Friday, June 4, 2010

Back from our great voyage

Our voyage on the Aegean Odyssey began in Piraeus. The next day's tour took us to Athens and the Acropolis. Its always full of tourists, school children, tour groups speaking a multitude of different languages, but in spite of the crowds, always a great experience. I think this was our 4th time there and we were delighted to see how much work has been completed. Lots of workmen putting up more scaffolding, using cranes, wahing down areas...There's still heaps more to be done.
The new Acropolis Museum opened recently. The huge glass fronted building looks out onto the Acropolis and houses the artefacts of only this site. The museum is built on the remains of another archeological area, and this is covered w. Lexan panels so the visitor can view the dig site easily. The second floor houses the original Caryatids of the Erecthion, and a huge display of the 4 sides (the metopes?) of the Parthenon. The latter exhibits the original stone pieces plus white plaster casts of the Elgin marbles held by the British Museum. I was shocked that so many pieces are totally missing. The whiteness of the reproductions may be viewed as a reproach to the British Museum that permitted Jos. Duveen to order technicians to scrub the original colors off the pieces before displaying them in the room he financed for their display. The British Museum's argument for not returning these to Greece is that if they hadn't preserved them, there'd be none now for anyone to view. The Elgin Marbles are the Brit. Museum's biggest draw.

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