Berlin’s Neue Nationalgalerie reopens after 6 years of redesign

Iconic Berlin Modern Art Museum designed by Bauhaus pioneer Ludwig Mies van der Rohe has reopened to the public after a six-year renovation

BERLIN – Berlin’s Neue Nationalgalerie, an iconic modern art museum designed by Bauhaus pioneer Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, reopened to the public on Sunday after a six-year renovation of the glass-fronted building.

German Culture Minister Monika Gruetters said in a celebratory ceremony on Saturday that the occasion marked “the museum’s brilliant return as a place of pilgrimage for modern art lovers and as a stage for contemporary artists “.

British architect David Chipperfield oversaw the extensive renovation of the steel and glass structure, a project that cost 140 million euros ($ 164 million).

Mies van der Rohe was the last of three directors of the Bauhaus art and design school, which began working in 1919 and was forced to close shortly after the Nazis came to power in 1933. He then emigrated to the United States.

The Neue Nationalgalerie was Mies van der Rohe’s only building in Germany after World War II. It was built in then-West Berlin, not far from the Berlin Wall that divided the city for much of the Cold War. The museum opened in 1968, the year before the architect’s death.

Berlin Mayor Michael Mueller said that shortly after the construction of the wall, the building, with its transparent facade, represented “progress, avant-garde and modern, openness and internationality”, dpa news agency reported.

The museum reopens its doors with three exhibitions: a selection of key works from its collection, an exhibition of works by sculptor Alexander Calder and another dedicated to film and media artist Rosa Barbra.

Berlin is creating more space to show off its contemporary art collection by building a new “20th Century Museum” next to the Neue Nationalgalerie.

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