Il Egyptian Museum of Berlin (in German Ägyptisches Museum und Papyrussammlung) is home to one of the world's most important collections of Egyptian artifacts. The collection is part of the New Museum.
Of all the museums on the Museumsinsel this was the second to be built, with the aim of housing the redundant collections of the Altes Museum. The museum presents today the treasures of the Egyptian Museum and the Papyrus collection together with the collections of the Museum of Prehistory and Protohistory and parts of the collection of ancient civilizations.
The structure of the building bears witness to the neoclassical architecture of museums in the 19th century. The building of the New Museum it is an important monument in the history of construction and technology: with its various iron constructions, it was the first monumental building in Prussia to apply the new techniques made possible by industrialization.
The museum interior itself is a rare remaining example of the style that was fashionable in Germany during the Prussian Kingdom.
The Neues Museum was born in the 18th century from the art collection of the Prussian kings. Alexander von Humboldt had recommended the creation of an Egyptian section, and the first objects were brought to Berlin in 1828 under Frederick William III. The museum was then closed in 1939 due to the war.
After the Second World War, during which it was heavily damaged, the Neues Museum was divided between East and West Berlin, only to reunite after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Beautifully restored by the famous architect David Chipperfield, the museum reopened its doors in October 2009.
The Egyptian collection
The wing of the Egyptian museum of the Neues Museum contains finds dating back to between 4000 BC and the period of Roman domination. The collection of the Egyptian Museum in Berlin is spread over three floors.
- Al ground floor there is the so-called Archeological Promenade which represents the backbone of the museum. There are also three other areas, one dedicated to the Nile Valley, one dedicated to ancient Sudan and one dedicated to tombs and coffins.
- Il first floor it is dedicated to the burial chambers and the artifacts found inside the temples, as well as a wing called "the man and the pharaoh", which presents the evolution over the centuries of the concept of human representation.
- Il second floor finally, it is dedicated to sculptures, the papyrus collection, the Nefertiti room and the Egyptian city of Akhenaton.
The unmissable pieces
The most famous piece on display is the bust of Queen Nefertiti, exceptionally well preserved and brightly colored. The bust quickly became a world-renowned icon for the sculpture's ability to enhance female beauty.
Do not miss the Berlin green head, the so-called “Berlin green head”, dating back to the late Egyptian period, where the Greek influence is clearly visible. The sculpture represents the head of a priest, carved in green stone. It is unusual that the statue, for the period in which it was made, does not reproduce a specific person, but rather turns out to be a symbol of wisdom and experience.
The Neues Museum is open from Monday to Sunday from 10.00 to 18.00, with opening until 20.00 on Thursdays. Admission to the various temporary exhibitions is not included in the basic ticket to visit the museum.