Berlin museum offers night on a magic mushroom

Fri Oct 22, 2010 11:43am EDT
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BERLIN (Reuters Life!) - Visitors to Berlin's Museum for Contemporary Art can book themselves a night in an installation created by artist Carsten Hoeller at a cost of 1,000 euros ($1,400) as of November 5.

The installation, which includes a floating hotel room on a platform shaped like a mushroom, gives guests an "opportunity to dive into the world of soma," the museum said.

Soma is a mythical drink with powers to heal, enlighten and provide access to the divine, according to the beliefs of Vedic nomads in northern India during the second millennium BC.

It is no longer known what soma was made of, but research suggests the fly agaric mushroom, more popularly known as "magic mushrooms," may have been the ingredient responsible for its effect. This provided Hoeller with the inspiration for his fantastical installation.

The exhibition, which explores how to achieve enlightenment and the role given to science and myth in society, will be open until February 6 next year.

(Reporting by Michelle Martin; Editing by Steve Addison)