NEWS

Acropolis restoration long-term

Scaffolding on the Acropolis, although less since the summer, is still there and looks like it is going to stay. The question now is: When will the work, which began 30 years ago, eventually be finished? Archaeologist Fani Mallouchou-Tugano gave a lecture at the Vourou-Evtaxia Athens City Museum last week that put things into perspective. Mallouchou, of the Acropolis Monuments Maintenance Service, detailed work done since 1834, with an emphasis on the last three decades, when restoration was more or less obligatory due to mistakes in previous restoration work, breakage of the marble and, of course, environmental pollution. Obstacles that emerged during the course of work included problems of stability due to earthquakes and fires. Work on the Parthenon appears to be half-finished, but the exact situation will become clearer when a report is submitted by the Maintenance Service. In 2006, the Temple of Athena Nike is due for completion, as is the Propylaea. Immediately afterward, work is to begin on the unfinished restoration of the walls of the Parthenon, the southern colonnade and other sections. Many of the programs will take 15 years to finish, barring further surprises. There are difficulties with the Parthenon’s western facade and the central section that has never been restored. This would require an international conference, one of the principles since work began, that is, that work should only be done on already restored sections. Mallouchou, who has been working on the Acropolis since 1976, explained that in order to begin restoring monuments such as the Acropolis, all avenues must be thoroughly explored, and this takes time.