May 22, 2005

A scaffolding free Acropolis?

Posted at 10:56 am in Acropolis

For as long as I have been visiting Athens, the Parthenon & many other parts of the Acropolis have been covered in scaffolding as part of the extensive restoration works. Greece has appealed for private funds to accelerate the restorations, although in some ways it is not as simple as this, as there is a limit to how many people can work on the site & is generally impossible to use any sort of heavy machinery there.
Anyway, the Parthenon could be free of scaffolding as early as 2006, based on the EU funding that they were guaranteed for the project last week.

Yahoo news

Acropolis to be free of scaffolding by 2006, restoration experts say
Tue May 17,11:52 AM ET
ATHENS (AFP) – Ongoing restoration work on the Acropolis will be completed on schedule, and all scaffolding currently encumbering the ancient citadel will be removed by 2006, Greek archaeologists supervising the project have said.

“The Acropolis works…are proceeding rapidly,” Acropolis Restoration Service (YSMA) director Maria Ioannidou told an annual conference on the project’s progress Monday.

“According to (our) plans, the current works will be completed at the end of 2006,” she said.

Last month, Greece’s culture ministry said it was considering an appeal for private investor funds to help speed up the Acropolis conservation effort, which has dragged on for 30 years.

Despite spending over 30.6 million euros since 1975 on restoring the World Heritage Acropolis site, the ministry said that 16 more years and some 70 million euros in additional funds would be needed to complete the work at the going pace.

Ioannidou insisted Monday that her service will meet the 2006 deadline provided that it receives funding which the culture ministry has delayed paying.

“The 2020 completion date reported by the media concerns future projects that have yet to begin,” added Haralambos Bouras, chairman of the culture ministry’s Committee for the Preservation of the Acropolis Monuments (ESMA).

YSMA is halfway through reassembling the various Acropolis monuments either partly or wholly taken apart for restoration, including the 5th century BC Parthenon and the Temple of Athena Nike, Ioannidou said.

Nearly 1,000 structural parts from the Parthenon, the Temple of Athena Nike and the Erechtheion have been restored, and 470 of them have been repositioned, along with over 1,000 pieces of broken marble masonry which were returned to their original locations, she said.

The process took longer than originally planned because of the “unexpected” deterioration found in the monuments’ marble, which added two years and 5.5 million euros to the project, Bouras said.

Restorers have also been collecting and filing small marble fragments spread across the Acropolis site.

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