February 14, 2009

June opening date set for the New Acropolis Museum

Posted at 5:50 pm in Elgin Marbles, New Acropolis Museum

More information on the plans for the opening of the New Acropolis Museum.

Due to the global financial crisis, a decision has been taken to reduce the scale of the opening event. Notice of the cancellation of the original tender to organise the opening is available here (in Greek)

Athens News Agency

Karamanlis confers with Culture Minister

Prime minister Costas Karamanlis met Friday with culture minister Antonis Samaras, in their first meeting since the latter’s assumption of the ministry helm after the January 7, government reshuffle.

Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Samaras said he had a “substantive and fruitful” discussion with the prime miniser.

Greek culture was a source of wealth for the country, Samaras said, adding that, in the present difficult and critical hours for the economy, it was necessary to further highlight this aspect.

Samaras also announced that the New Acropolis Museum would be inaugurated on June 20.

To a question on whether funds existed for culture, Samaras said that the ministry was naturally making the necessary cutbacks wherever it could, but the basic needs would all be fully met.


Greece’s new Acropolis museum to open doors in June
Posted : Fri, 13 Feb 2009 12:48:01 GMT
Author : DPA
Category : Europe (World)

Athens – After years of delays, Greece’s new Acropolis Museum, located at the foot of the ancient Parthenon, will open its doors to the public in June, a government official said Friday. Culture Minister Antonis Samaras said the opening ceremony for the large glass and concrete structure will take place on June 20.

The Acropolis Museum was designed by New York architect Bernard Tschumi to offer visitors contact with the Acropolis through transparent glass. The new museum is the Greek government’s key argument for the return of the Parthenon, or Elgin, Marbles from Britain.

Lord Elgin, Britain’s ambassador to the Ottoman Empire, removed the friezes from the temple some 200 years ago and sold them to the British Museum in London, where they are housed in a special gallery. The temple dates from the 5th century BC.

Greece has for decades fought to get them back. However, the British Museum has repeatedly refused to relinquish the priceless sculptures, which include 160 metres of depictions of religious and mythological scenes.

The British Museum insists that the transaction was legal, as Elgin obtained permission to remove them from Greece’s then rulers, the Ottoman Empire. London has also argued that Athens lacks a proper display space.

For years, the 100-million-euro museum has been plagued by legal battles leading to extensive delays. Once completed it will be ready to receive up to 10,000 visitors a day.

Press TV (Iran)

Greece to open new Acropolis Museum
Sat, 14 Feb 2009 08:04:36 GMT

Greece’s new Acropolis Museum is scheduled to open its doors to the public in June, one of the top officials in the country says.

The opening ceremony for the large glass and concrete structure will take place on June 20, Culture Minister Antonis Samaras announced on Friday.

The long-delayed museum, designed by New York architect Bernard Tschumi in cooperation with Greece’s Michalis Photiadis, is located at the foot of the ancient Parthenon. The museum will display all the surviving Acropolis sculptures.

According to Greek officials, the 100-million euro project will house the famed Elgin Marbles that were taken by Britain from the Acropolis.

The marbles were removed by Scottish diplomat Lord Elgin from the Parthenon temple 200 years ago, at a time when Greece was under Ottoman rule.

The British Museum, however, argues that it bought the marbles from Elgin and that it acquired them legally.

The new museum in Athens was originally scheduled to open in 2004, prior to the Athens Olympics.

The Parthenon is a fifth-century temple dedicated to the god Athena. It had its roof blown off in an explosion in the 17th-century, when it was used by the Ottomans for munitions storage.


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