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May 4, 2015

The Parthenon Marbles & the 2015 General Election

Posted at 11:28 pm in British Museum, Elgin Marbles, New Acropolis Museum, Similar cases

Introduction

For a long time, like many others who have followed the case closely, I have had a general understanding of which parties supported return of the Parthenon Marbles and which did not. However, with the upcoming General Election in May, I thought it would be interesting to see if the figures actually backed this up.

To the best of my knowledge, none of the parties in the UK currently have an official policy on it, although past statements actions have given a relatively good idea of where the main parties stand on the issue. As followers of British politics will know though, this election, more than any in recent years is as much about the rise of other smaller parties as it is about the main parties. Predictions are that the share of votes cast for smaller parties will far exceed what has been achieved at any previous elections.

In 2010, I took a look at the policies of the main parties and based this on historic information. As a result of this, I know that we had people in the government who strongly believed in the return of the Parthenon Sculptures to Greece, but they were unable to express these views, as they believed that there were more major issues that needed to be tackled with their coalition partners, before time was invested in things such as this.

Methodology

This time round, I have looked at the information on support from various parties using two entirely different methods.

The first analysis is based on the incumbent MPs and their previous expressions of support. The majority of these come from Early Day Motions, although there are additional instances where people have been added to the list (either for or against) based on public statements, replies to letters or direct conversations.

The second analysis is entirely new and is based on a survey of candidates on Twitter. I started this exercise following the dissolution of Parliament at the end of March 2015. I targeted a wide range of Prospective Parliamentary Candidates, some of whom had been MPs in the previous parliament and many others who had not. This helps us to better gauge levels of support not just from those who have been elected in the past, but also from those who have yet to be elected.

Because people were asked a question on twitter, it meant that the replies could be more nuanced than a simple yes or no. This made it harder to categorise the results, but led to some additional categories and could form the basis for development of new campaign strategies in the future.

Anyone who looks in detail at either of these methods will see that they both have their flaws. However, if we bear in mind these issues, there are some interesting things that can be learned from the data, some of which backed up my expectations, while others were unanticipated.

Survey 1: Indications of the opinion of MPs in the previous parliament

Limitations

  1. Nearly all the data here is collated from responses to Early Day Motions. Prior to the 2010 election, my data covered more MPs, but so many stood down at that election, that there have not been enough significant events since then to gauge support from new MPs so clearly.
  2. The results skew towards those who sign EDMs. MPs that are in the Government (e.g. ministers, junior ministers etc.) tend not to sign EDMs. There are others out there too, who never sign EDMs on principle – often because they believe them to be a waste of time, which does not achieve anything directly. While this may be true up to a point, there is no denying, that they allow other MPs to gauge levels of support for a cause, which may then be utilised in other ways. And MP may know of a few other strong supporters of a cause, but often EDMs add to their list others who they barely know, or who they had never considered as being potential enthusiasts in the same issue.
  3. Results can be skewed for smaller parties. With a larger (hypothetical) party, 20 supporters out of 100 MPs can give a clearish indication of 20% support within the party. With a party of 1 or 2 members though, it is easy for them to come out as being 100% in support, whereas the reality is that the sample size is smaller & therefore the results potentially less accurate.

The dataset

The data is based on the 649 MPs (the speaker is not counted) at the end of the previous parliament. This is to say – the 21 by-elections during the last five years have been factored into the results. Data has been collected both during the previous parliament and in the case of those who were MPs prior to that, from EDMs dating back as far as 1991. In total, the results of 24 pro-restitution and 3 anti-restitution EDMs have been taken into account.

249 MPs were new to Parliament in the 2010 election (an unusually high number, in part due to many retirements) or have joined through by-elections since then. As only two EDMs have referred to the Parthenon Marbles since 2010, results skew in favour of those MPs who have been in parliament for longer.

Results

Of the parties with more than ten MPs, the highest level of support is from the Lib Dems, at 46%. Labour is next at 23%. Finally, there are the Conservatives with 2%.

Of the smaller parties (where results may hold less accuracy), the SNP has support at 33%, with 2 out of 6 MPs. The SDLP both show 60% support with 2 out of 3 MPs. Plaid Cymru has 100% support with 3 MPs Respect show support of 100%, but only has a single MP.

