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Friedrich Wilhelm IV described his vision for Berlin’s Museum Island as a “cultural acropolis”; a sacred sanctuary for the arts and sciences that would cement the Prussian capital as the Athens of the north. Almost two centuries later, his classical aspirations have been fulfilled by British architect David Chipperfield, in the form of a dazzling white temple. Opening this weekend, after 20 years of planning, the James Simon Gallery stands as a €134m (£120m) Parthenon-on-Spree, forming a handsome new entrance to one of the world’s most important repositories of cultural treasures.