April 13, 2006

Copy of Propylaea column completed

Posted at 1:01 pm in Acropolis

As part of the long running Acropolis restoration project, restorers have carved out of marble an exact replica of one of the column capitals from the Propylaea. The capital is being displayed at ground level until after the summer when it will be positioned correctly on the building.

The Guardian

Acropolis Restorers Unveil Copy of Column
Thursday April 13, 2006 5:01 AM
AP Photo ATH101

ATHENS, Greece (AP) – Greece on Wednesday unveiled a marble replica of a column capital to be used in the ongoing mammoth Acropolis restoration project.

The 2.2-ton capital will sit atop a column in the monumental Propylaea gate leading to the Parthenon.

The Acropolis restoration – which includes work on the Parthenon – is expected to be finished in 2020 at a cost of $85 million.

Decorated with graceful spirals and moldings, the capital was carved by two sculptors, working for two years.

“The Propylaea’s ancient Ionic capitals are justly considered the most beautiful ever made,” Culture Minister Giorgos Voulgarakis said.

One more copy is being made, and both will be hoisted into their final positions in the summer after a two-month exhibition period, during which they will be shown on a shortened version of their original fluted columns.

Tassos Tanoulas, the architect overseeing the Propylaea works, said his sculptors used a simple system of curves and measures to replicate the ancient originals – two of only six fragments to have survived from the Ionic capitals.

“What one sees here is precisely like the original that the ancient architect Mnesicles, who designed the building, had in his hands before the final coloring was applied,” Tanoulas said.

The Propylaea was built between 437-432 B.C., but work was halted by the Peloponnesian War between Athens and rival Sparta, and was never completed.

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