There have also been some anti-restitution EDMs tabled – generally in direct response to the pro-restitution EDMs that the above results are based on. Of these, the only signatories are from the Conservatives, with 20 MPs indicating that 7% of their MPs have specifically stated that they are against reunification of the sculptures.

As these results do not go against what my more recent survey showed, I will deal with the conclusions of both sets of results together.

Survey 2 – Twitter survey of PPCs

Limitations

As mentioned before, there are a number of potential flaws to this study.

  1. There is an election on – as a result, many PPCs have other things on their mind as well as answering questions on twitter, so well thought out responses would not necessarily be forthcoming. Results may skew towards those who have more time available, which is likely to mean those who are not part of the incumbent government.
  2. Some MPs have a twitter account purely as a PR tool, which in managed for them by their office staff on an occasional basis.
  3. The results as a whole will skew towards those MPs who are on twitter – something that I would imagine ties to a younger demographic, although as more and more expand their online presence, this becomes less of an issue.
  4. Perhaps most importantly, when related to the results of the first survey, my findings from the twitter poll suggest that those who are against the return of the sculptures are less likely to reply than those who are.

The Dataset

I messaged 1174 PPCs who were on Twitter. From this, I received 138 responses – a reply rate of approximately 12%.

351 of those contacted had been MPs during the previous Parliament, (equating to 54% of the 650 constituencies) so there was a good representation amongst those asked of both current MPs and potential new ones (particularly when one bears in mind that 89 from the last Parliament are retiring of have been deselected – bringing the number of incumbents asked to 63% of those who are standing again).

The candidates selected were based on various lists of twitter contact details I came across, so were somewhat random in their nature, involving a selection of all the parties expected to win seats in Mainland UK. None of the Northern Irish Parties were represented by this list.

With the exception of SNP members, all others came from a single list of Twitter handles that I located, so the balance of parties comes from there. It is skewed a bit heavily in favour of Labour, but all parties are represented by enough members to constitute a reasonable sample size.

The question I asked initially in my tweets was:

In run up to election, was wondering what your views are on Parthenon Marbles return? Many voters feel strongly about it

After I had sent out the first 200 or so messages, a number of people queried the use of the term “many people”. I still stand by my use of it – perhaps not as a percentage of those in the UK it is not many, but worldwide, we are talking of numbers in terms of millions.

To avoid getting side-tracked by queries and to tie the question more closely to current events, for the remainder of those questioned, I asked:

In election run up, was wondering what your views are on Parthenon Marbles return? & of UK rejection of UNESCO mediation

It rapidly became clear once I started getting answers that a simple yes or no was not going to cover everything.

Many people added more detail to qualify their answer; I will cover some of the key points from this later.

Quite a few of the answers were not yes or no, or even maybe. I created a separate category for cases where their intent was completely unclear. It also includes those who only reply to queries from those in their constituency.

Others were undecided, so fell into the maybe category.

Finally, a surprising number (enough to create a category of its own) stated that either that they had no answer or did not have the time to consider it, because they did not see the subject as being an issue. No constituents had ever asked about it in their years of campaigning, or they did not have the time to think about it.

The results of this survey are shown below:

Views of PPCs from different parties on whether the Parthenon Marbles should be returned - May 2015

PartyYesNoMaybeUnclearUnimportant
Con18%41%12%18%12%
Green87%0%10%0%3%
Lab65%2%15%9%9%
LD70%13%4%9%4%
PC100%0%0%0%0%
UKIP38%25%13%13%13%
SNP100%0%0%0%0%
Responses broken down as a percentage of those questioned from each party

There was quite a lot of data to digest there, but it can be made simpler if those from the maybe, unclear and unimportant categories are ignored. It seems safe to assume that if it came to a vote, these people would be likely to at the very least follow a 50 / 50 split, or to follow the split of opinions of those in their party who have already made their views known, meaning that the overall trend in the results should still be relatively similar.

As you can see from this table, the results are fairly clear cut. With the exception of the Conservatives, in all other parties the clear majority of respondents support return of the Parthenon Sculptures – in most cases by a massive amount.

