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The Altes Museum, built between 1823 and 1830 and designed by Karl Friedrich Schinkel, is one of the most important works of Neoclassical architecture. With its clearly ordered exterior and an interior structure designed with exacting precision in the ancient Greek style, Schinkel pursued Humboldt's idea of opening the museum as an educational institution for the public.
Originally built to house all of Berlin's art collections, the Altes Museum has been home to the Collection of Classical Antiquities since 1904. The building was severely damaged by fire in the last two years of the war. Reconstruction work lasted until 1966.
Since 24 February 2011 the collection of Greek art is unveiled in the new setting of the Altes Museum. The archaic tomb and votive statues, classic tomb reliefs, vases, bronzes, terracotta works and jewellery will offer visitors an impressive overview of the art of ancient Greece, all on show on the main floor.
Visitors to the museum will be invited to embark on a tour that will begin in the east room with the Minoan and Mycenaean ages and continue through shrines and necropolises.
The north room is dedicated to the subject of gods and mortals. Incorporated into this section is an exquisite selection of ancient coins from the Numismatic Collection. The west room is dedicated to Hellenistic art and the Greeks in southern Italy. At its centre is the statue, found in Tarent, of the goddess seated on a throne, which forms a particular highlight to the exhibition.