Artifacts at Athens’ Acropolis Museum

There are many museums that store ancient Greek artifacts (and here), many documentaries on these people. But despite having seen Greek artifacts in other museums previously there is something special about seeing these statues, frescos and artifacts at the actual site.

While the massive structures atop the Acropolis and the Temple of Zeus, remain in their ancient location as important symbols, many smaller artifacts with significantly more intricacies need to be preserved from the wear and tear of the elements. To that end, the Acropolis Museum at the foot of the hill of the Acropolis was founded in 2003 to archive and educate the public about the many artifacts that were found at and around the Acropolis.

It wasn’t that no attempts to preserve and look after these civilizational treasures was not made, an earlier museum was started in 1874 and expanded in the 1950s – that museum had run out of space.

Over 4000 items are stored in the Acropolis Museum, ranging in size from small frescoes models,

to a whole excavated site sitting underneath the museum itself.

There was another reason for the construction of this museum. Greece had previously requested the return of some of the most important structures such as the Parthenon Marbles from the British, who took them under dubious conditions when the city was ruled by the British and called them Elgin Marbles after the British agent who removed them, the latter had denied the requests on the account that the Greeks had no good storage location. The construction of this museum put paid to their justification. Those marbles are still in London though, despite popular support in the UK and worldwide for them to be returned to Greece.

Nonetheless, there are enough items from ancient Greece that still make you look and rever in respect, simply for the intricacy and delicacy that each of these works have, made at a time when tools were not as precise.

Although all these marble items (marble is a common rock found in the Aegean area) they were all painted when first unveiled. While the rock chosen is a sturdy one capable of lasting for millennia, the paints that were used were minerals that faded easily after a short time.

One can only imagine how amazing these statues and artifacts would have looked when they were first unveiled in their full painted glory!

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