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Old June 25th, 2009, 06:00 PM   #281
hkskyline
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Greece demands marbles return at new Acropolis opening
20 June 2009
Agence France Presse

Greece ramped up pressure on Britain to return pricless statues from antiquity taken over 200 years ago ahead of Saturday's grand opening of the new Acropolis Museum.

According to Greece's culture minister, the giant 130-million-euro glass and concrete display case, which dominates the Athens skyline under the Parthenon temple, is the physical embodiment of a campaign dating from 1983.

The 180-million-dollar building, which had its origins in British jibes that Greece would have nowhere to display what are known in London as the 'Elgin Marbles' if ever they did return, was designed to host the reunified artworks.

Greek Culture Minister Antonis Samaras said late Friday at an advance opening for media that the new museum space "now demolishes that excuse."

About half of the Parthenon Marbles -- fifth century Greek marble sculptures, inscriptions and architectural columns that originally belonged to the Parthenon and other buildings on the Acropolis -- are intact in the museum.

Of the remainder, most are held in London's British Museum after they were hacked away in the early 1800s on the orders of a British aristocrat and diplomat, Lord Elgin, under a deal with the then ruling Ottoman Empire.

Replicas have been erected in the new galleries.

Five years late -- it was originally due to open around the Athens Olympic Games -- Greece invited heads of state from around the world for the opening.

Turkish premier Recep Tayip Erdogan cancelled at the last minute citing "health reasons," Greek officials said, leaving UN heritage chief Koichiro Matsuura and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso at the top table.

Heads of state or government from Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Finland, Montenegro, Serbia and Slovakia were joined by cultural emissaries from another 30-odd countries.

The government also invited British Museum officials to attend the opening despite their refusal to return the marbles -- and Greece's rejection of an offer to "loan" them back, which Athens said would confer ownership rights it denies.

Stepping up Greece's campaign, Samaras appealed to "everyone around the world who believes in the values and ideas that emerged on the slopes of the Acropolis to join our quest to bring the missing Parthenon marbles home."

Speaking in English, he said their "abduction" and "enforced exile" was "not only an injustice to us Greeks but to everyone in the world, the English included, because they were made to be seen in sequence and in total."

That was "something that cannot happen as long as half of them are held hostage in the British Museum," he added.

An international campaigning group said Friday that the 2012 London Olympics would represent the perfect symbolic moment to send the relics home.

The objects were purchased by the British Parliament from Lord Elgin in 1816 and then presented to the British Museum.

Aaccording to the museum's website, the London collection includes sculptures from the Parthenon, roughly half of what now survives: 247 feet (75 metres) of the original 524 feet of frieze; 15 of 92 metopes; 17 figures from the pediments, and various other pieces of architecture.

Designed by celebrated Franco-Swiss architect Bernard Tschumi, the three-level Athens building offers panoramic views of the stone citadel and showcases sculptures from the golden age of Athenian democracy.

Set out over a total area of 14,000 square metres (150,000 square feet), it displays more than 350 artefacts and sculptures that were previously held in a small museum atop the Acropolis.

Heavy security was deployed in the Greek capital for the evening ceremonials beginning at 1700 GMT which will be led by Greek President Karolos Papoulias, Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis and Samaras.
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Old June 25th, 2009, 09:36 PM   #282
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The museum is stunning! And the opening ceremony was fantastic!
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Old July 1st, 2009, 04:14 PM   #283
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I've been to the New Acropolis Museum site many times, from the digging of the foundations through to the opening ceremony. To anyone who purports to understand the sculptures within it, I find it hard to understand how it would be possibly to plausibly claim that there locations outside Athens are better for displaying these artefacts.

The museum is a building that you need to walk around in to fully understand - photos do not necessarily do it justice.

I've collected a lot of press articles about it from the last 5 years or so on my website here:
http://www.elginism.com/category/new-acropolis-museum/
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Old July 1st, 2009, 04:37 PM   #284
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Great! Im looking forward to visit Athens soon. Went to Thassos on my last visit to Greece -sensational!
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Old July 7th, 2009, 02:01 AM   #285
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Last edited by somataki; July 7th, 2009 at 02:06 PM.
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Old July 20th, 2009, 07:21 PM   #286
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Overview of the Project:

Acropolis Museum: A Modern Twist to an Ancient Theme
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Old July 24th, 2009, 08:49 PM   #287
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Modernity enhances antiquity
Nearby Parthenon inspires reverent tribute to the wonders of Greece's Golden Age

Christopher Hume
11 July 2009
The Toronto Star

ATHENS -- Architectural egotism notwithstanding, who wouldn't be intimidated by the thought of designing a companion to the Parthenon?

