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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-06-19

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] Int'l media given New Acropolis Museum preview

  • [01] Int'l media given New Acropolis Museum preview

    International media representatives were the latest privileged visitors to tour the imposing New Acropolis Museum in central Athens on Friday, one day before a gala inauguration before heads of states and governments is expected to dramatically showcase Greece's standing demand for a return of the Parthenon Marbles to a state-of-the-art venue some 250 metres from the Acropolis itself.

    The more than 120 media professionals and camera crews were given guided tours of the ultra-modern facility, built atop an excavated ancient settlement, in separate groups, as organisers repeatedly asked for caution in galleries with prominent free-standing exhibits.

    In a brief address, Greek Culture Minister Antonis Samaras referred to the new museum as an "unabashedly modern structure" as its beaming lead architect, Swiss-born Bernard Tschumi, sat in the audience.

    "This is the greatest collection of sculptures from classical Greece, gathered in this museum ... however (this period) cannot be fully illuminated because half of the Parthenon sculptures have been taken and are now in forced exile," Samaras said, adding that whatever arguments the British Museum expressed in the past to reject calls for the Marbles' return are now "demolished".

    In referring to the rectangular glass gallery at the top of the concrete-metal-glass museum, the Greek culture minister said the "Parthenon Gallery" will feature replicas of the sliced-off pieces on display in London, "like photos of family members far away or lost," he poignantly said, while also mentioning Greek statesman Constantine Karamanlis and iconic Greek actress and culture minister Melina Mercouri as inspirations for the purpose-built museum.

    The museum's inauguration will come on Saturday, with local press speculation hinting at a laser-light display illuminating the nearby Acropolis and the monuments atop the "sacred hill" as well as projecting some of the best known pieces as holograms above the museum.

    In fact, Greek organisers on Friday declined to allow camera crews and photographers into the museum's top floor in order to keep the ceremony's particulars a secret.

    Caption: An interior view of the New Acropolis Museum in Athens, and specifically the ground-floor concourse leading to the main staircase and the exhibition galleries in other floors. ANA-MPA / SIMELA PANTZARTZI.


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