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Pergamonmuseum Closed for Major Refurbishment Starting 23 October 2023

28.03.2023
Pergamonmuseum

Berlin’s Pergamonmuseum on the Museumsinsel (Museum Island) closes completely to visitors on 23 October 2023. This step is necessary so that the building’s major refurbishment as part of the “Museumsinsel Master Plan” can continue as intended. The North Wing of the museum and the hall with the Pergamon Altar are expected to reopen in spring 2027.

The way forward has been cleared for the second construction phase ‒ on the South Wing. It entails the erection of a fourth wing that will be connected to the other buildings on the Museumsinsel. Preparatory measures will begin in autumn 2023, and construction work in 2024. The building sections concerned house the currently still accessible Museum für Islamische Kunst Kunst (Museum for Islamic Art), the Vorderasiatisches Museum (Museum of the Ancient Near East) and the Miletus Hall, which belongs to the Antikensammlung (Collection of Classical Antiquities).

Continued Work on the North Wing

Construction Phase A, the first, currently ongoing work, focuses on the building’s North Wing and the middle section, including the Hellenistic Hall and the Pergamon Hall. In the future, the Museum für Islamische Kunst, with its new permanent exhibition, will be on view in the North Wing. The middle section will continue to show large objects from the Antikensammlung. Completion of the construction on the North Wing is still planned for 2025. Reopening is expected in spring 2027.

Second Phase of Construction: South Wing Renovation

Now that the second phase of construction has been set in motion, the urgently necessary rehabilitation of the South Wing can also begin. It is in very poor condition, which affects the stability of the building and the safety of the exhibits. In addition to the construction of the fourth wing, upcoming measures include erecting still lacking sections of the museum’s connection to the Bode-Museum and the New Neues Museum, refurbishing the outdoor facilities, and rebuilding the “Pergamonsteg”, the bridge across the Kupfergraben (an arm of the Spree canal).

The Collections Remain Viewable

The Antikensammlung will nevertheless be available to the public during the building’s closure. In the years ahead, large sculptures and important objects from the Pergamonmuseum will continue to be exhibited at Pergamonmuseum. Das Panorama, located directly across from the Museumsinsel.

The Vorderasiatisches Museum is preparing a new exhibition for this location. What’s more, the museum plans to send outstanding individual objects as ambassadors to other museums in Berlin and around the world. For instance, an intervention at Hamburger Bahnhof and a thematic collaboration with the Kupferstichkabinett (Museum of Prints and Drawings) are planned, and cooperation with the Louvre is in preparation. As of winter 2023‒24, the current (future historical) permanent exhibition of the Vorderasiatisches Museum will also be available online as a virtual tour. Large special exhibitions with international cooperation partners are now in preparation, including Das Zweistromland – die Wiege der Könige (Mesopotamia ‒ The Cradle of Kings). While the building is closed, the Vorderasiatisches Museum also intends to move its objects from the main level to storage depots and intermediate sites to restore them.

During the closure period, the Museum für Islamische Kunst will move out of its current space on the South Wing’s upper floor and be integrated into its new, innovative, permanent exhibition on both floors of the North Wing. The exhibits, some of which are permanently installed, will not only to be dismantled and reinstalled at a new location during this period but also restored ‒ for instance, the Mshatta Façade, the Aleppo Room and the Alhambra Cupola.