UKIP is perhaps the most erratic in their responses, with no definite trend. As with most of the other parties, there is no set party policy on the issue, but in their case, members seem more divided on whether or not they want the sculptures returned.

What is interesting is to interpolate these results to match the actual breakdown of the MPs in parliament. The breakdown of each of the parties questioned is taken as a percentage of their number of seats multiplied by their percentage of yes votes. Other parties not covered by my survey are included as zero support, although we already know from the first part of this study, that Respect (with a single MP) supports the return of the Marbles. The total number of MPs used for calculating the percentages is 650 minus the speaker (who does not vote) and minus the 5 Sinn Féin MPs (who do not take their seats in Parliament) Giving a total of 644 voting MPs. This same methodology (in terms of voting and non-voting members) is used to calculate how many seats are required for a majority in Parliament.

Interpolated outcome for a hypothetical vote in the final session of the previous parliament (2014-2015) based on a Twitter survey of PPCs - May 2015

PartyMPsAs %Yes %Aggregate 
Total62%
Con30347%30%14%
Green10%100%0%
Lab25840%97%39%
LD579%84%7%
PC30%100%0%
SNP61%100%1%
UKIP20%60%0%
Others142%0%0%

Not all parties are included in this survey and it relies on a lot of assumptions, but based on the information available, it still represents a surprising outcome, that even with the Conservatives forming the largest block in Parliament (albeit not an overall majority), 62% would support return of the Marbles. This result is notable, as it indicates that support for the issue amongst members might well be higher than the party leaders acknowledge. Bear in mind though that this result, excludes those who are undecided or gave unclear answers, on the assumption that their decision would either match that of others in their party, or not be enough to alter the overall balance.

Additional comments received

Various twitter responses included more detail in addition to the yes / no answer, and from this a number of themes emerged.

From those in support of the return of the Marbles:

  • A solution mediated by a third party (e.g. UNESCO) would be the most sensible way of overseeing a fair outcome.
  • While Parliament can take a view on the Parthenon Marbles, it is important that they also respect the independence of the British Museum.
  • The Loan to the Hermitage in St Petersburg of one of the Parthenon Sculptures weakened the British Museum’s position, both because a loan was made of one of the sculptures and because of the fact that the loan was made to a country with which Britain is not on good terms with at present.
  • That the basis for a return agreement could be the previous offers made by Greece (when Venizelos was Culture Minister) for some form of reciprocal loan of new artefacts to display in place of the Marbles.
  • The importance of context was seen – that the Marbles were intended to be displayed in a certain place and under Greek light – something that can never be replicated in London.
  • That the New Acropolis Museum strengthens Greece’s argument.
  • That the UK could keep copies of the sculptures if the originals were returned.
  • PC PPCs raised the issue of the Mold Cape as one that they see as having parallels to the Marbles, but is relevant to them.
  • That the Marbles are a part of world heritage and as a result are best located in the country where they were created.
  • That they had concerns over whether other artefacts would have to be handed back too if the Marbles returned.

Out of those that opposed the return of the sculptures, arguments raised justifying retention included:

  • The fact that the Marbles were legitimately purchased by Lord Elgin.
  • That Greece has greater problems to deal with at present.
  • That they are “happy with them where they are at the moment”.
  • That if Elgin had not taken them then they would have been destroyed.
  • That Greece would just sell them if they were returned.
  • That they are safer in the British Museum.

This analysis is not the place to try and refute these assertions, but many of these statements are factually incorrect and other articles on this website have already explained this in more detail.

Others suggest that some MPs do not really see the return of the Marbles as an issue.

Finally, I was surprised to hear from some that despite the recent loan to Russia, the presence of Amal Clooney in Athens and previous comments by both George Clooney and Stephen Fry, some said that they had never heard of the case.

Conclusions

At the level of which parties support or are against the return of the Marbles, both surveys present broadly similar results. Although the level of support indicated varies (in part due to the very different methods used in each survey), the indication is that there is support from all the major parties, with the exception of the Conservatives and possibly UKIP.

Because of the nature of both surveys, it is hard to translate the survey results to an exact level of support, although my attempts show that it may well be high enough that a majority in Parliament would be in favour of their return if an un-whipped vote was taken. Factors to consider are whether those who do not reply / do not respond to EDMs do so because they are against the issue, or because they do not have the time, or any one of many other possible reasons.

