Work started on the original Neues Museum (New Museum) in 1841. Designed by Prussian master builder and court architect Friedrich August Stüler, the construction alone was a sensation.
Not only did the design extensively use prefabricated cast and wrought iron structural elements, but steam power was the main source of energy on the site. In the Second World War, the museum was severely damaged and it remained a ruin until 1999. Rebuilding and refurbishing the museum took ten years, a process led by the offices of the renowned architect David Chipperfield. Since the museum’s spectacular reopening in 2009, it has presented a selection of outstanding pieces from the Egyptian Museum, the Papyrus Collection, the Museum of Prehistory and Early History, and the Collection of Classical Antiquities. The famous bust of the Ancient Egyptian queen Nefertiti is the showpiece exhibit in the Neues Museum.