Acropolis Museum marks 10-year anniversary with new extension

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People visit the excavation beneath the Acropolis museum in Athens, on its opening day on June 21, 2019 which coincides with ten years of museum operation. (AFP)
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People visit the excavation beneath the Acropolis museum in Athens, on its opening day on June 21, 2019 which coincides with ten years of museum operation. (AFP)
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People visit the excavation beneath the Acropolis museum in Athens, on its opening day on June 21, 2019 which coincides with ten years of museum operation. (AFP)
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People visit the excavation beneath the Acropolis museum in Athens, on its opening day on June 21, 2019 which coincides with ten years of museum operation. (AFP)
Updated 21 June 2019

Acropolis Museum marks 10-year anniversary with new extension

  • The new 4,000-square-meter (43,000-square-feet) extension displays the remains of ancient baths and hot water pipes, public latrines, homes, wells and workshops
  • Greece’s Acropolis Museum includes a section reserved for the disputed Parthenon Marbles, currently at the British Museum in London

ATHENS: Greece’s Acropolis Museum has opened to the public a new section housing the remains of an ancient Athens neighborhood to mark its 10-year-anniversary, organizers said Friday.
The new 4,000-square-meter (43,000-square-feet) extension displays the remains of ancient baths and hot water pipes, public latrines, homes, wells and workshops, organizers said.
Most of the remains are Roman and Byzantine but “some date back to Classical Athens,” said museum director Dimitris Pantermalis.
According to Classical-era historian Thucydides, this particular part of Athens was first inhabited some 5,000 years ago, Pantermalis said.
The remains were first unearthed during the museum’s construction between 1997 and 2004, but were previously only partially visible through the entrance glass floor.
Their excavation was delayed by the Greek economic crisis, organizers said.
Objects found during the dig are to be displayed at the museum at a later date.
Since it opened in June 2009, the Acropolis Museum has welcomed 14.5 million visitors.
The museum and the Acropolis are Greece’s top two archaeological sites.
Designed by celebrated Franco-Swiss architect Bernard Tschumi, the three-level building offers panoramic views of the Acropolis citadel and showcases sculptures from the golden age of Athenian democracy.
Set out over a total area of over 14,000 square meters (150,000 square feet), it harnesses natural light to show off hundreds of artefacts and sculptures.
It includes a section reserved for the disputed Parthenon Marbles, currently at the British Museum in London.
Greece has long pursued a campaign for the return of the priceless friezes, removed in 1806 by Lord Elgin when Greece was occupied by the Ottoman Empire, but the British Museum refuses to repatriate them.


Iraq Pavilion at Venice Biennale shuts in solidarity with protesters

The Iraq Pavilion at the Venice Biennale has shut down in solidarity with protesters. Supplied
Updated 13 November 2019

Iraq Pavilion at Venice Biennale shuts in solidarity with protesters

  • In a show of solidarity with anti-government protestors, the Iraq Pavilion at the Venice Biennale has shut down
  • Initially set to run until Nov. 24, the exhibition entitled “Fatherland” was closed on Nov. 5.

DUBAI: Iraq is currently in the midst of ongoing anti-government protests that have claimed the lives of more than 260 Iraqis since they erupted earlier this month. In a show of solidarity, the Iraq Pavilion at the Venice Biennale has shut down.

Initially set to run until Nov. 24, the exhibition entitled “Fatherland” was closed on Nov. 5.

“Fatherland” is a collection of expressionist paintings by Iraqi-Kurdish artist Serwan Baran that were commissioned by Baghdad-based non-profit organization the Ruya Foundation, which in an official statement shared that the move was to show support to “the popular youth uprisings that have erupted in Iraq against state corruption and deteriorating economic and living conditions.”

“We condemn the use of violence against peaceful protesting, and the bloodshed that has led to the death of over 265 protesters so far,” read the statement shared on the organization’s Twitter account. “Peaceful protesting is a basic right, enshrined in Article 38.c of the Iraqi Constitution.”

“Since our founding in late 2012, we have worked hard, frequently in inhospitable circumstances, to create a platform for artists across Iraq to freely express their creativity, in a firm belief that culture is an integral component of any society, and a powerful force for change towards an open and free country. This is particularly important for Iraq, given its difficult recent history and authoritarian past,” it continued.

The Baghdad-based foundation, which was co-founded by Tamara Chalabi, daughter of former Iraqi politician Ahmed Chalabi, has overseen the Iraq Pavilion in Venice since 2013.