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New Acropolis Museum due to open in 2007

The new Culture Minister of the Hellenic Republic, George Voulgarakis, has made a public statement on the progress of the New Acropolis Museum & Greece’s attempts to secure the return of the Elgin Marbles. In particular, he talks of plans to intensify their campaign for the return of the marbles, as he believes that the international community is now more receptive to such an approach.

Athens News Agency [1]

First exhibition halls at new Acropolis musuem to open in 2007

Culture Minister George Voulgarakis on Tuesday toured the construction site for the new Acropolis museum, which lies on a tract of land opposite the Acropolis and Parthenon Temple’s south sides.

In comments to reporters, the minister said he was satisfied with the rate of progress at the previously delayed project, with a massive skeleton expected to be in place by next month, whereas a glass dome topping the new museum is expected to be ready by August. A tentative completion date for the first exhibition halls at the 23,000-square-metre facility is spring 2007.

Artifacts discovered during excavation work at the site will also go on display at another museum beginning in May.

Additionally, both museum and construction officials left open the possibility that one day a month be reserved for visitors to tour the construction site.

The total cost for the project, including the purchasing of surrounding real estate, is 129 million euros.

Finally, Voulgarakis reiterated that Greece has at no time backed off from its demand that the British Museum in London return the Parthenon Marbles, “we’re intensifying our efforts with a friendlier approach, as the international community now appears more receptive to such a request”.