Court OKs Acropolis Museum

Greece’s plans to build an ultramodern new Acropolis Museum under the ancient citadel received a major boost yesterday after the country’s highest administrative court rejected a suit to have the dragging project scrapped. Furthermore, one of the museum’s top backers said the government had assured him that the building – where Athens would like to display the Elgin, or Parthenon, Marbles should the British Museum agree to return them – «will be built.» Jules Dassin, head of the Melina Mercouri Foundation, which has lobbied for the sculptures’ return and construction of the new museum, was speaking after meeting with Prime Minister (and Culture Minister) Costas Karamanlis and Deputy Culture Minister Petros Tatoulis. Court sources said the Council of State dismissed arguments that construction work would damage ancient building remains found on the plot in Makriyianni earmarked for the 94-million-euro museum. The International Council on Monuments and Sites and Makriyianni residents wanted all government decisions allowing construction of the museum annulled.

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