03.08.2005 to 30.10.2005
1830 - the Ancient World in the Altes Museum - 2005
On 3 August 1830, Friedrich William III opened the museum designed by Karl Friedrich Schinkel at Lustgarten opposite the royal palace. Antique statues were displayed in the domed rotunda and three halls on the main floor, while paintings from the Middle Ages to the 18th century were shown on the upper floor. From October 1830 onwards, the collection of antique small objets d'art was accessible in the Souterrain. The works in the museum originated from the royal palaces and were augmented by select additions. The museum grew rapidly through acquisitions and excavation finds which increasingly secured its position as one of the world's most significant museums.
When, in 1905, the Gemäldegalerie was moved to the Kaiser-Friedrich-Museum (today's Bode-Museum), the many vases, terracotta objects, bronze, precious metals and jewels of the Collection of Classical Antiquities could be displayed to best advantage. Entire collections and the complete finds from the excavations in Greece and Asia Minor were located on the upper floor of the Altes Museum.
The Berlin museums were closed in July 1939 and the collections hastily moved into mines and shelters. The Altes Museum, damaged during the Second World War, was repaired in 1966 and re-opened for exhibitions. Since May 1998, the Collection of Classical Antiquities, including works of Greek art, has once more been on show on the main floor; it will be rearranged throughout the building after the intended reconstruction.