In the spirit of the 15th anniversary of the Acropolis Museum’s operation and its extremely successful journey, the official presentation to the Greek and international public of the new and particularly important museum space, which complements the Museum, took place before the President of the Republic. This is the “Museum under the Museum“, which offers visitors the significantly improved possibility of understanding and interpreting the material remains and history of an entire neighbourhood of ancient Athens, which was discovered during the systematic excavations carried out in the area for the construction of the Museum and the “Acropolis” station of the Athens Metro.

The Minister of Culture Lina Mendoni referred in detail to the claim for the reunification of the Parthenon Marbles: “With the foundation, construction and above all the operation of the Acropolis Museum“, she said, “our country has destroyed the only – in the past – true and powerful argument of the British that Greece did not have suitable and worthy hospitality infrastructure. It is now widely -almost universally, and internationally accepted- that Greece bases its argument for the reunification of the Marbles on tangible evidence of its strong will and practical ability and capacity to protect, preserve, display and manage them in a sound scientific and technical manner. For decades, we have been implementing an exemplary and model project of conservation, restoration and rehabilitation of all the monuments of the Acropolis, including the Parthenon. For 15 years, it has been abundantly clear that the British Museum’s argument is not only untrue, but on the contrary, following the revelations of recent years, it has now been completely reversed. In addition to the excellence of the infrastructure and operation of the Acropolis Museum, its organic interconnection with the Rock and the monuments of the Acropolis, its symbiotic relationship with the modern and the ancient, the superimposed and underlying built environment and the urban landscape with the historical present and past of Athens, make it ideal to welcome and host the entire Parthenon Marbles as a single and indivisible entity. This Museum constitutes the optimal physical and conceptual framework for the display, interpretation and understanding of the masterpieces.”

The excavation site, in the architectural proposal by Bernard Chumi and Michalis Fotiadis, was treated as an exhibition extension of the Museum, as its natural and conceptual continuity and umbilical cord, connecting the new building with space and time. Five years ago, the excavation was made accessible to visitors, who were given the opportunity, in addition to a guided tour of the Museum’s halls, to tour the underlying antiquities.

In her closing remarks, Lina Mendoni thanked both the Director General Nikos Stambolidis and the staff of the Museum, “because the Museum is not the shell and its infrastructure but primarily its people who founded and created it, first of all the late friend Dimitris Pandermalis. The exhibition being inaugurated is a tribute to his memory”.

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