Neues Museum and Spolia

I’m just back from a seminar on spolia in Berlin, organised by Topoi. In my paper, I discussed the re-use of sculpture in late antique contexts and the life histories of individual statues. I also had the opportunity to visit the recently re-opened Neues Museum, closed at the beginning of the war and then bombed in 1943. It now has been spectacularly restored in the fashion that manages to incorporate parts of the original building, including signage and the feel of ‘ruination’. Here are a couple of shots of some of the museum’s many treasures:

Relief fra Sethos I.'s grav
Relief from the tomb of Sethos I (KV 17) in the Neues Museum. Photo: TMK, November 2009.

Amarna relief in the Neues Museum
Amarna relief in the Neues Museum. Photo: TMK, November 2009.

Speaking of spolia, here’s an archaic statuette re-used in the Justinianic city wall at Miletus:

Archaic statuette from the City Wall of Miletus
Neues Museum, Berlin, inv. Sk 1625. Photo: TMK, November 2009.

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  1. Google is one of the greatest culture spreaders today.

    I’m not a “fackperson” but picked up this article searching on Neues museum, after reading about dispute concerning return of Nefertiti to Egypt.

    Wish only for more pictures and/or links.

    A recent ty program gave a view of another Berlin museum’s collection of Babylonian artefacts: especially the Gate of Astarte. (Which museum was that?)
    The program put the gate in a contemporary cultural context, giving us thus a view of Iraq’s inhabitants other than the all too often viewed wartorn one.

    Cultural exchange is our chance to survival—-perhaps for mankind.

  2. Jon, the Gate of Astarte/Ishtar from Babylon is in Berlin’s Pergamon Museum right next door to the Neues Museum.

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