In my last travel post, I talked about my first evening in Athens, in which I walked around with a new friend and explored the Acropolis and a number of other ancient sites. The next day I had all to myself, and I vowed to see as much of the city’s history as I could.
My first stop in the morning was the magnificent Acropolis Museum, holding archaeological artifacts from the famed site.
This is actually the second Acropolis Museum; the original one was built on the Acropolis itself in 1874 and was renovated in the 1950s. However, the size of the collection increased as the Acropolis area was further excavated, and it was decided in the 1970s that a new museum was needed. The decision was also motivated by the fact that many of the friezes of the Parthenon were acquired by the British Museum under shady circumstances, and British Museum officials argued that they couldn’t return them because Athens did not have a suitable location to house them.
In the image above, you can see a glass walkway. When the new museum started construction in the 1990s, based on the winning design of the third competition to design the museum, it was discovered that the site held ancient ruins of archaeological significance. A fourth competition to design a museum that could protect the ruins, and the final museum design — opened in 2009 — is built raised above the site! Both outside and inside the museum, one can look down to see the excavations, which are still in progress.