleven years and was funded by generous donations from around the world until the church once again stands in its full glory.
Other already decided and approved projects include Berlin’s and Potsdam’s city palaces. In both cases a reconstruction of the original fassade will be built at street-front of otherwise modern buildings. Stone ornaments and relief-work will be rebuilt according to the original plans bringing with it much work for stone-masons in the coming years.
Many more projects are already being planned (in German).
Use of CNC-Machines
An innovative method for reconstructing historical figures in stone was developed by Berlin’s sculptor Kai Dräger. His method provides for the stone raw cut to be done by means of a CNC-machine leaving only the fine finishing work to the stone-masons (in German). Machine and craftsman working hand-in-hand this way guarantees that perfection as only a trained expert could achieve while at the same time keeping costs to a minimum.