[Video Link] Is anyone surprised that when the Nazis rose to power, they burned a bunch of interesting paintings and other art? (For a taste of pre-Nazi German erotically-tinged art, check out the book Voluptuous Panic).
Recently, construction workers dug up some ash deposits during a subway excavation in Berlin. Dr. Stadelmann of the HTW University of Applied Sciences in Berline used x-ray spectroscopy to look for trace elements that would indicate whether the ashes were from paintings or photographs.
Museum Secrets TV team caught up with Dr. Stadelmann where he looks under a microscope to determine what properties the paint contains. With this he is able to determine exactly what they’re made of and what era they are from. The video is part of our web series on www.museumsecrets.tv, where we feature 14 episodes at the world’s best museums and over 90 objects in our object navigator – with mysteries revealed from different geographic locations and time periods.Solving the Mystery of 'Degenerate Art' in Berlin
Mark Frauenfelder is the founder of Boing Boing and the editor-in-chief of MAKE and Cool Tools. Twitter: @frauenfelder. His new book is Maker Dad: Lunch Box Guitars, Antigravity Jars, and 22 Other Incredibly Cool Father-Daughter DIY Projects