NEWS

Old Acropolis Museum as cafe?

The old Acropolis Museum, located next to the Parthenon, may be converted into a snack bar, Culture Ministry officials heard yesterday. Government officials and Culture Ministry representatives discussed the possibility of the renovated museum staging a photographic exhibition, outlining the history of the Acropolis, as well as a cafe of some sort. The idea of an exhibition was embraced by everyone. But reservations were expressed over the possibility of a snack bar due to fears that chairs and tables would be scattered around under the Parthenon. According to the ministry’s museums department, the old museum should only serve water and soft drinks. Artifacts are still kept at the museum but are gradually being transferred to the New Acropolis Museum at the foot of the Acropolis hill on Dionysiou Areopagitou Street. The new museum, designed by Swiss architect Bernard Tschumi, is due to open in September, Culture Minister Michalis Liapis revealed yesterday during a visit to the ultramodern structure. «In one month from now, we are to finish moving all the exhibits from the old museum,» Liapis said, remarking that the painstaking process of packaging and transporting precious artifacts was well under way. If all goes as scheduled, the museum will be inaugurated by September, the minister added, describing the completion of the museum as «a national challenge.» The new museum – whose top-floor gallery is reserved for the Parthenon Marbles (currently in the British Museum) – «will be a strong argument against those who oppose the return of the Marbles,» Liapis said.