During World War II, the museum was badly damaged. Since 1999, the British architect David Chipperfield has been working on the Museum’s restoration, which has the award of Most Important Architecture in Europe. Chipperfield conducts the restoration with the help of various experts. They are trying to preserve the historical authenticity of the place, and leave the fragments of bombing and the remnants of the worn-out murals.
Chipperfield tries not to blur the differences between the old and the new, and this is what earned him his award. The judges' reasoning was "Chipperfield manages to produce an excellent mix of contemporary architecture with conservation and art." As early as 1999, UNESCO declared the building a World Heritage Site.
Some attribute the opening of the museum to the end of the war era of the Museum Island.
One of the most important highlights of the place is the statue of the ancient Egyptian queen from 1340 BC, Nefertiti. The statue was discovered by a German archaeologist at the beginning of the last century, and displays the magnificent beauty of the Egyptian queen. For many years the statue was displayed at a different museum, however today it is located on the second floor of the Neues Museum.
There is an interesting story about this statue. A dispute arose between Egypt and Germany, after Egypt complained that the statue had been taken without permission in 1912. The Germans, on the other hand, claim that it was given to them as part of the distribution of items found in an archaeological excavation in Egypt. Recently a special document was revealed claiming that the Germans did not tell the whole truth about the importance of the statue from the French representative who was responsible for the distribution of items in the same excavation.