German Museums Move Closer to Reunification





BERLIN, Nov. 23 — It may be a decade or more before this city’s monumental Museum Island finally shakes off the twin legacies of World War II and East Germany’s Communist regime, but with the reopening of the Bode Museum, this cultural park in the former East Berlin has taken another step toward recovering its place as one of the world’s great centers of art.

With the restoration of the Alte Nationalgalerie, or Old National Gallery, in 2001, two of the island’s five museums are now in fine shape. After an eight-year, $209 million refurbishment, the Bode probably has never looked better since its inauguration as the Kaiser Friedrich Museum in 1904.

Occupying a triangular plot overlooking the Spree River on the northern edge of the island, the museum is once again a true palace of art, welcoming visitors into its vast neo-Baroque entrance hall with an equestrian statue and leading them through naturally lighted galleries with marble floors and wood-paneled ceilings.


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