More coverage of the partial opening of the New Acropolis Museum  to give the public their first close up views of the building.
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9th Jan 2008
New Acropolis Museum opens to the public
A spectacular new museum opening in Athens is a “momentous achievement”, says the Guardian
The ground floor of the New Acropolis Museum – called an ‘enlightening meditation on the Parthenon and a mesmerizing work in its own right’ by the New York Times and a ‘momentous achivement’ by Jonathan Glancy of the Guardian – is to open to the public in February and through the Easter holiday.
‘The New Acropolis Museum reminds us of the duty to reunify the Parthenon Marbles, this lofty monument of the World Cultural Heritage, and in a resounding manner,’ Prime minister Costas Karamanlis said during a tour of the new museum.
‘The construction and operation of the New Acropolis Museum vitiates the final argument of those who refuse the fulfillment of this just demand,’ Karamanlis stressed, in a reference to the dispute with the British Museum over the Parthenon Marbles, known in the UK as the Elgin Marbles.
‘The conditions are now ripe,’ Karamanlis declared. ‘The demand for the return of the Parthenon Marbles to the place where they belong – the demand that Constantine Karamanlis put forward as a national goal – can become action in our generation.’
Karamanlis was given a tour of the new Museum by New Acropolis Museum Organisation president and archaeologist Prof. Dimitris Pantermalis and Acropolis curator Alexandros Mantis.
The 5th century BC friezes, or Parthenon Marbles, were removed from the Parthenon by the British diplomat Lord Elgin with the permission of the local Ottoman occupation authorities in the early 19th century.
Elgin removed the priceless statues and other parts of the Parthenon temple and later sold them to the British Museum in 1816, where they have been housed since.
For further information, go to www.newacropolismuseum.gr or call +30 210 9241043.