Thirty years of restoration

There is good news for the works and monuments still on the Sacred Rock. Considerable progress has been made in the restoration project – the largest in the history of restoration – which was begun in 1975. The public can now get an idea of what has been achieved at an exhibition titled «Thirty Years of Restoration Work on the Acropolis» now on show at the Gounaroupoulos Museum. The work has also been riddled with problems, complaints, financial difficulties and disputes among the experts. The work however by the Committee for the Preservation of the Acropolis Monuments (ESMA) under its president, Haralambos Bouras, has been significant as has the work by the Acropolis Restoration Service, set up to facilitate the work of ESMA under Director Mary Ioannidou. Parthenon: Of the three large intervention projects, two have been completed: the restoration of the front and back part of the temple. The restoration of the north side is in progress. The study, conducted by ESMA for the resettlement of the north colonnade and entablature, has been approved and in a few days’ time it will be discussed by the Central Archaeological Committee. Propylaea: The restoration of the Propylaea superstructure (entrance to the Acropolis monuments) has advanced. More specifically, the manual chiseling of two Ionic capitals from new marble is under way and will be used for the restoration of the West Hall. Temple of Athena Nike: By the end of the year, the temple will have been reassembled. Walls-Rock: Special measuring devices and electronic instruments have made a record of the visible cracks, the small shifts and structural faults in the walls. A pilot project for a geophysical survey of the surface of the south wall is to be started. A study on consolidating a part of the northeast corner has been completed and will be examined by the Central Archaeological Committee before the end of the month. The Arrephorio Temple: Removing the soil inside the monument where in the past fragments of the Acropolis had been stored is now almost complete. The work has revealed many surprises: sculptures and architectural pieces, such as a part of the metope from the north side of the Parthenon and a piece with traces of gold color also from the Parthenon. According to a recent statement by Bouras, preservation works on the Acropolis will have been completed by 2009.

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