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Old July 16th, 2007, 12:43 PM   #1
hkskyline
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Greece May Demolish Landmarks for Acropolis View

Greece may demolish landmarks for Acropolis view

ATHENS, July 13 (Reuters) - Greek activists vowed to stage protests and take legal action to stop the demolition of two historic buildings in order to clear the view from the new Acropolis museum.

The new museum which opens its gates in 2008 after years of delays, is expected to spur on renewed efforts to bring home the Parthenon marbles from the British Museum in London.

The Greek museum is meant to visually connect with the Acropolis but two landmark buildings now appear to be in the way and the national archaeological council (KAS), the main guardian of Greece's cultural heritage, has approved their demolition.

"We will do anything to stop the demolition and probably take our case to the Council of State (one of Greece's top courts)," said Kostas Stamatopoulos, vice president of the Hellenic Society for the Protection of Cultural Heritage.

The Society, neighbours, artists and academics have appealed to KAS to protect the two buildings. One is hailed as a prime example of art deco architecture in Athens, designed by a famous, award-winning architect, and boasts carved statues and mosaics on its facade.

The other nearby building marked for demolition on the expensive pedestrian street which surrounds about half of the Acropolis, belongs to music composer Vangelis Papathanasiou, of Chariots of Fire fame.

The culture ministry, in whose hands the fate of the buildings now hangs, said the minister had not yet made a decision on their demolition.

"The two buildings, although of great importance, hinder the desired unity between the monument and its new museum," a culture ministry official said on condition of anonymity.

KAS decided that the building should be demolished as it blocks the view from the windows of the new Acropolis museum, which is now a more important cultural monument.

Stamatopoulos said the decision was unexpected because retaining the buildings was part of the terms of the architectural competition that started in 1991 for the design of the new Acropolis museum.

"These buildings have been declared historic monuments since the 1970s," he said, vowing street protests and a media campaign.

Legal battles and missed deadlines had plagued the Acropolis museum - a large glass structure perched on thick concrete columns - but finally the project is nearing completion and will be ready in early 2008 to receive up to 10,000 visitors a day.

The museum was built specifically for the Parthenon sculptures, known in Britain as the Elgin marbles after the British diplomat who took them to England around 1800. Greece has campaigned for decades for their return.
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Old July 17th, 2007, 02:37 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
[size=4
"The two buildings, although of great importance, hinder the desired unity between the monument and its new museum," a culture ministry official said on condition of anonymity.

KAS decided that the building should be demolished as it blocks the view from the windows of the new Acropolis museum, which is now a more important cultural monument.
unbelievable, because it ******* blocks the view?
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Old July 17th, 2007, 03:10 AM   #3
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KAS decided that the building should be demolished as it blocks the view from the windows of the new Acropolis museum, which is now a more important cultural monument.
Yes.... if Rome kept only the Colosseum, London the Tower, and Greece the Acropolis, then that's all the culture they need.


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Old July 17th, 2007, 03:20 AM   #4
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Have you guys seen the delapitated state one of the two buildings in question is in? They are an eyesore. Hopefully someone will post pics of them. I'll try myself.

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Old July 17th, 2007, 03:27 AM   #5
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Ok, here is one pic:

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Old July 17th, 2007, 03:43 AM   #6
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Doesn't look like it's beyond repair, and anyway demolishing a structure of note just because of it current condition makes a mockery of the entire idea of conservation, something this museum is obviously meant to prevent in another form.
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Old July 18th, 2007, 05:01 PM   #7
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I am very sorry but I can't really call that grey building a beauty... although to demolish it is a bit over the top as well...
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Old July 18th, 2007, 05:09 PM   #8
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Actually, the facades of the buildings are very nice.
You are looking at the backs which were not designed to be beautiful.

I would like to see them demolished and rebuilt elsewhere (Is it not possible to maintain and transport the facades atleast)?
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Old July 19th, 2007, 05:50 PM   #9
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anyone any pictures from the facadeS?
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Old July 19th, 2007, 06:01 PM   #10
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No pictures of the facade but this is the street:
image hosted on flickr

It may possibly be the buildings in the back there.

This is a very nice street and all the buildings are very elegant...id hate to see the facades torn down. Would also ruin the atmosphere of the street itself.

EDIT:
It is actually the building to the very right of this picture.

