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Altes_Museum

Altes Museum

The Altes Museum (German: Old Museum), is one of several internationally renowned museums on Berlin's Museum Island in Berlin, Germany. Since restoration work in 1966, it houses the antique collection (Antikensammlung) of the Berlin State Museums. The museum was built between 1825 and 1828 by the architect Karl Friedrich Schinkel in the neoclassical style to house the Prussian Royal family's art collection. Until 1845, it was called the Royal Museum.

The Building

The building uses the Greek Stoa in Athens as a model. The museum uses the Ionic Order to articulate the front, which is the only part of the exterior with any visual sign of the Orders; the other three remaining facades are of brick and stone banding. The body of the building is raised on a plinth, giving the building a greater stature as well as preventing the risk of damage to the artwork from damp or flooding, for which the island was renowned. The Spree river from which the island protrudes was actually reconfigured by the architect, in order to allow enough ground space for the museum to be built. Necessary roadway changes, bridge expansions, and canals were introduced around the same time as the Altes Museum construction. The original dome was an exact hemisphere, modelled on the Roman Pantheon. It was made invisible to the exterior observer because of the museum's proximity to the Berlin Cathedral; the museum was not meant to compete with the cathedral's dome.

History

In 1830 it opened to the public but was quite badly damaged during the Second World War. After restorations in 1966, during which the dome was rebuilt to form a half ellipse, it re-opened as a museum displaying ancient Greek and Roman artifacts. It sits in the Lustgarten near the Berliner Stadtschloss (Berlin City Palace), adjacent to the Berliner Dom, which was also partly designed by Schinkel. Combined with the new facades of the Berliner Dom and the Berliner Stadtschloss Berlin City Palace, the Altes Museum became one of the heads of authority: God, King and Art, Schinkel's "Athena am Spree".

The Altes Museum currently features a large neon sign proclaiming "ALL ART HAS BEEN CONTEMPORARY", a neon installation by minimalist artist Maurizio Nannucci.

See also

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