One thing that surprised me was the numbers that did not see is as an issue of importance. I put this largely down to a lack of understanding of how the other side might feel – while it is easy to be in Britain and happy with the current situation, or uncaring about it, it is harder to take this point of view if you consider how those on the other side of the argument (in this case, the citizens of Greece) feel about the situation. While we might have concerns here about the transport system or the NHS, return of the Marbles is something that relatively easily rights a historical wrong, and at the same time would show that Britain had moved on from an imperialistic viewpoint and increase our standing internationally.

The issue of understanding the other side of the argument is perhaps what produces the high level of support from Plaid Cymru and SNP PPCs. There are various relevant intra-national cases that affect both these areas, the most notable being the Mold Cape and the Lewis Chessmen, which allow them to far more easily understand how another country in a similar situation might feel than for many British MPs who are more comfortable with the status quo.

While there were some inaccuracies in the understanding of the situation by those who supported return, it was clear from the responses that the amount of misinformation within the retentionist camp is far higher. This highlights that education is key to resolving the issue – many are against restitution in large part only because their understanding of the situation is built on factual inaccuracies. No inaccuracy in the media should go unchallenged, but at the same time spurious arguments that might weaken the reunification cause should be dropped.

In a separate message endorsing the cause that I received from a former Tory councillor, I queried that his opinion was at odds with the majority in his party who I spoke to and whether there was a reason for this. He suggested that a major reason was that many people did not know the history of the case well enough.

So, to sum up, anything other than a Conservative Majority on May 7th 2015 will increase the chances for the return of the Marbles. Once the election is over, I will re-visit this Analysis, both in terms of how the breakdown of parties has changed, and in terms of how many of those questioned have become MPs both within the new Parliament and within the Government.

As a closing comment, one of the PC PPCs who I spoke to noted that: “Finders keepers should be remain a playground chant & not form part of government policy.”

Perhaps this is the simplest summary of the reasons for return of the sculptures.

Key to abbreviations used

Party names

APNI – Alliance Party of Northern Ireland
Con – Conservative
DUP – Democratic Unionist Party
Lab – Labour
LD – Liberal Democrat
PC – Plaid Cymru
SDLP – Social Democratic and Labour Party
SNP – Scottish National Party
UKIP – UK Independence Party

Other

PPC – Prospective Parliamentary Candidate
EDM – Early Day Motion

January 20, 2015

Candlelit vigil for Parthenon Marbles outside Acropolis Museum

Posted at 2:04 pm in Elgin Marbles, New Acropolis Museum

Hundreds gathered outside the Acropolis Museum on Sunday 18th January, for a candlelit vigil in support of the return of the Parthenon Marbles.

The event was organised jointly by the President of the Central Union of Greek Municipalities (KEDE), Mayor of Maroussi, George Patoulis and the Mayor of Marathon, Elias Psinakis.

From:
Greek Reporter

Greeks Hold Candlelight Vigil for Parthenon Marbles
by Philip Chrysopoulos
Jan 19, 2015

Despite the rain, hundreds of Greeks gathered outside the Acropolis Museum on Sunday to hold a candlelight vigil asking Britain for the return of the Parthenon sculptures.

The rally was organized by President of the Central Union of Greek Municipalities (KEDE) and Mayor of Maroussi George Patoulis and the Mayor of Marathon Elias Psinakis. It was an event that took place in several historic cities and municipalities throughout Greece.
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November 15, 2014

Greek museum visitor numbers increase in 2014

Posted at 10:05 pm in New Acropolis Museum

The New Acropolis Museum remains the most popular museum in Greece, with 158,581 visitors during the period of measurement – an increase of 36.9% on the same period the previous year.

These figures are related to the Euro zone financial crisis on two levels. Firstly, as the Greek economy is gradually showing some signs of recovery, people are starting to think once again that it is a place worth visiting, rather than fearing that their holiday will be ruined by strikes.

At the same time, the economies of other countries in Europe are also starting to recover, meaning that people are taking weekend city breaks & trips abroad generally more frequently than they were over the last few years.

