Saturday, July 4, 2009

New Acropolis Museum in Athens

© 2009 David & Anna Smith. All Rights Reserved

The New Acropolis Museum in Athens opened on June 21, 2009. As published travel writers and photographers, my wife Anna and I toured the newly opened Acropolis Museum with our cameras last week using our journalism credentials the day before the general public was admitted. We were graciously and eagerly welcomed by friendly administrative staff to view and enjoy the spacious and innovative displays with natural light and an almost empty building which is truly a photographer’s dream come true.

Ancient artefacts hidden away in storage for years along with famous well-known treasures are displayed in a massive 3 story building atop unexcavated ruins, vast sloping glass floors, diffused light from windows and skylights – an architectural marvel. The entrance has your head turning and heart beating with wonder and awe. Our eyes are immediately captivated by the original lady Caryatids looking imperious and gracefully beautiful. At its pinnacle – the top floor, an exact replica of the top of actual Parthenon looking down from the Acropolis just a few hundred meters above gives rise to visitor expectations of a vast collection of artist sculpture, friezes and pediments among the metallic modern columns. Unfortunately, those expectations are not met, as it is clear to even the casual visitor that a great deal of its treasures are missing, the Parthenon having been plundered and victimized by Persians, British and others since its inception in 490 BC.

The new Acropolis museum is a story of a ultra modern building with a comprehensive collection with big gaps created by past pillage and rape of the Acropolis and waiting to be filled and punctuated by a continuously running, powerful multimedia slide show inside the cloned Parthenon. The Museum opening will surely bring the ownership issue of the Parthenon friezes grabbed by Lord Elgin (the ‘Elgin Marbles”) in the early 19th century and proudly flaunted by the British Museum to a head. Could this become a story of new repatriation of plundered artefacts and artist treasures across the modern world?

This story will include photography of both the new Acropolis Museum showing the building, its stunning modern architecture and its contents together with a stunning variety of day and evening shots of the actual Acropolis and Parthenon taken on June 23, 2009. These photographs are also online and available for immediate licensing -click Gallery - New Acropolis Museum in Athens Interested parties are invited to contact the undersigned:

David SmithImage by Interface
cell 604-818-7662

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