Tell Halaf Museum

Entrance to Tell Halaf Museum within a former machine factory, Berlin-Charlottenburg, Germany, 1930ies.
Courtesy of Max Freiherr von Oppenheim-Stiftung, Hausarchiv des Bankhauses Sal. Oppenheim jr. & Cie., Köln

The Neolithic sculptures that Oppenheim had excavated at Tell Halaf accompanied him back to Germany. After the Pergamon Museum rejected the objects, Oppenheim unceremoniously founded a private museum, the “Tell Halaf Museum” in Berlin-Charlottenburg. This museum was completely destroyed by a bombing raid in 1943, and with it the sculptures. (It was not the incendiary bombs that destroyed the Basalt stone, but the cold water of the fire department). Oppenheim transferred the countless debris to the Pergamon Museum. Here they were stored in the cellar for decades and slept through the GDR. After the fall of the Wall, the “Gods of Tell Halaf” were elaborately reconstructed.