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Wende Museum to Open World's Largest Cold War Visual Archive

Over 100,000 artifacts will be on display when the archive opens in the summer of 2014 at Culver City’s former National Guard Armory building.

It has taken some time, but the former National Guard Armory building at 10808 Culver Boulevard in Culver City is set to become the permanent home of the Wende Museum, and its impressive collection of Cold War artifacts and artworks will finally be on display to the public next summer.

The museum's archive of 100,000 artifacts and artworks from the Cold War era is, according to a release from the museum, “the largest and most diverse collection of its kind in the world,” and the public will be able to see them all when the archive is opened in the summer of 2014.

Currently, the museum’s artifacts are held in three separate warehouses throughout Southern California - with the main building situated at Buckingham Parkway -  and the public can only view one percent of the collection.

However, that’s all changing, now that the museum has signed a 75-year lease for the building, which sits on one acre of property. The building is set to renovated in three phases according to the museum. The renovations will include an additional 20,000 square feet of storage and exhibition space.

"The Wende collection is unparalleled," said Benedikt Taschen, CEO and founder of TASCHEN, which will publish an 800-page book on The Wende's East German collections later this year.

According to the museum’s release, the Wende was founded in 2002 by cultural historian Justinian Jampol “to preserve the material culture of Cold War Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union—particularly East Germany—that quickly disappeared with the toppling of the Berlin Wall in 1989.”

Highlights from the museum’s collection include a 10-foot bronze sculpture of Lenin by the preeminent Russian artist Pavel Bondarenko, a complete set of the East German newspaper Neues Deutschland, and the personal papers, notes and the Moabit prison manuscript of Erich Honecker, the notorious leader of East Germany.

"Our new home at the Armory will make the collections accessible to the public and enhance the Wende's role as a center for cultural discovery," Jampol said in a statement.

For more information visit http://www.wendemuseum.org

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