NEWS

A severe dearth of museums

One by one, Greece’s major archaeological museums are closing down for refurbishment ahead of the 2004 Olympic Games, in a simultaneous rush that is expected to leave many visitors over the next year and a half fuming outside closed doors. Yesterday, it was revealed that the Archaeological Museum of Delphi will close down in February, following the example of the National Archaeological and Kerameikos museums in Athens, and the museum of Olympia in the Peloponnese. Another candidate for closure is the Acropolis Museum, which is supposed to be replaced by a flashy new building in Makriyianni, but severe delays in the new structure’s time schedule – the foundations have yet to be laid – may prevent this from happening for still some time, if at all, before the Olympics. The only find from Delphi that will remain accessible to visitors before the summer of 2004 is the celebrated bronze statue of the Charioteer. It is unclear whether the entrance ticket for the Delphi site – which includes the price of a museum visit – will be reduced for the duration of the refurbishment work.