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Scaffolding to come off Propylaia

Some parts of the restoration works on the Acropolis [1] will be completed in the coming months, allowing visitors their first sight of parts of the building for some years without scaffolding in the foreground. As part of the project, a virtual reality presentation on the history of the restoration work is planned for the New Acropolis Museum, so that visitors can get a better understanding of what is one of the most complex projects of its kind ever undertaken.

Athens News Agency [2]

Acropolis restoration works

Culture Minister Mihalis Liapis on Thursday inspected works for the restoration of the Athens Acropolis, after which he praised the effort underway.

“The work to preserve and highlight the monuments provides a unique experience for visitors to the Sacred Rock, since a more comprehensive image of the Acropolis is formed that allows the monuments to be better recognised and understood,” he said.

Liapis reported that work was continuing at a brisk pace, with the greater part of the restoration expected to be complete in three months time. According to experts, about 1,000 pieces of marble have been placed in their proper position since work started in the year 2000.

At the Propylaia, the entrance to the Acropolis, the scaffolding is expected to be removed in about a month’s time, providing visitors of a unique experience of a roofed space in one of the most impressive monuments of antiquity.

The restoration work included the cleaning of the roof of the Erechtheion temple supported by the Caryatids using a new laser technique that combined the use of ultraviolet and infra-red light.

The minister was also briefed on the installation of a network of seismic sensors to check and monitor the behaviour of the buildings during earthquakes, as well as the installation of a fibre optics in the walls.

In the much larger Parthenon building, the placement of some 209 missing stones is expected to be completed in early 2009, while restorers are nearing completion of repair work to the north aspect of the building, which was the largest restoration programme carried out on the Acropolis.

As part of the whole project, the Acropolis Monument Preservation Service has undertaken to install a virtual reality room at the new Acropolis Museum, using funds given by the Information Society, which will give 3D tours of the history of the buildings and their restoration. This new digital display will be the first of its kind in an archaeological museum.