Not Swiss-born, New York-based architect Bernard Tschumi. His New Acropolis Museum, which opened in Athens just weeks ago, sits at the foot of the celebrated site, just 300 metres from the seminal structure.

The Parthenon, a creation of the legendary architects of ancient Greece - Ictinus, Callicrates and Phidias, the sculptor - is easily one of the most important buildings in the world. Constructed roughly 2,500 years ago, it stands atop a limestone outcropping: a symbol of Athenian might and unparalleled cultural sophistication. Built as a temple of the city's patron deity, Athena, it also served as a church, mosque and ammunition dump.

The Parthenon has been neglected and mistreated through the ages, including being blown up by the Venetians in 1687.

But the crowning insult came in 1801 when Lord Elgin hacked off the sculptures from the east pediment and shipped them back to Scotland. They ended up in the British Museum, where they remain on display.

Despite repeated pleas from the Greeks, the English have refused to return the so-called Elgin Marbles. The argument was that there was no place in Athens up to the task of housing the masterpieces.

No longer. The New Acropolis Museum is Greece's answer to the British - and the world.

Though not conventionally beautiful, Tschumi's building is impressive and fully engaged. It is thoroughly 21st-century, but it is not starchitecture, or anything like it. Rather, it's an elegant and thoughtful building intended to serve the collection it contains - a model of architectural restraint, if not self-effacement.

"The site was nothing but constraints," Tschumi says, "but we turned constraints into opportunities."

For example, the ground beneath the museum is an archaeological treasure trove, full of foundations of early Roman domestic buildings, wells, streets and the like. Instead of burying them forever, Tschumi lifted the building on stilts and opted for a glass floor. That means visitors can stop and view the ruins.

The positioning of the museum was determined by the small site, which is defined by an existing road grid and other buildings. But the Parthenon Gallery, placed on top of two lower floors, sits on an angle to the rest of the building.

As Tschumi makes clear in an interview, this is no empty deconstructivist gesture, but the result of aligning the gallery with the Parthenon on the hill above.

Indeed, the Parthenon Gallery is a recreation of the temple - a large rectangular room where the carved marble panels (metopes) and frieze that decorated the original are displayed. (The missing Elgin Marbles, marked by empty spaces, are conspicuous in their absence).

The gallery is a spectacular vantage point from which to view the Parthenon, which is reflected in the northern glass wall of the museum. The result is a magical effect that allows visitors to see the original building in the distance while looking at its sculptures up close.

The designers used what Tschumi calls "extra clear glass," which is all but invisible, another indication of the architects' desire to defer to the Parthenon - to establish a dialogue with the landmark without upstaging it. "We wanted to keep things as simple as possible and avoid superfluous detail," Tschumi explains. "We tried for clarity."

From the outside, Tschumi's building presents itself as an uncomplicated arrangement of rectangles of concrete, glass and steel. The entrance, with its transparent floors and extended canopy, provides an occasion for drama, but the overall impression is that the design team was reluctant to approach the project as a landmark in its own right.

There is a reticence to this building that puts the weight of the experience fully on its contents. But the fact is, most visitors could benefit from more context, more intervention.

It's interesting, for instance, that although the Parthenon was originally brightly coloured, gilded and even gaudy, the museum plays to the notion that the art and architecture of Classical Greece were exquisite but austere. None of the historic exuberance comes through in the new building.

Ultimately, it is content to be a repository for a series of objects, albeit some of the most exquisite and significant in the Western world.

Despite all this, and a long and tortuous gestation that lasted more than three decades, the New Acropolis Museum puts Athens back in the forefront of its own history.

For the first time in centuries, if not millennia, Greece's past has a future.

