Berlin’s new James Simon Gallery attracts 1 million visitors

Berlin’s “Museum Island” has a new star-attraction: The James Simon Gallery has pulled in more than a million visitors since it was officially opened by German Chancellor Angela Merkel in July.

The building, which cost 134 million euros (150 million dollars), was designed by British architect David Chipperfield.

It acts as a hub between the Pergamon Museum, the Alte Nationalgalerie (Old National Gallery), the Bode Museum, the Altes Museum (Old Museum) and the Neues Museum (New Museum), which together form a World Heritage Site on an island in the city’s river Spree.

“We are delighted that the James Simon Gallery has broken all visitor records in a very short space of time and has become the hotspot of  Berlin’s Museums Island,” Michael Eissenhauer, director general of Berlin’s state-owned museums, said on Thursday.

The building is named after the entrepreneur and art collector James Simon (1851-1932), who donated around 10,000 items to Berlin’s museums, including the famous bust of Nefertiti.

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