12 October, 2007
A dry run for the transfer of artifacts and antiquities from a small outdated museum atop the Acropolis to the new ultra-modern Acropolis Museum on Makrygianni street, some 400 metres away and off the Acropolis' south side, was successfully completed at the site on Thursday in optimum weather conditions, ahead of the actual transfer operation on Sunday.
Three large industrial cranes set up on the renowned archaeological site -- one within the remains of the classical-era theatre of Dionysus and one adjacent to the Acropolis Museum -- successfully manoeuvred a container carrying a 2.5-ton block of marble from atop the Acropolis hill to the new glass-&-steel facility.
The first stage of the transfer will take place on Sunday, during which the three cranes will carry out an aerial transfer of a section of the western frieze of the Parthenon Temple -- one of the heaviest exhibits to be transported -- from the old museum to the top floor of the new museum, which has been named the Parthenon Hall.
"The transfer operation of the exhibits from the old museum to the new Acropolis Museum is in the best of hands. It is in the hands of people with knowledge, experience and, most of all, with a high sense of responsibility," Culture Minister Mihalis Liapis said, after watching the trial run.
He expressed certainty that the entire operation will be completed safely, adding that the new Acropolis Museum will negate whatever claims -- an indirect reference to the British Museum's leadership -- of a lack of modern spaces in the Greek capital to host antiquities, while noting that it was late Greek statesman Constantine Karamanlis, Liapis' uncle, who 30 years ago had envisioned a new Acropolis Museum.
Source: Athens News Agency