The Astonishing Acropolis Museum
And The Adventure Of Parthenon Marbles
The building was completed in 2007 and opened its doors in 2009. A stunning and innovative design, the entire museum is elevated by concrete columns and the ground level features a glass floor to enable fantastic views of the archaeological grounds below.
At 14,000 square metres, iluminated by an excellent lighting design, the museum allows for beautiful curation of all of the artefacts and room has also been left for expected new additions, such as the controversial Parthenon Marbles.
The Gallery of the Slopes of the Acropolis houses finds from the sanctuaries that were founded on the slopes of the Acropolis.
In the Archaic Acropolis Gallery, visitors have the opportunity to view exhibits from the period throughout the 7th century BC, until the end of the Persian Wars (480/79 BC), from all sides as three-dimensional exhibits.
At the Parthenon Gallery on the 3rd floor, the installation of the frieze of the Parthenon on the rectangular cement core that has exactly the same dimensions as the cella of the Parthenon.
Collection of Propylaia and the sculptures from the parapet of the temple of Athena Nike, and finally, the Caryatids – or Korai of the Erechtheion
Collection from the 5th century BC to the 5th century AD hosts reliefs of Athenian decrees, impressive portraits, Roman copies of classical masterpieces and depictions of philosophers and historical figures.
1.April – 31.October – Daily from 08:00am to 08:00pm (Monday until 04:00pm, Friday until 10:00pm)
General Admission Fee: €5.oo
The Parthenon in Color
It has long been known that the formidable marble temple, which sits atop the Acropolis citadel, had been painted. New tests, performed by Greek archaeologist and chemical engineer Evi Papakonstantinou-Zioti, confirm the use of brilliant shades of red, blue and green.
The colours used in the figures that decorate the Parthenon‘s frieze have been digitally restored. The copper weapons and flowing blue capes of the procession bring the marble slabs to life for visitors to the museum of Acropolis.
The work on the digital restoration of the frieze and other ancient sculptures is part of a new permanent installation. The 3D images are created by using a scan of the original frieze. The installation is on the third floor and marks the museum’s latest efforts to use innovative digital techniques in its exhibits.
The adventures of Parthenon marbles
The Parthenon was completed in 432 B.C. and for a thousand years was used as a temple of Athena. Around the 5th century, the temple was turned into a church. Part of the eastern frieze and probably the central figures of the eastern pediments had to be removed with the conversion of temple to church.
More destruction occurred when the Ottoman Turks took control of Athens in 1458 and turned the Parthenon into a mosque and added a minaret. On September 26, 1687, there was a terrible explosion as a Venetian shell hit the Parthenon and caused the powder stored inside by the Turks to explode and made major destruction to the temple.
The next 100 years many of the fallen items were taken by stone-robbers, travelers and lime-burners by bribing the Turkish officials.
In 1799 Lord Elgin was stationed in Constantinople as Ambassador and began his interest in the marbles of the Parthenon. Elgin was a member of the Society of Dilettanti. One of their concerns was to take advantage of the opportunities to enrich their mansions back home with the artistic spoils.
The first metope was removed July 31, 1801 and the work on the removal continued until 1804. In 1816 the marbles were bought by British government and transferred to the Museum in London in the Duveen Gallery.
With the state of the art technology of The Acropolis Museum, Athens hopes that the Elgin Marbles will be returned finally back to motherland.