NEWS

Early peak at Acropolis Museum

A section of the New Acropolis Museum will open to the public from Friday until Easter time to give people a first glimpse of the artifacts that will go on permanent display in the building, it was revealed yesterday. The ground floor of the museum will be open for two hours every day over the next few months to allow visitors to see the antiquities that were discovered during the construction of the impressive building. The news was made public during a visit by Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis, who renewed Greece's call for the Parthenon Marbles to be returned from the British Museum in London. «The construction and operation of the New Acropolis Museum destroys the final argument of those who refuse to satisfy a just demand,» said the premier. «The conditions are now ripe to demand the return of the Parthenon Marbles to their rightful home. This can and must become a reality for this generation.» Karamanlis's call, however, was immediately rebuffed by the British Museum. «The Acropolis Museum, although it is a great achievement, does not change the [British] museum's position, because for us it has never been about the display of the sculptures in Athens,» spokeswoman Hannah Boulton told Agence France-Presse. «The fundamental purpose of the British Museum is to present all world cultures, to enable all those who come here or see the collections on loan around the world to experience and compare the civilizations.»

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