Like Jörg Woltmann, owner of the Königliche Porzellan-Manufaktur Berlin, Wilhelm von Boddien has a passion for old cultural assets and Prussian history. With his sponsoring association, he made the reconstruction of the Berlin Palace possible. A conversation about ventures worth taking and the traces we leave behind in life.
JÖRG WOLTMANN: Dear Mr. von Boddien, it has been fascinating for me to observe how you have worked over the past 30 years to ensure that the Berlin Palace is restored to its former glory. In the meantime, you have been able to collect more than 100 million euros in donations. What has driven you?
WILHELM VON BODDIEN: I fell in love with the idea of bringing the palace back in 1961. I was 19 years old at the time and visiting East Berlin. I was at the parade ground where the Berlin Palace once stood and where the Palace of the Republic was later built. The dreariness there blew me away. Before reunification, I already had the palace as a hobby, a very intense hobby: On weekends, lunch at our house was only served in the kitchen, because the dining table was full of albums and pictures of the palace, and I refused to put them away.
"In the entrance hall of the Berlin Palace, major donors are honored on a plaque: their profile relief can be seen on medallions made of KPM porcelain."
— Wilhelm von Boddien
JÖRG WOLTMANN: Luckily, there have not only been sleepless nights in recent years, but also countless wonderful moments. For example one special moment for me was when the Chinese Prime Minister visited KPM with Angela Merkel and I was able to show him the manufactory. Although porcelain originally comes from China, he was very impressed by the history of KPM and by what this manufactory has created in Berlin. What was a special moment of happiness for you?
WILHELM VON BODDIEN: When I was sitting in the Reichstag building on July 4, 2002, and the Bundestag finally decided that the palace would be built. Wolfgang Thierse, the president of the Bundestag, and Norbert Lammert, who later became the president of the Bundestag, among other politicians, gave moving speeches at that time. Then the vote took place and a two-thirds majority was achieved across all parties. Then i knew that we had made it. The rest was just the fight for money, which we were able to win.
The entire interview is available in KPM WEISS issue no. 04.
2017 Storyboard designed a magazine for the Royal Porcelain Manufactory Berlin: WEISS. The fourth issue of the yearly magazine was published in September 2020. On the cover: a whippet dog as a reminder of the royal manufactory founder Frederick the Great. His favorite dog Biche became the muse for a hand-painted cup.