The three largest lifting cranes in Europe will be employed to help move artifacts from the Parthenon to the New Acropolis Museum in September, it was revealed yesterday. The 5th century BC antiquities will be moved from the museum on the ancient rock to the building that is being completed near the Acropolis metro station, just 400 meters away. It is expected that all the exhibits, including sections of the Parthenon frieze, will be transferred by the end of the year so the new museum can open to the public early next year. Culture Minister Giorgos Voulgarakis said that the government was still examining ways of insuring the artifacts against damage. The antiquities will be wrapped in protective packaging and put into crates. They are to be transferred in three stages. The cranes will be placed some 100 meters apart and the crates will be relayed between them. The final crane will lower the crates onto the museum's first- or third-floor balconies so that the artifacts can then be placed inside the building.