Acropolis Museum

Acropolis Museum

From:
Greek Reporter

Significant Increase in Visitors and Revenue at Greek Museums and Archaeological Sites
by Aggelos Skordas
Nov 12, 2014

A significant increase exceeding 20% in the attendance as well as the revenue of museums and archaeological sites across Greece in the first seven months of 2014, documented the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT).

ELSTAT data showed that 22.1% more people visited museums during the January-July period, while revenue increased by 28%. At the same time, the archaeological sites across the country saw a visitors’ increase of 22.9% compared to the previous period while revenue increased by 16.1%. It is worth noting that solely on July, 29.8% more people visited museums and 20.2% archaeological sites. During that month, revenue was increased by 33.4% and 13.8% at museums and archaeological sites respectively.
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September 18, 2014

Acropolis Museum is in global top ten

Posted at 12:58 pm in New Acropolis Museum

The Acropolis Museum in Athens has made it into TripAdvisor’s list of the world’s top ten museums.

Acropolis Museum

Acropolis Museum

From:
Greek Reporter

Acropolis Museum Among World’s Best
by Nikoleta Kalmouki
Sep 17, 2014

Operating for five years now, the Acropolis Museum in Athens has charmed foreign and local tourists with its treasures from the Greek Bronze Era to the Roman and Byzantine period.

It is the most visited museum in Greece and attracts millions of visitors each year. The Acropolis Museum is 8th on the list of the best museums in the world compiled by TripAdvisor, based on visitor votes.
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April 25, 2014

Greece’s economy might be rebounding, but the Parthenon Marbles have yet to return

Posted at 12:52 pm in Elgin Marbles, New Acropolis Museum

A common excuse given by supporters of retaining the Parthenon Sculptures in the UK, is that the time is not right for them to return. The New Acropolis Museum opened during the middle of one of the worst financial crises to affect the world in recent years & for some, their words carried some weight. Surely now though, when Greece is re-issuing government bonds & the remnants of the years of riots are being repaired, this is the ideal time to rebuild Greece’s culture, by righting a historic wrong?

Acropolis Museum in Athens

Acropolis Museum in Athens

From:
Bloomberg News

Athens Lacking Only Elgin as Windows Erase Crisis: Cities
By Marcus Bensasson and Nikos Chrysoloras Apr 24, 2014 5:27 AM GMT

The marble paving stones have been relaid in Athens’s Syntagma Square, the site of pitched battles between police and protesters during the worst of Greece’s economic crisis.

Yannis Stournaras has replaced his sixth-floor window overlooking the square. It was pierced by an errant bullet during one of the riots in 2010.
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April 3, 2014

Summer opening hours for Acropolis Museum

Posted at 1:00 pm in Acropolis, Greece Archaeology, New Acropolis Museum

Previously I mentioned the new opening hours for the Acropolis. The New Acropolis Museum will also be switching to its summer hours.

One think I really like, is that unlike many places in mainland Europe, the museums are open on Mondays, albeit for shorter hours than normal.

Acropolis Museum

Acropolis Museum

From:
Kathimerini (English Edition)

Thursday April 3, 2014
Leading Greek museums and sites extend visiting hours for new tourist season

A number of the country’s archaeological sites and museums inaugurated extended visiting hours on Tuesday in view of the upcoming tourist season.

The Acropolis and the National Archaeological Museum in Athens, Crete’s Knossos, Santorini’s Akrotiri and the sites of Ancient Olympia and Delphi in the Peloponnese were among a group of 33 museums and sites set to operate on the new spring-summer schedule – daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. – through the end of October.
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March 13, 2014

Acropolis Museum popularity on the increase

Posted at 2:04 pm in New Acropolis Museum

Last year, some had noted that the New Acropolis Museum’s visitor numbers had declined since its first months of opening.

It appears now that this may be changing, as the November 2013 figures just released indicate a 14% increase from the previous year.

