October 10, 2006

Karamanlis visits new museum site

Posted at 7:59 pm in Elgin Marbles, New Acropolis Museum

Further coverage of the visit by Kostas Karamanlis to the construction site of the New Acropolis Museum.

Kathimerini (English Edition)

Tuesday October 10, 2006
Museum to help return of Marbles

The completion of the new Acropolis Museum next year will help boost Greece’s chances of reclaiming the 2,500-year-old Parthenon Marbles from Britain, Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis said yesterday.

On a visit to the building site at the foot of the Acropolis, Karamanlis said the construction of the 129-million-euro project is moving ahead and will be completed by the middle of 2007.

“Once the museum is completed, Greece will have a very strong argument for the return of the Parthenon sculptures,” he said.

“We are taking a very important step to finally realize the dream that unites all Greeks,” he added.

Depicting gods, men and monsters, the marble sculptures were removed from the Parthenon by agents of British Ambassador Lord Elgin in 1806-11, at a time when Greece was part of the Ottoman Empire.

Greece has officially demanded their return for some 20 years, complaining that the works were illegally removed and are part of its national heritage.

Athens News Agency

Monday, Oct. 9, 2006
PM tours Acropolis Museum construction site

Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis visited the under-construction new Acropolis Museum on Monday morning, accompanied by Culture Minister George Voulgarakis, Organisation for the Construction of the New Acropolis Museum president Dimitris Pantermalis, culture ministry officials and archaeologists. The prime minister was given a guided tour of both the old and the new section of the museum, while he also watched the Caryatids’ casts — marble figues of nymphs atop the Acropolis — being put in place.

The prime minister said that the new museum provides a very powerful argument to Greece in support of the return of the Parthenon Marbles, adding that a very important step is being made toward the realization of a vision shared by all Greeks and all of Greece’s friends around the world.

Karamanlis underlined that the new Acropolis Museum project has entered the finishing stretch, with construction slated for completion in the first half of 2007.

He said that it will be the most up-to-date archaeological museum in the world, and worthy of the Acropolis exhibits. Soon, said the prime minister, both Greek and foreign visitors will be able to admire up-close the archaeological treasures brought to light by excavations in the wider Acropolis area.

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