Archaic Gallery in the new museum (Photo: Nikos Daniilidis)

For advocates of the repatriation of marble sculptures removed from the Parthenon in the early 19th century and long housed at the British Museum in London, the new Acropolis Museum is proof — at last — that Greece has a safe place to display the hotly contested artworks.

For Athenians who live and work near the Acropolis, the looming modern structure at the southeastern base of the hill is a mixed blessing. The $200-million, 226,000-square-foot museum has transformed the area of Makrygianni, boosting property values while dwarfing other buildings in the neighborhood.

Dimitrios Pandermalis, a classical archaeologist who presided over the building’s construction and is now president of the museum, is acutely aware of all this. But for him, the gleaming edifice is a dream come true or at least partly so.

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Suzanne Muchnic
Los Angeles Times

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