Last edited by Giorgio; July 19th, 2007 at 06:13 PM.
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Old July 19th, 2007, 06:12 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LEAFS FANATIC View Post
Ok, here is one pic:

if those are the buildings, go for it

and what "historic event" lies behind them to keep them up?

anyways, difficult subject to come up to conclusions so easily
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Old July 19th, 2007, 06:18 PM   #12
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Quote:
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if those are the buildings, go for it

and what "historic event" lies behind them to keep them up?

anyways, difficult subject to come up to conclusions so easily
As I said...look at the facades please. Not the naked backs which are not meant to be exposed.

Here is another image I found.
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Old July 19th, 2007, 09:37 PM   #13
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A building doesn't necessarily have to have an 'historic event' associated with it to be of importance. It can be representative of a certain period, an excellent example of a style or a rare one, or it can just add to the overall cultural and architectural history of the city
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Old August 2nd, 2007, 03:12 PM   #14
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Athens citizens fight to save Art Deco gem facing demolition for view of the Parthenon
2 August 2007

ATHENS, Greece (AP) - A reflection of the Parthenon shimmers from the windows of Greece's new Acropolis Museum in a convergence of antiquity and modern architecture.

But from inside the glass and concrete museum, the view of the Parthenon is ruined by two buildings, and a plan to demolish them has opened a fierce debate about sacrificing Greece's modern treasures to showcase its ancient history.

One of the two buildings is 1930s Art Deco gem designated a monument in its own right. The other is owned by Oscar-winning composer Vangelis Papathanassiou of "Chariots of Fire" fame.

With its pink marbled exterior, the Art Deco building is the most eye-catching along the leafy road leading to the Acropolis entrance. A mosaic of Oedipus and the Sphinx adorn the top story, and marble statues of women in traditional dress flank the wrought iron door.

But a visitor looking out from the new museum -- scheduled to open in early 2008 -- would see only the rear of the two buildings -- plain and charmless facades.

Culture Minister Giorgos Voulgarakis announced in May that the two buildings would be torn down. Two months later, Greece's archaeological council voted to revoke the Art Deco structure's protection from demolition and its status as a monument.

Residents and architects were outraged. They have started an Internet campaign to save both buildings and have received e-mails of support from around the world.

"Let's be more open-minded. Greece is not just antiquities," said architect Nikos Rousseas, whose office is on the ground floor of the Art Deco building.

The new museum "is not the one to judge what part of history is important and what is not," he said. "We can't do things like that at the expense of other monuments and works of art."

Defenders of the two buildings -- No. 17 and No. 19 Dionyssiou Areopagitou St. -- are urging Voulgarakis not to sign the archaeological council's recommendation to demolish them. Rousseas has posted information on the Art Deco building outside its front door, along with an appeal to visitors to help by writing to the culture minister.

The Culture Ministry said it would comment later on the controversy.

The Art Deco building, No. 17, was built by Vassilis Kouremenos, a graduate of Paris' Ecole des Beaux Arts and reportedly a friend of Pablo Picasso.

It is "probably the most impressive example of its kind" in Athens, said Kostas Stamatopoulos of the Hellenic Society for the Protection of the Environment and Cultural Heritage.

The debate threatens to overshadow the long-anticipated opening of the new museum next year.

Athens has sorely needed a new place to house antiquities from the 2,600-year-old Acropolis. The old museum on the Acropolis hill near the Parthenon temple was cramped and overcrowded. It closed down in June, and the new museum promises to display artifacts hidden away in storage rooms because of a lack of exhibition space. Next month, 300 marble statues from atop the Acropolis will be moved into the museum.

Greeks hope it will one day house the Elgin Marbles -- a collection of sculptures removed from the Parthenon in the early 19th century and currently housed in London's British Museum. Athens has sought their return for years. The British Museum has refused, but a space awaits them in a gallery on the top floor of the new museum.

The gallery was meant to be enhanced by an untarnished view of the Acropolis.

"The glass enclosure of the gallery provides ideal light for sculpture in direct view to and from the historical reference point of the Acropolis," U.S.-based architect Bernard Tschumi, who designed the museum, wrote in a promotional leaflet.

The museum was constructed after years of delays and fierce criticism over its location, structure and hulking size. Critics say its style is incongruous with its surroundings, on the edge of Athens' old district of Plaka.

"We are tearing down two protected buildings to showcase one of dubious aesthetics and bulk," said Stamatopoulos.

The Art Deco building caught the eye of visitors gazing down on Athens from the Acropolis.

"Looking from above, you can see the new museum and these buildings," said Michael Seigel, visiting from Tampa, Fla., with his family. "They're very pretty. There's no reason to see them destroyed."
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Old May 23rd, 2009, 06:24 PM   #15
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Greece museum aims to bring back Parthenon relics

ATHENS, May 20 (Reuters) - Greece will open a new Acropolis Museum in June, its culture minister said on Wednesday, with the aim of bringing back historical monuments currently exhibited in the British Museum in London.