Info: www.newacropolismuseum.gr
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Old August 1st, 2009, 12:14 PM   #288
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Some photos from my last visit in the new Acropolis Museum:






















































































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Old August 1st, 2009, 12:16 PM   #289
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New Acropolis museum



1st floor:




















Caryatides:




























Ancient Greek coins:








Temple of Athina Nikis:


Propylaia:
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Old August 1st, 2009, 03:15 PM   #290
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The best archaeological museum in the world
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Old August 2nd, 2009, 01:46 PM   #291
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It is indeed the best museum; worth a visit in the museum...
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Old August 2nd, 2009, 06:29 PM   #292
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Local group’s clear vision helps build Acropolis Museum
23 July 2009
Cyprus Mail

CYPRUS has left its own mark on the construction of the new Acropolis Museum in Athens with the participation of a Cypriot company in a consortium that dealt with the building’s glass features.

In an interview with the Cyprus News Agency (CNA), Marios Droushiotis, one of the Cypriot glass engineers who has worked for the project, talked about his unique experience during the construction of the museum, and stressing the importance of the contribution of a local company to such a remarkable building.

He said his company had to compete with other European consortiums, which usually carry out projects of that kind and size. In late 2005, the Cyprus-Austrian consortium finally signed the contract, with the main contractor AKTOR A.T.E., for the design, supply and installation of all glass and metal coatings of the museum.

Droushiotis said the Cypriot company had an advantage, because of its experience with projects of similar architectural philosophy in Cyprus. He mentioned some of the newest buildings in Nicosia, as the new Supreme Court and the Olympic Committee building.

Droushiotis recalls that a Museum official commented on the Cypriot involvement, saying in a light-hearted remark that "Iktinos and Kallikrates built the Acropolis and now the Cypriots have built the Museum of Acropolis".

"It was a fascinating, exciting and very emotional experience. The feeling was totally different to any other project we have ever undertaken", said Droushiotis. It was not a building designed for staff or services, but a building designed to house history, culture and the roots of democracy, adding that any contribution to this effort is a unique experience, he added.

Droushiotis recalls that on November 19, 2005 he and his colleague were standing for the first time on the roof slab of the museum.

"We were in front of the Acropolis and the Parthenon was a breath away, as if we could touch it with our hands," he said.

He said the simplicity of the overall design highlighted the artwork and the sculptures and not the building itself. Extensive use of glass in the building’s design allows the integration of natural light into the galleries, he said.

Droushiotis detailed how use of glass was part of the bioclimatic planning of the building, "which gives ideal lighting and heating conditions". The new Museum was characterised as "green building", according to EU specifications. It was also designed to absorb noises and to survive earthquakes, measuring up to 9.2 on the Richter scale.

Droushiotis continues to work for the Acropolis Museum and he is currently designing the glass external displays of the open exhibition area of the Museum’s excavation.

Designed by Bernard Tschumi and Mihalis Fotiades, the new Acropolis Museum has a total area of 25,000 square metres, with exhibition space of over 14,000 square metres. It is made of stainless steel, glass, marble and concrete and has a direct view of the Acropolis.

The official opening ceremony was on June 21.
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Old August 28th, 2009, 12:38 PM   #293
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Old August 30th, 2009, 07:22 PM   #294
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A nice video made by famous director Costa Gavras on the history of the Parthenon:

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Old August 31st, 2009, 12:56 AM   #295
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Stunning!
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Old August 31st, 2009, 07:27 PM   #296
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BTW the Athens new Acropolis museum its now complete. Someone to change the title (it says U/C) Thanks
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Old November 8th, 2010, 05:15 PM   #297
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New Acropolis Museum has won the British Guild of Travel Writers' (BGTW) prestigious global award for the Best Worldwide Tourism Project for 2010. What an irony, such a great award to become from Britain..

http://www.athensnews.gr/portal/3/33304
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Old November 9th, 2010, 03:43 PM   #298
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Quote:
Originally Posted by potiz81 View Post
New Acropolis Museum has won the British Guild of Travel Writers' (BGTW) prestigious global award for the Best Worldwide Tourism Project for 2010. What an irony, such a great award to become from Britain..

http://www.athensnews.gr/portal/3/33304
Voted as best Museum of the World....not irony at all...
British people have voted 90% to return the Parthenon sculptures to Greece.....
Lets take the oportunity of the Olympics and as we are going to send the flame they will return the sculptures to HOME..
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Old November 10th, 2010, 11:14 PM   #299
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Some new great photos of the Museum
Higher analysis at the links....




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Old November 10th, 2010, 11:30 PM   #300
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Amazing collection of photos..
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