I am making a short expedition to Berlin’s Museum Island which is establishing itself firmly as a major destination in Europe for Ancient World artefacts. This week the Neues Museum is re-opening to the public after a massive renovation project. The place looks amazing and is as much about the modern world as the ancient. Iwill be traveling over there to learn more about the design of this impressive building and complex of museums as well as to get a good look at one of the most iconic artefacts on display anywhere in the world — the Nefertiti Bust (Nofretete in german).
Nefertiti will have a special hall now (which would certainly make it hard to imagine that she is not intended to stay as the centerpiece of the Neues collection). As the Neues brochure eloquent explains: “the exhibition concept places special emphasis on giving visitors a good idea of what the Ancient Egyptains looked like, through a series of sculptures arranged in several rooms according to various viewpoints, the apotheosis of which is formed by the display of the bust of Nefertiti.” There are many, many more pieces of course in this gigantic collection.
The Gold Hat is a spectacular item: according to the Neues: “Golden hats were most likely used as cult objects and worn over a period of hundreds of years by political or religious leaders during ceremonial and cultural events. Only four golden hats stemming from the Bronze Age survive in Europe today. The Berlin Gold Hat is made from gold leaf, hammered until wafer-thin. The conical hat is adorned with chased patterns arranged to form horizontal bands.”
I will be shooting tons of photos (on my new 8gig compact flash card). So I hope to share some highlights soon here on Heritage Key. I already have some shots from the Altes and Pergamon Museum on my Flickr stream here.
Karl Lagerfeld also made a visit to the Neues recently (I probably won’t wear my leather clothes, although I like the stance!). His photos of the Neues are due out in the 30th anniversary edition of German Vogue.
Berlin’s Museum Island gained World Heritage Site status in 1999 and consists of the Neues, Altes, Pergamon (featuring the Zeus Altar), Bode and Alte National Museums.