The Neues Museum (New Museum), on Berlin's renowned Museum Island, was originally designed by Friedrich August Stüler and constructed between 1841 and 1855. Severely damaged in World War II, it has now been rebuilt by the British architect David Chipperfield in collaboration with the conservation architect Julian Harrap. Its long-awaited reopening is scheduled for October, although the finished restoration (which came in at a remarkable €30 million under budget) was opened for viewing for three days in March. The collections of the Egyptian Museum (Ägyptisches Museum), including the famed bust of Nefertiti, and the Museum for Prehistory and Early History (Museum für Vor- und Frühgeschichte), which covers Europe and the Ancient Near East from their beginnings through the Middle Ages, are currently being reinstalled. If the building's preliminary opening in March inspired long lines and emotion, its reinauguration as a functioning museum surely salves a cultural wound that has festered for well over half a century.
Neues Museum, Museum Island, Berlin, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin · opening October 2009 · www.smb.spk-berlin.de