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Berlin and Babylon meet on an Island of Museums

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Nearly 120 years ago, the excavation of Babylon led to the discovery of the 2,600-year-old Ishtar Gate. Today, visitors to Berlin can marvel at a reconstruction of the gate using its original blue bricks, on display in the Pergamon Museum.

Google Arts & Culture and the Staatliche Museen Berlin, in collaboration with CyArk and World Monuments Fund, have used modern technology to build a virtual bridge between Babylon and Berlin, virtually integrating Ishtar Gate into its original location in Iraq. Now anyone, anywhere can explore the story of its discovery and reconstruction in VR with Google Cardboard.

The Pergamon Museum is one of several institutions that makes up the unique ensemble of the Berlin Museum Island, and we’ve also worked with four other museums to add their collections to Google Arts & Culture. Their combined online exhibits contain more than 4,000 objects covering more than 6,000 years of art and cultural history—including such masterpieces as the Monk by the Sea by Caspar David Friedrich, the Golden hat and the bust of Nefertiti.
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    The Bode Museum, one of several museums that makes up Berlin’s “Museum Island”

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    "Monk by the Sea" by Caspar David Friedrich, from the Alte Nationalgalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin

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    The Golden hat (1000-800 BCE), on display in the Neues Museum, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin

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    The bust of Nefertiti, Neues Museum, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin

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    The reconstruction of the Ishtar Gate, at the Pergamon Museum

You can also explore Museum Island’s treasures through the lens of themes like wanderlust, vanity and body image, YOLO, modern romance, female empowerment, and rebellion.

Start your tour of Museum Island with Arts & Culture on the web, or with our free Arts & Culture app on your Android phone or iOS.

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