The British architect David Chipperfield is either blazing a restoration trail or sabotaging old buildings, depending on which Berliner you listen to.
He is rebuilding a part of Germany's equivalent of the Louvre -- the war-damaged Museum Island complex. Chipperfield's project, the Neues Museum, is the third of five museums to be renovated, and will house Berlin's Egyptian collection, including the 14th century B.C. bust of Queen Nefertiti. It will cost 233 million euros ($329 million) to complete and won't open until 2009. Berliners got a preview in an open house from Sept. 22-24.
The Neues Museum was left to decay after suffering bomb damage in World War II. Chipperfield, 53, is conserving everything that remained without replicating what was destroyed. He is filling in the gaps with a sparse, contemporary style and modern materials -- a blend that has won both friends and foes.
See the above page for more about the museum project.