The Pergamon Museum houses original, reconstructed monumental buildings such as the Pergamon Altar and the Market Gate of Miletus. Both of these extraordinary artifacts were transported from Turkey, and since its opening in 1930, there has been controversy over the legitimacy of the acquisition of the collection. When the Pergamon Museum was severely damaged during an air strike at the end of the Second World War, many objects were stolen. Although many of the major pieces were safely secured, the Red Army collected all of the loose museum items, either as war booty or for safekeeping from the looting and fires that were then raging in Berlin.
The Pergamon Museum is situated on the Museum Island in Berlin. The building was designed by Alfred Messel and Ludwig Hoffmann and was constructed over a period of twenty years, from 1910 to 1930. The Pergamon Museum houses monumental buildings such as the Pergamon Altar, the Ishtar Gate of Babylon, the Market Gate of Miletus reconstructed from the ruins found in Anatolia, as well as the Mshatta Facade. The museum is subdivided into the antiquity collection, the Middle East museum, and the museum of Islamic art. It is visited by approximately 1,135,000 people every year, making it the most visited art museum in Germany (2007), and is one of the largest in the country.