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New Acropolis Museum

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Uploaded on Jun 22, 2009

First day of New Acropolis Museum opened to public

From the Guardian:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/...

Celebrities, royals and heads of state are expected to attend Saturday's inauguration of the museum, built within sight of the Parthenon, at the foot of the Acropolis. However, delegates from Britain, including the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, have been quick to send their regrets. Last week, Gordon Brown declined his invitation. Ben Bradshaw, the new secretary for culture and sport, followed suit, as did Neil MacGregor, director of the British Museum. It has been left for two British Museum curators to represent the UK.

The new museum's top level - the luminous Parthenon galleries - house copies of the monumental sculptures that depict the Panathenaic procession, the decorative frieze which adorned the temple until Lord Elgin removed much of it during his tenure as British ambassador to the Ottoman Porte. Bankrupted by the venture, Elgin sold the pieces to the British government, which presented them to the British Museum in 1816.

Yesterday, archaeologists removed protective cellophane from plaster-cast copies that Athens acquired from the British Museum in 1840. "Most museums like to cover copies with a patina to make them look more real, but we have taken a very different approach," said Professor Dimitrios Pandermalis, the archaeologist in charge of the museum. "We want to show that these are indeed copies, that we are not afraid of plaster. That the real ones are somewhere else."

For the Greeks, the museum - designed by Bernard Tschumi and co-sponsored by the EU - is the ultimate propaganda tool. They say the building will do away with the argument that Athens has nowhere good enough to house the wonders of its golden age.

Pressure to return the marbles will also come from the thousands expected to gather at the foot of the Acropolis to demand the "immediate return of the looted and mutilated Parthenon sculptures" on the eve of the opening.

From
http://www.elginism.com/

Elginism
n. 1801. An act of cultural vandalism

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