December 12, 2007

First Caryatid moves to the New Acropolis Museum

Posted at 1:47 pm in Elgin Marbles, Greece Archaeology, New Acropolis Museum

As part of the ongoing move of artefacts to the New Acropolis Museum, the first of the Caryatid sculptures has now made the journey by crane down from the Acropolis. Hopefully one day she will be joined there by her sister who is currently housed in the British Museum.

Athens News Agency

First caryatid to new Acropolis Museum

The transfer of the first of five caryatids from the old Acropolis museum to the New Acropolis Museum in Makrygianni began on Saturday at 11:00 in the morning, using the three-crane relay system set up to carry the priceless antiquities down the hill via the Theatre of Dionysus.

The caryatid – a sculpted female form that serves as an architectural support for entablature in the place of a pillar – will be placed on the first level of the new museum in an internal “porch” that visitors will see when they first climb up the grand stair at the entrance. There were originally six caryatids on the Athens Acropolis that supported the porch of the Erechtheion Temple, where they have now been replaced by replicas. The best preserved of the six statues was taken by Lord Elgin in the 19th century and is now held at the British Museum, while the remaining five originals have been on display at the Acropolis Museum.


World News
Caryatid statue moved from ancient Acropolis to new museum
© AP
2007-12-08 18:44:29 –

ATHENS, Greece (AP) – Engineers moved an ancient Caryatid statue from the old Acropolis museum on Saturday and transported it to a new museum at the foot of the hill.
The three-hour operation, using three cranes, was the most sensitive transfer so far in a massive move of Acropolis antiquities to the new museum due to
open to the public next year.

«The work is going well and is on time,» Culture Minister Michalis Liapis said. «The transfer of the other Caryatid statues will take place over the new few days.
Six Caryatids _ stone columns sculpted in the shape of women _ supported the Erechtheion Temple on the Acropolis and five of them were replaced in 1979 with replica casts to prevent further erosion from atmospheric pollution. The sixth is in the British Museum in London and is part of the Elgin Marbles collection, which Greece has long demanded.
Four of the five originals that remain in Greece were moved in 1979 into the old Acropolis museum, which is closed to the public, and the fifth is being restored.
Greece hopes the new Acropolis Museum will boost its campaign for the return of the Elgin Marbles collection, removed some 200 years ago by British diplomat Lord Elgin when the country was still part of the Ottoman Empire.

«All the statues we move are fragile and require the utmost attention,» supervising engineer Costas Zambas said. «The Caryatids had the additional strain of being exposed to the atmosphere for so many years and were not buried in the ground. So you could say they received some additional care.
Zambas said the Caryatid undergoing restoration remains «in pieces.» It will also eventually be transferred to the new museum.
Before Saturday’s move, the air content in the sealed display holding the Caryatids had been altered for the statues to adapt to the conditions at the new museum.

A total of 4,500 antiquities, mostly marble sculptures dating to the sixth and fifth centuries B.C., will be shifted into the new Acropolis Museum 400 meters (yards) away. The most valued artifacts were transferred from a tiny museum on the Acropolis, which was closed in June.
The antiquities are insured for €400 million (US$586 million) and have been wrapped in padded harnesses and packed into styrofoam-filled boxes made of plywood and metal.
On Saturday, technicians took about an hour to unpack a metal contained used to carry the Caryatid, removing bolts and pulling out styrofoam-and-plywood packing before the statue finally emerged.

The Peninsula (Qatar)

Acropolis statues moving to new home
Web posted at: 12/9/2007 8:14:53
Source ::: AFP

athens • The best-known statues from the Athens Acropolis, the Caryatids that once adorned the Erechtheion temple, began their journey yesterday to a new museum, the Greek culture ministry said.

The operation of transferring the five statues of young women that acted as pillars to the temple, with the help of three giant cranes, will take some two weeks, minister Michalis Liapis said.

The painstaking task of transferring hundreds of iconic statues and friezes from the museum on the Acropolis to an ultra-modern facility located below the ancient Athens landmark began in mid-October and is expected to last some three months.

Like the other remains, the Caryatids have been packed in steel casing, holding upright each of the statues, which weigh 860 kilos and are 2.2 metres high.

They will be placed on the first floor of the new museum designed by Swiss-born architect Bernard Tschumi, which is is due to open to the public next year.

The six Caryatids that now help support the roof of the Erechtheion are modern copies.

Of the originals, four were on display in the old museum, a fifth is still undergoing restoration and the sixth is in London’s British Museum.

Greece is still lobbying for the return of the missing Caryatid along with the Elgin Marbles, part of the frieze around the Parthenon, the main temple on the Acropolis, which were taken to London in the early 19th century.

One of the world’s most visited sites, the Acropolis was formally proclaimed as the pre-eminent monument on the European Cultural Heritage list of monuments on March 26 this year.

It dates back to the golden age of Athenian democracy which began in the fifth century B.C.

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