April 26, 2009

June opening planned for the New Acropolis Museum

Posted at 12:49 pm in Elgin Marbles, New Acropolis Museum

Gradually more information is becoming available on the nature of the opening events planned for the New Acropolis Museum. Various dignitaries visiting Greece have also already been given a preview of the site.

Agence France Presse

Acropolis museum to open in June: minister

ATHENS (AFP) — The ultra-modern Acropolis museum, situated below the ancient landmark that defines the Greek capital Athens, will belatedly open in June, Greek Culture Minister Antonis Samaras said Sunday.

“We are preparing a jewel of a museum whose opening on June 20 will be a major, global event,” said Samaras after giving European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso a guided tour of the venue.

The three-level museum, with a total area of 25,000 square metres (270,000 square feet), includes a section reserved for the disputed Parthenon Marbles, currently at the British Museum in London.

Greece is pursuing a campaign for the return of the priceless friezes, removed in 1806 by Lord Elgin when Greece was occupied by the Ottoman Empire, which the British Museum refuses to repatriate.

Designed by Franco-Swiss architect Bernard Tschumi, the Acropolis museum was supposed to open in time for the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, but that target date fell by the wayside due to technical and bureaucratic hurdles.

Controversial plans for a lavish opening ceremony and global promotional launch — at an estimated to cost six million euros (7.9 million dollars) — were scrapped earlier this year.

Barosso said after his visit: “I believe that Greeks should be proud of this excellent museum. It is one of the world’s most important for our heritage, the heritage of Europeans but also of world culture.”

Kathimerini (English Edition)

In Brief
Barroso shown New Acropolis Museum ahead of June opening

Culture Minister Antonis Samaras has promised that the opening of the New Acropolis Museum on June 20 will be a «global event.» He made the comment while giving European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso a guided tour of the building yesterday. «I believe that Greeks should be proud of this excellent museum,» said Barroso. «It is one of the world’s most important for our heritage – the heritage of Europe, but also world culture.» Barroso is due to be awarded a medal of honor in Parliament today, during a ceremony that will be boycotted by the Communist Party, which opposes the European Union’s policies.


Acropolis Museum Finished But Will It Get Its Marbles?
Posted Apr 27th 2009 8:01PM by Deidre Woollard

Greece’s new landmark, the Acropolis museum,which is located below the Parthenon in Athens is finally set to open on June 20. The modern museum designed by Bernard Tschumi has three levels and it was originally going to open to coincide with the 2004 hosting of the summer Olympics in Athens. Also the economy has doomed plans for a fancy grand opening and promotional launch which would have cost six million euros.

The museum is still hoping for one exhibit it doesn’t have yet, the Parthenon Marbles which are currently at the British Museum in London. Also known as the Elgin Marbles, they were taken from Greece in 1806 by Lord Elgin when Greece was occupied by the Ottoman Empire and the Parthenon was being used as a military fort. The way in which Elgin obtained the marbles has been a subject of controversy since the beginning. The British Museum has refused to repatriate the pieces from the Parthenon and one of their longstanding arguments has been that Greece didn’t have the proper facilities to display and protect the huge pieces. That is certainly no longer the case. And the British Museum itself also damaged the pieces while attempting to clean them some years back. But it’s also hard to argue with a museum which has owned the art for such a long time and which has become famous for these pieces. The matter has compelling arguments on both sides.

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1 Comment »

  1. vikrant pradhan said,

    06.20.09 at 5:16 pm

    I hope the British Museum does the right thing by returning the Parthenon Marbles. I don’t think it is right to lay claim to something so magnificent and so important to Greek art, culture and civilization as a whole by making false arguments. To imply that returning the marbles means returning every other artifact to the country of origin is misguided. The argument about Greece not having a suitable location is certainly out of the door now. The resting place of these magnificent marbles should be their home. Not England.

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