New Museum Spurs New Debate


Something extraordinary happened yesterday in Athens: a 2.5-ton piece of marble was hoisted by a giant crane from the Acropolis (pictured here). It is the first sculpture to leave this ancient citadel since Phidias carved the artworks 2,500 years ago. What’s happening? The sculptures are being transferred to a new Acropolis museum. Yesterday’s operation will be repeated 153 timesover the coming months as an estimated 4,500 antiquities are moved from the Acropolis to the new museum, which was designed by Swiss-American architect Bernard Tschumi.

Now, of course, the debate begins anew about the “Elgin Marbles“: the 160-meter-long strip depicting the Panathenaic procession which adorned the Parthenon until Lord Elgin removed and sold half of it to the British Museum, nearly 200 years ago. It is hoped that the new Athens museum will dispose of the argument that modern Greece is incapable of properly housing the treasures of its golden age. The Guardian has more details on the debate.

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