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Acropolis - the hour of the cranes

16 October 2007 / 16:10:09  GRReporter
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Everything is ready for “the move of the century,” as journalists call the placement of the exhibits in the New Acropolis Museum. The cranes ready and waiting next to the most famous Greek temple. The museum exhibits are packed and expecting their glamorous display in their new home. The bass-reliefs and the sculptors have been disassembled from the Parthenon and are awaiting their turn. Archeologists and historians from all over the world are holding their breaths when a monument, which has been symbolizing the birth of human civilization for 2500 years, will change its position. The general rehearsal for its translocation is tomorrow and the operation itself will start on Sunday at 10:00am, headed by the Minister of Culture Mihalis Liyapis.


Meanwhile the Parthenon is news number one all around the world. All big TV stations, news agencies, newspapers and internet media from 5 continents have sent teams to report one of the biggest events in world archeology – the moving of the Acropolis. Athens has not seen so many journalists ever since the Olympic Games in 2004. CNN, CBS, BBC, Al Jazeera and of course ERT are preparing documentaries about the event. The European Broadcasting Union will report live the whole event. Their own teams also have Reuters and AP.



“The New Acropolis Museum changed my understanding of architecture,” shares its creator Bernar Shumi, as he prefers to pronounce his name. in his exciting lecture in front of the Athenian public in “Megaro Mouzikis,” the Swiss architect admitted hat designing the New Museum is the hardest task for any architect. First of all, because his creation will always stand beside the Parthenon and it needs to be a worthy companion of the biggest monument of the human civilization. Second, because it needs to be built on an area, which 80% of it is filled with archeological diggings. Third, because the museum is meant for exhibits, which most of them are spread all around the world and they will not be returned back to Athens any time soon.


Bernar Shumi explained while designing the museum he has used some of the newest developments of the new technology. “Architecture is the art, which allows you to materialize your dreams. The New Acropolis Museum could have not looked this way 50 years ago, because back then we didn’t have the materials, which we have today,” says the famous architect. He believes the light is the most important element when developing the project. On one hand the diggings under the glass floor of the museum and the exhibits in the halls are covered by artificial lighting, which makes them seem mystic. On the other hand, the glass walls of the museum allow natural light to enter from different sides and its game can come to life in this closed space.


The architect paid special attention to the anti-seismic stability of the museum and to the movement of the air inside. “The New Acropolis Museum is neither just an addition to the Parthenon nor just a new addition to Athens. It is a new conceptual understanding of antiquity, which needs to live in harmony with the modern world,” said Bernar Shumi and promised to prepare another lecture for the Athenian public, which applauded him enthusiastically.

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