"I am not of those who argue that culture will save us from the crisis, but I think that the Acropolis Museum could become the place where you could take a breath, to put away the grayness," says the director of the Acropolis Museum Professor Dimitrios Pandermalis. The museum plays its role in the society, which is not confined solely to its importance for science, adds Pandermalis and says that the idea of the new program "A Day at the Acropolis Museum" on the 16th and the 17th of April is to enable the visitors to have fun in the Museum and return to visit it, and be filled with romantic experiences as reading a book in the library of the Museum, surfing the Internet in the views of the sacred rock, drinking a cup of nice coffee or having a dinner with friends at the restaurant, for example.
The Museum visitors will be able to attend various lectures related to the history of the exhibits, watch how the statues are restored, watch a film about the Acropolis, read at the library where there is free internet access. They can enjoy the Greek cuisine at the restaurant at reasonable prices, and the children can order healthy children's menu. Dishes that are representative of different regions of Greece are expected to be served in the weekends in the near future.
The Museum invites its guests to get acquainted with the goddess Athena and her symbols through three different games for recognizing her in the exhibition halls. The new program includes signs for children to look for the twelve statues of Athena included in the game. If the visitors would like, after submitting their identity card upon entering, they could take a bag, containing a map, a children's game with stickers and the game Perfect Match. The English version of this program is expected after two weeks. The game is also associated with a new digital application named Athena – the Goddess of the Acropolis available on www.acropolis-athena.gr, where the visitors get acquainted with the various dimensions of Athens, but of the Acropolis too. The owl, which is the animal symbol of knowledge and of Athens, has its own statue which is being restored at the moment and will be placed on a modern pedestal.
Since archaeologists have noticed the visitors’ interest to the plates with captions, a pilot program is currently being developed to place discrete touch screens to the captions and to read the text in ancient Greek, modern Greek and English as well as the comments. The interest of visitors is also attracted by the work of restorers at the excavations, which are made in front of the Museum just under the feet of visitors. For those who have not yet visited the Museum it is necessary to clarify that before entering the Museum, the visitors pass through a transparent area which is at least three meters deeps. There are the excavations and the visitors see everything that happens under their feet. "The visitor instinctively wants to see an act that is not modern, the visitor is attracted by mystery and we have such a rare thing here," says the director of the Acropolis Museum.
The number of visitors in winter ranged between 2,000 and 5,000 daily, and the record number - 17,660 people was registered on the 25th of March this year, on the national holiday of the Greeks, says Pandermalis. There is a constantly increasing number of visits on Fridays when the museum is open until 10 pm.