The Museuminsel (Island of the museums) is inscribed to the World Heritage list in 1999. The inscription is justified by the values of the set of museums, illustrating the evolution of the modern museums for more than a century, and by the role of the museum as a social phenomenon, coming from illustration and opened to the wider public after the French revolution; the Museuminsel is considered the most outstanding example of this concept given material form and a symbolic central urban setting.
The five museums which compose the protected site are conceived by the site Management Plan, directed by the British architect David Chipperfield, as a unit, but looking to maintain the architectural independence of each one. The forecast is for a increase in the number of visitors, from 1,5 million visitors to 3 million mid-term.
The Plan defines an archeological promenade linking the collections of the Bode, Pergamon, Neues and Altes Museums at 0 level. A sequence of halls and courtyards will turn the archeological promenade into an interdisciplinary axis around the monumental architecture of the ancient world. Preexisting colonnades are rebuilt, and there is a new building with a contemporary language, the James Simon- Galerie.
The work on an island (even with ramifications on the neighboring shores), without major use changes, reduces conflicts, but I imagine that the James Simon- Galerie has received its share of criticism. In 2011 I visited the area, and the works were on progress.