5 September 2022. Part 3: The New Acropolis Museum.
It was a short walk from the exit of the South Slope of the Acropolis to the new Acropolis Museum. One of the neat things about this museum is the exposed archaeological excavation that is located beneath the site and displayed so gracefully with a combination of light wells and glass floors. There was a LONG line to get in the main entrance to purchase tickets. However, the line for existing ticket holders was essentially nonexistent, so the boys went online and bought tickets for all of us, and we cruised right in. After a bit of confusion, we managed to find the Acropolis Museum Cafe and Restaurant, took a table on the outside terrace, and ordered lunch. It was nice to take a breather.
For those who haven’t seen it yet, the new Acropolis Museum is absolutely stunning in its both design and how it displays its extensive collection of artifacts. The remaining original pieces of the Parthenon metopes and pediment friezes, and plaster casts of the pieces which are located elsewhere (*cough* British Museum), are shown in continuous bands and groupings. The artistic mastery on display in their ruined state can only leave the viewer dumbfounded by what they must have been like when new. Greece has now demonstrated beyond a shadow of a doubt that it has the ability to both protect and properly exhibit its ancient heritage.
The slide show (below) provides a photographic overview of the Parthenon metopes taken in the order that I encountered them in the museum (we walked counterclockwise around the floor). The plaster casts of the “missing” pieces are white. Elgin didn’t just take sculptural elements from the Parthenon. He also robbed elements of the Propylaia and the Erechtheion. They really should be returned.
This museum is just so beautiful.
In addition to imagery associated with the Goddess Athena, there are also sculptural elements on display that depict others of the Dodekatheon, including Dionysos.
Satyrs have horns, and Silens long ears. That’s my opinion and I’m sticking with it.
I would like to have gotten many more photos. Unfortunately, some really nice stuff was located in areas where photography was prohibited. And this also turned out to be a day that the museum closed early. Everyone was cleared from the building in an orderly, if disgruntled, fashion. This truly sucked because we had really been looking forward to checking out the gift shop on our way out, as it looked like it had some awesome things. I guess we have to save something for the next trip. Sigh. So, we all walked back out to the street, turned left, and headed west and north. Next up, the ancient Greek Agora.
Read this article if you would like to visit the Acropolis Museum virtually with the help of GoogleEarth.
“Mortal!” -twas thus she spake- “that blush of shameFragment from ‘The Curse of Minerva’ by Lord Byron, 1811
Proclaims thee Briton, once a noble name;
First of the mighty, foremost of the free,
Now honourd less by all, and least by me;
Chief of thy foes shall Pallas still be found.
Seekst thou the cause of loathing? -look around.
Lo! here, despite of war and wasting fire,
I saw successive tyrannies expire.
Scaped from the ravage of the Turk and Goth,
Thy country sends a spoiler worse than both.
Survey this vacant, violated fane;
Recount the relics torn that yet remain:
These Cecrops placed, this Pericles adornd,
That Adrian reard when drooping Science mournd.
What more I owe let gratitude attest-
Know, Alaric and Elgin did the rest.
That all may learn from whence the plunderer came,
The insulted wall sustains his hated name:
A December 2022 update on Parthenon elements being returned to Greece – Vatican edition.
— Να εχεις μια ωραια μερα. —
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