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Container with construction waste at the Pergamon Museum: A "mediating" solution is being sought

Photo: Sebastian Christoph Gollnow / dpa

The full reopening of the Pergamon Museum in Berlin could take until 2043 – six years later than the current official target. This emerges from internal documents of the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation, which are available to SPIEGEL.

One of the reasons for this is a planned pedestrian zone on Museum Island. The Mitte district would like to set up such an area on Bodestraße, which leads to the island. However, this road is also used by construction site traffic for the renovation. If the district gets serious, the construction period could be extended by three years, the planners fear. The foundation therefore intervened with the district so that the procedure "would not be initiated in the first place".

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The pedestrian zone is not the only threat to the museum's scheduled reopening: according to the documents, the possible delays add up to a total of six years. The district office confirmed the talks and told SPIEGEL: "We will certainly not do anything that will result in construction time extensions." If necessary, exemptions will be granted. The foundation said it was seeking a "mediating" solution.

It is not assumed that the worst case scenario will occur. The project has been running since 2000, and the museum was supposed to reopen in 2010. However, construction did not begin until 2013. Since then, planned deadlines have been exceeded several times – in some cases significantly. The estimated costs have almost quadrupled so far – from 385 million euros to up to 1.5 billion euros. Part of the museum, which is currently closed, is scheduled to reopen in 2027.