New Acropolis Museum

New Acropolis Museum

From:
Kathimerini (English Edition)

Thursday March 13, 2014
More visitors at Greek museums, archaeological sites

The number of visitors at Greek museums was up by 2.4 percent in November 2013, while the cultural institutions saw a 0.6 percent increase in their receipts compared to the same month the previous year, a Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) report revealed on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, although the number of visitors at archaeological sites recorded an increase of 4 percent in November 2013, the respective receipts recorded a decrease of 1.4 percent in comparison to the same period last year.
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February 11, 2014

New weekly thematic programme at Acropolis Museum

Posted at 1:47 pm in New Acropolis Museum

The Acropolis Museum in Athens has announced a weekly programme of talks about Greek antiquity.

Acropolis Museum

Acropolis Museum

From:
Greek Reporter

Acropolis Museum Launches a New Weekly Thematic Programme
A. Papapostolou – Feb 11, 2014

The Acropolis Museum is launching a new weekly programme with multiple thematic sessions on Greek antiquity.
Specifically, the thematic sessions will be held every Saturday at 13:00 and visitors will have the chance to participate along with archaeologists and museum staff to a series of debates. – See more at: http://greece.greekreporter.com/2014/02/11/acropolis-museum-launches-a-new-weekly-thematic-programme/#sthash.CO05uVj1.dpuf

Visitors can also contribute in shaping future presentations by stating to the museum the topic that interests them. These discussions can also be made in the English language if requested.
According to information by the Acropolis Museum in Greece, the programme is divided into 26 daily sessions, each one having a different topic and is scheduled to last at least until August.
(source: ana-mpa)

November 17, 2013

James Beresford on the appropriateness of EU funding of the Acropolis Museum

Posted at 11:58 pm in British Museum, Elgin Marbles, New Acropolis Museum

Regular readers of this website will already be familiar with James Beresford from an earlier piece that he wrote for the Museums Association Journal about the declining visitor numbers at the New Acropolis Museum.

Here, he follows on from the Round Table event held at the European Parliament in Brussels last month. As with his previous article, he raises some interesting points, although I don’t agree with many of the conclusions that he reaches. I met him a few weeks ago & found he had an amazing knowledge of restitution issues, spreading far wider that that of the Parthenon Marbles. At the same time, he likes to provoke – to get readers agitated & to confront people’s preconceptions (which is probably what a lot of the magazine editors want too).

Both the BCRPM & the Swiss Committee for the Reunification of the Marbles have written responses to his piece, which I have included at the end, as theses go some way to answering many of the points that he raises.

From:
The Parliament

EU funding for new Acropolis museum branded ‘inappropriate’
By James Beresford – 7th November 2013

James Beresford says European funding for Athens’ new Acropolis museum runs counter to the treaty of the EU’s requirement for such support to promote ‘solidarity among the member states’.

This article is in response to Rodi Kratsa’s article of 22 October.

The roundtable discussion held in the European parliament building on October 15 debating the return of the Parthenon/Elgin marbles, should be of great interest to European parliamentarians.
Read the rest of this entry »

October 29, 2013

Experiments in Nashville to see how the Parthenon’s frieze would have looked from ground level

Posted at 9:25 am in Acropolis, British Museum, Elgin Marbles, Greece Archaeology, New Acropolis Museum

Because of the current start of ruin of the Parthenon in Athens, many theories about how it would originally have looked are somewhat speculative. The fact that Lord Elgin removed many of the sculptures, in no way helps either.

While looking for something else, I came across information on Emory University’s Parthenon Project. They were aiming to try & see how the frieze on the Parthenon might have originally looked from ground level. This fascinated me, as I spent a lot of time creating 3D models to research this same aspect of the building in 2000.

The viewpoint taken by many, is that due to its location & restricted viewing angle, the frieze would have been barely visible to people viewing the Parthenon on the Acropolis, if they did not already know about it. Even then, their views would be limited, because it would be seen from such a steep angle.

With their Parthenon Project, Emory University’s students aimed to use the replica of the Parthenon in Nashville to test out the various theories about the visibility of the frieze.

Although Nashville’s Parthenon is a close replica of the actual Parthenon, it never had the frieze installed due to a lack of funds. This meant that the first task for the students was to recreate the frieze panels. They did this in a variety of ways, creating them flat & in relief, in colour and in black and white. This use of colour is a very interesting step. We know that the panels were originally painted, but when we visualise them, we still tend to see them as they are today in the Acropolis Museum & British Museum, where the detail on them is formed by the shadows cast & therefore becomes more visible when the light is less diffuse. What had not been tested before was how the painting on the surface of the sculptures would have helped to define them more clearly, making the fine detail far more apparent even in the comparative gloom of the location of the frieze (compared to the metopes which were in bright sunlight).

