July 12, 2005

Issues with the contractor delaying New Acropolis Museum

Posted at 9:03 pm in New Acropolis Museum

The issue with the contractor (ALTE) in charge of the construction of the New Acropolis Museum, is that they owe the government money for taxes & National Insurance. My understanding is that due to the fact the project is funded by the government, the contractor is therefore not allowed to receive government money until it has resolved these unpaid debts to the government. Professor Pandermalis outlines three possible solutions to the problem:

  1. That someone else (the government?) could make some form of agreement to pay off the contractor’s debts (presumably to be paid back later.)
  2. That the contractor can directly appoint a new contractor to complete the works (assuming that the client (the OANMA) are happy with the choice of contractor)
  3. The worst case scenario is that if either of these plans is not possible for some reason then the project would go out to tender again which would mean a delay of at least 6 months to the project.

Any errors in the text are from my translation.


12 July 2005
New problems for the Museum
Economic issues of contractors delay the construction of the New Acropolis Museum

Υιοtas Sykka

People who pass the Makriyianni plot at the moment, can now see some of the construction works for the New Acropolis Museum filling the space. Do not imagine that there is anything spectacular to see at present. Nevertheless, four levels of basements are completed. This is quite impressive when you consider that we have been waiting for the completion of the museum for the last 20 years & each government thought that the project would be completed within their term of office.
The problems with the project continue. At present the construction advances at a very slow pace, the cause this time are the economic problems that face the contractors building the museum.

According to the timetable, one would expect the work to have progressed to the construction of the floors, but because this has not happened, the Deputy Culture Minister, Mr Petros Tatoulis has asked to increased the pace of the construction process & resolve the unending problems. The ministry of culture has put forward a proposal to create a technical department of the OANMA with the civil engineer Nikolaos Damalitis as its head.

The new obstacle for the museum is that the main contractors (ALTE) & issues with their finances. As the chairman of the OANMA, Mr Dimitris Pandermalis said during a guided tour given to Journalists “No problem exists with the financing of the work, it is that the contractor can not receive the money from us because of their issues involving tax & national insurance)

The solutions

There are three, said Mr Pandermalis. “The clearing of the company’s debts, the stopping of work by the current company who would hand over to another company, or for the work to go out to a new tender.” Then, he says, as long as the finances are given to the contractor “they can regain lost time & have the museum by the end of 2006 or the start of 2007.”

If everything goes well (over many years their optimism has been “eaten”) & the construction of the Museum’s shell is completed “the preparation of the displays will perhaps the fastest that has ever been done”. This is true, as the museological study has allowed the pre-fabrication of some of the spaces for exhibits.

Currently a display of exhibition styles for the New Acropolis Museum with 36 works by Erou Brachou will remain open until 30th September in the Weiler Building. He is currently planning another in the same space, also experimental, about the discoveries made during the excavation of the Makriyanni site, where visitors can see how these will be displayed in the museum once it is completed.

In the basements that occupy an area of 800M2 within the new museum, will be the spaces for storage, laboratories, electro-mechanical plant & staff offices as well as some car parking.

The biggest problems that have faced the OANMA so far have been technical ones. The caps of the columns are in the region of the excavation that will be visited by the public once they are completed. They have only completed roughlt half of the 70 caps says Mr Pandermalis.

Meanwhile they are also placing the special anti-seismic bases onto the columns on which sit the floors, so that when there are earthquakes, these bases (seats) 1.2m x 1.2m can absorb the vibrations. In addition, four proportionally smaller bases will be used to support the big exhibits in the museum. In the good news, is also that the purchases of the blocks of flats on the Markiyinni site have almost been completed. Mr Pandermalis says that the cost of expropriating 20 buildings has been €20M & that they have €25.5M left with which to purchase the remaining five buildings which will cost €18M.

Additional articles on the delays (in Greek):
Τα Νεα

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