Authorities in Germany are investigating an incident in which several shots were fired into the window of one of the top gay history museums in the world.
Berlin’s Schwules Museum was founded in 1984 and with state funding granted since 2009 has grown to become one of the leading institutions recording LGBTI histories on the planet, housing material that goes back as far as 1896 and over 10,000 books on sexuality and gender identity.
The museum moved to its current location on Lutzowstrasse in 2013.
But on Monday around 2pm staff members noticed damage to the museum’s windows and called the police.
Police arrived on the scene and closed off the street.
After examining the scene for evidence police retrieved a number of small calibre projectiles and Identified four impact sites on the windows and another two in the window frames.
The projectiles did not carry enough force to penetrate all the way through the glass so police suspect they may have been delivered by an air rifle.
The motive for the shooting is unclear but the investigation has been handed to a special unit which is tasked with combating ‘politically motivated crimes’ as Germany does not have specific hate crime legislation.
An official statement from the museum said staff had been rattled by the incident.
‘Most of the people working at the museum are volunteers, who are here because they enjoy being in a safe environment where they are accepted for who and what they are,’ the statement reads.
‘Many said they were worried about the attacks on this institution. Realistically, anyone could have done it.’
A staff member has suggested that the windows be kept in the museum’s collection when they are replaced as part of its record of anti-gay hate.
However the museum will not be making any further statements about the incident while the investigation into the shooting is complete.