Greece has campaigned for decades to retrieve the Parthenon sculptures from the British Museum and said they were an integral part of one of the world's most important monuments, but the British Museum has refused to return the treasures.

The Acropolis museum, built below the Parthenon and the other classical age marble temples of the Acropolis, has experienced years of delay with legal battles and missed deadlines plaguing its construction.

"The new Acropolis museum is the quintessence of classical culture," Culture Minister Antonis Samaras said.

Hundreds of foreign dignitaries, artists and academics have been invited to the June 20 official inauguration of the museum.

British Museum officials have also been invited to the lavish ceremony, expected to cost 3 million euros ($4 million).

The British Museum contains roughly half of the 160-metre frieze that adorned the 2,500-year-old temple, removed 200 years ago by Lord Elgin, then British ambassador to the Ottoman Empire which ruled Greece at the time.

The late actress, turned Culture Minister Melina Mercouri launched the return campaign and the construction of the new museum to respond to arguments that Greece had no place to put the marbles if they were returned.

The museum, which expects around 2.5 million visitors a year, met with local opposition when the government marked two historic buildings for demolition and said they were hindering the visual connection from part of the new museum with the Acropolis. The dispute remains unresolved.

One of the buildings is a prime example of art deco architecture in Athens and the other belongs to music composer Vangelis Papathanasiou of Chariots of Fire fame.
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Old May 23rd, 2009, 06:29 PM   #16
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Just move the 1 building. The other one seems to have little value.
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Old July 2nd, 2009, 02:37 PM   #17
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One is a lovely art deco from 1930, the other is 100+ years old neoclassical. We will NEVER permit those idiots to continue destroying what's left of pre-war Athens. 45000 signatures and counting...The new museum is wonderful, but it has to co-exist with them. It was actually designed so that it is NOT visible behind them, so as not to disturb the character of the street.Funnily enough, it was a prerequisite when the architectural contest started that the museum will be hidden behind the buildings. A city is not a "tabula rasa"...especially a city that has been inhabited non-stop for over 3000 years.
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Old July 3rd, 2009, 06:48 AM   #18
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I can't help but think that the architect of the museum royally messed up and couldn't find a better solution to the landmarks blocking the view. Anyone has pictures of the design of the museum?
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Old July 5th, 2009, 08:35 AM   #19
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Greece May Demolish Landmarks for Acropolis View

Greek activists vowed to stage protests and take legal action to stop the demolition of two historic buildings in order to clear the view from the new Acropolis museum.

The new museum which opens its gates in 2008 after years of delays, is expected to spur on renewed efforts to bring home the Parthenon marbles from the British Museum in London.

The Greek museum is meant to visually connect with the Acropolis but two landmark buildings now appear to be in the way and the national archaeological council (KAS), the main guardian of Greece's cultural heritage, has approved their demolition.

"We will do anything to stop the demolition and probably take our case to the Council of State (one of Greece's top courts)," said Kostas Stamatopoulos, vice president of the Hellenic Society for the Protection of Cultural Heritage.

The Society, neighbors, artists and academics have appealed to KAS to protect the two buildings. One is hailed as a prime example of art deco architecture in Athens, designed by a famous, award-winning architect, and boasts carved statues and mosaics on its facade.

The other nearby building marked for demolition on the expensive pedestrian street which surrounds about half of the Acropolis, belongs to music composer Vangelis Papathanasiou, of Chariots of Fire fame.

The culture ministry, in whose hands the fate of the buildings now hangs, said the minister had not yet made a decision on their demolition.

"The two buildings, although of great importance, hinder the desired unity between the monument and its new museum," a culture ministry official said on condition of anonymity.

KAS decided that the building should be demolished as it blocks the view from the windows of the new Acropolis museum, which is now a more important cultural monument.

Stamatopoulos said the decision was unexpected because retaining the buildings was part of the terms of the architectural competition that started in 1991 for the design of the new Acropolis museum.

"These buildings have been declared historic monuments since the 1970s," he said, vowing street protests and a media campaign.

Legal battles and missed deadlines had plagued the Acropolis museum - a large glass structure perched on thick concrete columns - but finally the project is nearing completion and will be ready in early 2008 to receive up to 10,000 visitors a day.

The museum was built specifically for the Parthenon sculptures, known in Britain as the Elgin marbles after the British diplomat who took them to England around 1800. Greece has campaigned for decades for their return.
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