August 2, 2002
The New Acropolis Museum was redesigned specifically to avoid creating problems with the archaeological site that it sits over. Many people in Greece (I suspect largely for political reasons) are continuing to raise objections to it, seemingly glossing over everything that it does to avoid damaging the site & instead talking about the potential for destruction. The reality is than anywhere you build in central Athens, you will be on archaeological remains. The building surrounding the Acropolis Museum doubtless damaged large areas of remains when they themselves were built. Far more than most buildings in Greece, this one is deliberately designed around the ruins that it shares the plot of land with, yet people continue to obstruct it construction. Surely though, looking at it pragmatically, it is better to have the building constructed as it is proposed, than to have no building at all? If the objections carry on in this way, a great opportunity for Greece will end up being lost.
Marbles Lost and Found
In the Parthenon’s Shadow, an Old Grievance Gets Put on a Pedestal
By Kirstin Downey Grimsley
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, July 29, 2002; Page C01
ATHENS — A $100 million museum being built here in hopes of shaming the British government into giving back sculptures taken two centuries ago is creating controversy in Greece, where a growing number of critics say the government is damaging other antiquities in a rush to make the museum ready in time for the 2004 Olympics.
They charge that excavation at the museum’s site at the foot of the great Acropolis citadel has uncovered substantial Roman, Byzantine and Stone Age ruins that provide vivid archaeological snapshots of ancient Athens, and that development should be delayed while the remains are studied.
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