Thursday, May 08, 2008
New Acropolis Museum
Today I would like to share a video preview of the new Acropolis museum. This museum was still under construction when I visited Athens with friends in 2005. (1) It is located on the grounds of the Parthenon complex - you can see the temple through the windows.
What I find most exciting about this museum is the full display of the Parthenon Frieze in it's original order. As you may know, parts of the original marble frieze are in London and parts are in Greece, so the exhibit in Greece uses copies to represent those pieces in the British Museum. (I saw those pieces in England, known to the world as the Elgin marbles, many years ago. They are breathtaking). Even though some of the pieces in the new Athens museum are copies, it would be quite something to see this great work as close as possible to the way the ancient Greeks saw it.
Various countries are currently in talks with the British Museum (and other museums around the world) on whether cultural artifacts like the frieze carvings should be returned to their place of origin. These discussion have gone on for decades and have yielded few results, thus far. Scholars and others continue to debate this question.
You can read more about the Parthenon frieze and take an illustrated tour at this website.
(1) Much of the Acropolis had been cleaned and made ready for the Olympic Games in Greece in 2004. The aim is to have the area totally restored. Efforts are on-going, and if you visit you can see the work being done on site.