Lonely Planet Writer

Athens' Acropolis Museum celebrates 10 years with the opening of a whole new section

Athens’ cultural crown jewel, the Acropolis Museum, celebrates 10 years and more than 14.5 million visitors, with a series of events in the coming days.

Acropolis Museum celebrates ten-year anniversary
Photography exhibition CHISEL AND MEMORY. The contribution of marble craftsmanship to the restoration of the Acropolis monuments . © Acropolis Museum/Giorgos Vitsaropoulos

Among them a temporary exhibition with photographs of the marble craftsmen of the Acropolis at work, “Chisel and memory” (11 June – 31 October), a lecture by the Italian professor Giovanni Verri on the polychromy of the Parthenon sculptures (13 June) and a concert by the great Greek composer Stavros Xarchakos (19 June).

Athens' jewel in the crown, the Acropolis Museum celebrates 10 years
Photography exhibition CHISEL AND MEMORY at the Acropolis Museum. © Acropolis Museum/Giorgos Vitsaropoulos

However, the highlight of the celebrations is the permanent opening of what is virtually a whole new section of the museum: The excavation underneath the building, currently partly visible through the glass floor at its entrance – an area of 4000 sq metres that comprises houses, workshops, baths and streets of an ancient Athenian neighbourhood that existed from the classical to the Byzantine years.

Acropolis Museum opens whole new section
View of the archaeological excavation beneath the museum. © Acropolis Museum/Nikos Daniilidis

This impressive archaeological site will soon be enriched with the most representative of the 1290 findings of the excavation. Architectural ruins will be organised in a unique exhibition that sheds light on the everyday life of an ancient neighbourhood that existed in the shadow of the Acropolis.

“Life did not only consist of the glorious moments of classical Athens; these everyday findings complete the picture. Essentially, we will open a new floor of the museum, which will provide information about the daily lives of Athenians”, said the museum president, professor Dimitris Pantermalis.

Archaeological excavations in the new section of the Acropolis Museum
Circular room of building E at the archaeological excavation. © Acropolis Museum/Nikos Daniilidis

From Friday 21 June 2019 onwards, the archaeological excavation will be open to the museum visitors. On this day the museum exhibition areas will be open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. and, on 20 June, the day of the museum’s 10th anniversary, entrance to the public will be free of charge (8 am – 8 pm)

By Vangelis Koronakis