Saturday June 20, 2009
The official opening of the New Acropolis Museum
"Welcome to the new Acropolis Museum. 188 years since the declaration of the Greek Independence, 33 years since Constantinos Karamanlis took the far-sighted decision to built it in this particular site, and 27 years since the campaign of Melina Merkouri, a duty is fulfilled and a dream is realized:A whole nation’s duty to its own cultural heritage; the new Acropolis Museum. The paramount monument of Ancient Classical Times now has its own Museum – at last.
In difficult times people need symbols to hold tight and stand straight.
The Grand Opening of the new Acropolis Museum may be such a symbolic event. Where the Aesthetics of Logic, the Ethics of Freedom and the Rationality of Beauty, are all fused together and carved in stone for eternity. Acropolis hasn’t stayed intact over the centuries. Yet it is still radiating its Beauty and its Truth.This unique embodiment of ideas, ideals, moral standards and aesthetic values is needed now, more than ever. And we enjoy these, for the first time in a Modern Museum deserving to the historical Monument.
Take a tour in it. Appreciate its atmosphere and its exhibits. Be inspired by its transcending message. It is Greek because it is Ecumenical. It is ours only to share it with the rest of the World. And please, remember: What you will discover is not just a part of our History. It is also a part of our soul, of who we are… There are strong, sacred bonds, connecting us with every single item, from the humblest archaeological fragment to the most ornate figure.
All of the artifacts are parts of our soul… Mostly the ones missing! With the anticipation that eventually – better sooner than later – they will be re-united in their birth place and in the integral form they were meant to be."
Antonis C. Samaras
Minister of Culture
The Acropolis Museum houses the archaeological findings related to the Acropolis Hill and was purpose-built by architect Bernard Tschumi in Athens (Greece). It lies at the foot of the Acropolis, on Dionysíou Areopagítou Street. The Organisation for the Construction of the New Museum is chaired by Aristotle University Professor Emeritus of Archaeology, Dimitrios Pandermalis.
Opens to the public on Monday.
The Greek government hopes its opening will help revive an international campaign to bring back the Elgin marbles – sculptures from the Acropolis temples displayed in the British Museum in London.
The top-floor gallery replicates the exact dimensions of the Parthenon temple in order to display the Greek-owned section of frieze carved by Pheidias in the 5th century BC - next to copies of the half that remains in London.