I would be interested to see this experiment re-attempted in Athens – although I’m not sure where it could be done, as the Parthenon now has no roof. The attic sunlight is breathtaking in its sharpness & I wonder whether the sculptures would still be as clear to see on a summers day there as they were in the Nashville experiment.

Visit the website for the project for far more detail about its aims & the issues they encountered in trying to recreate what was originally there.

From:
Emory University

The Problem: the Visibility of the Parthenon Frieze
By Bonna D. Wescoat

The Parthenon is the most famous ancient Greek building, and its celebrated frieze, dispersed between London, Paris, and Athens, is one of the icons of western art. We view the frieze today at eye level within a museum setting, but originally it was placed at the top of the cella wall behind the surrounding colonnade. The location has baffled scholars, who find a serious disjunction between the high level of articulation and meaning, and the low level of visibility. Scholarly opinion on the visibility of the Parthenon frieze is universally negative. The frieze is described as illegible and fragmented, its position dark and cramped. Photographs tend to confirm the awkwardness of the position. In making this assessment, we are of course seriously hindered by the state of the remains. The reliefs are no longer on the building, and the building no longer has its ceiling and roof.

Scholars and the general public have long admired the precise replica of the Parthenon built in the 1920s in Nashville because it allows us to recapture some of the experience of being in an ancient Greek temple. But there is one very important way in which scholars have not yet mined the value of the Nashville Parthenon: it has the capacity to serve as a crucial tool for understanding the visibility of the Parthenon frieze.
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October 28, 2013

Όχι day for Greece means free admission to Acropolis Museum in Athens today

Posted at 3:15 pm in New Acropolis Museum

More coverage of the free admission to the Acropolis Museum today in celebration of Ochi day – the date that the Greek government refusal of the ultimatum given to them by Mussolini.

Acropolis Museum

Acropolis Museum

From:
Kathimerini (English Edition)

Acropolis Museum celebrates ‘Ochi Day’ with free admission and special events
Friday October 25, 2013 (15:18)

In celebration of October 28 – a national holiday in Greece which commemorates the rejection by Prime Minister Ioannis Metaxas of the ultimatum made by Italian dictator Benito Mussolini on October 28, 1940 – admission to the Acropolis Museum (15 Dionysiou Areopagitou), which will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on the day, will be free of charge. The museum will also present a talk for adults titled “The Other Gods of the Acropolis” and an interactive workshop for children, titled “Myths in Images.”

Although Athena was the patron goddess of their city, the Athenians also worshipped a host of other deities, among them Zeus, Asclepius, Dionysus and Aphrodite. “The Other Gods of the Acropolis” addresses the cult practices and monuments associated with these other gods. The presentation will be held in English at 1 p.m. and French at 5 p.m.
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October 22, 2013

Free admission to the Acropolis Museum for Ochi day on 28th October

Posted at 12:43 pm in Events, New Acropolis Museum

Admission to the Acropolis Museum will be free on 28th October. This is to celebrate Ochi day (Οχι looks strange written in English), when Greece refused the Axis powers entry into the country. There will also be a special presentation taking place on the day, called “The Other Gods of the Acropolis”.

From:
Kathimerini (English Edition)

Tuesday October 22, 2013
Acropolis Museum offers free admission on October 28 national holiday

Admission to Greece’s landmark Acropolis Museum will be free of charge on Monday, October 28, in celebration of “Ochi Day,” a national holiday commemorating the country’s refusal to allow the Axis powers’ entry into the country on October 28, 1940.

The museum will also be offering 10 separate presentations for adults titled “The Other Gods of the Acropolis,” with one in English at 1 p.m. and another in French at 5 p.m., as well as eight workshops for children on “Myths in Images” aimed at 8-12 year olds.

Parties interested in attending the special events must book a spot in advance on tel 210.900.0900.

Opening hours on October 28 will be 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.