OPINION

Modernizing the past

Passing outside the National Archaeological Museum on Patission Street, you can feel change in the air. Teams of workers feverishly labor away at the previously neglected museum gardens. The work has created a completely different setting for the neoclassical building which now appears even more majestic than before. And, although ongoing renovation of the museum may not be finished in time for the Olympics, one thing is certain – works under way across the entire city are now on a high-speed route. The greatest emphasis is being laid upon the major projects which are gaining Greece international attention while making life much easier for residents: the metro extension to the airport, Kifissou Avenue, the tram, and the new suburban railway line. These works have contributed toward remolding Athens as a sports hub as well as a real metropolis. And it is this unshifting focus on tomorrow which characterizes a modern metropolis, with its new modes of transport, offering citizens access to new places, new experiences… Meanwhile, the modernization of the past in Athens – of its buildings and its institutions – is also creating an entirely new situation. Integrated within the environment of a modern city, the city’s old buildings, its mythology and the traces of yesterday are essentially being transformed as they are serving new needs of a new generation. The museum, for example, is no longer just a museum but also a modern cultural hub…