News from Athens

I’m in Athens where work on the new Acropolis Museum is well underway. It will be just as big of a change to the Athenian skyline as the new Ara Pacis Museum was to Rome’s. There are more photos of the current state of the construction work below the fold.

Det nye Akropolismuseum
The new Acropolis Museum, Athens. Photo: TMK, March 2007.

Finds from the excavations of the new Acropolis Museum site are currently on show in the Weiler building that also houses the Centre for Acropolis Studies. Among these are some very interesting Roman statuettes and unfinished marble pieces from a workshop that was in operation in the 1st century BCE/1st century CE. The small, but well-curated selection of the finds is well worth a visit and can be seen until September.

Det nye Akropolismuseum

Dionysosteatret og det nye Akropolismuseum

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  1. The museum of acropolis is a big architectural mistake
    It destroys the urban landscape of the area and competes with the rock building complex (acropolis) that it is supposed serve

  2. Try taking some photos from the road you want be able to see the acropolis just a massive concrete structure that some people call museum

  3. most architects today think that they are sculpturors or artists or even intelectuals and their buildings are somekind of manifestation.
    how can we protect ourselves and our children from this hazardous misunderstanding? will they tell finaly how we will get rid of these constructions and when?

  4. I cannot understand why you accuse the museum while it is already built. It is one of the best archaeological museums in the world and is ready to house some of the most important ancient greek artifacts ever found including the Parthenon metopes and frieze that will be set on the last floor which allows natural light to enlight the exhbits.

  5. It’s funny that my article severely criticizing the New Acropolis Museum and its architect is apparently unknown in Greece. Originally published online in the US, it is now a chapter in my book “Anti-Architecture and Deconstruction”, which has appeared in English, French, and Italian. The Greek version was never published because of lack of interest!

    This is a topic that concerns the most historic spot in Athens. My fellow Greeks, usually so ready to debate on any issue, have allowed this alien form to plant itself where it is. Granted, the building is now part of the landscape, and will not go away. But surely Athenians can now finally see that it simply doesn’t belong there.

    Best wishes.

  6. there is no real controversy,,, there was a great need for a new museum to host the Acropolis findings and to manifest the need for the return of the sculptures currently exhibited in London.
    The museum’s design is provacative, innovative and very appropriate for its exhibits.. protects in the best way the excavation beneath and emphasises in the best possible way its links with the acropolis.
    Its ridiculous to assume that it antagonises the monument..(.I actually find the contrast with the Weiler building quite intriquing)
    if you take a good look behind the museum you will see that the surrounding buildings are the ones with the dubious aesthetics..
    all these critcs of the museum were silent all these years for the state of the old museum and the other buildings in the Makrygianni district,,
    now blinded by an inexplicable eliticism are trying to convince us that the new museum (which is not ready yet) is inappropriate for the surrounding environment,
    I suppose that… no great building has ever been built without some controversy.

  7. I’m afraid that so many people are blindly swallowing (and repeating) official propaganda about the New Acropolis Museum. Yes, there is most definitely a controversy here.

    1. We have absolutely no guarantee that the Parthenon sculptures are coming back from London.

    2. The museum building in large part destroyed the antiquities while digging its foundations, and did not “incorporate” them. See the videos online.

    3. Its industrial aesthetics are those of a factory or lighting fixtures showroom — totally out of place here.

    4. The elitists are those who fanatically support the monstrous form of the new museum. This is not a “great building”. Like all of Tschumi’s buildings, it has negligible architectural value.

    Please read my new essay on this topic, published in Orthodoxy Today, and entitled: “Architectural Cannibalism in Athens”.

    Best wishes.

  8. Did anyone see how all these artpeaces now look like in this breathtaking officebuilding? Are you satisfied now? Please enjoy the version of the “end of architecture” by Tschumi&Co and please welcome the common bullshit of todays incredibly lousy wannabe avantguardism. Live your myth in Greece…( it won´t be cheap)

  9. We all are obliged to our predcessors to look forward and to move forward. So architecture is one of the witnesses of this movement, because it shows the state of knoledge and technology today. We all use computers and we all are interested in what is to come. It is foolish to deny time and it is foolish to look backwards. The peaceful combination of the glorious past and unknown future is brave and proud. The innovations in architecture, technology, art and even museums are to be supported, though not blindly accepted, to preserve and develop our European culture.
    Criticism is necessary, but it should be well thought of, well looked at and smart formulated. Protest is only acceptable before the beggining – crying of pessimism is just a weakness and will never be heard.
    Europe’s grandeur is not to be mistaken, so let it grow and show itself, surely in Athens, of all places, the womb of Western civilization.
    New Metropolis Museum is the manifestation of culture and art, this is the best decision for Athens, and not only to get back the Marbles. Archeological artefacts will find a great place in this colossus, which perfectly combines past and future.
    Look forward Europeans!

  10. Dear Kristina, this was about a lousy building of an overestimated architect. Not about perfect and peacefull combinations in the unknown future of western civilization. Have a deep look in the mirror and if there is any glorious past or future you see tell me.

  11. The new museum is the least of our concerns – or should be. The Temple itself is being deconstructed – this should be the focus of protest worldwide.

    A timeless and truely priceless ancient meta-artifact is being dismantled ( the pediments) so that the visual impact of the great Temple, damaged as it was, is now further diminshed, to a sobering and disturbing level.

    Why didn’t they just encase the Temple, or attempt to reconstruct from the ruins on the grounds extant? Granted much has been removed over the centuries and since the explosion, but much remains. Has an inventory of the Temple stones been made, the stones not still part of the standing structure?

    How can a state justify the destruction of its persona?

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