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Monumental Interval

june of 2008 I photographed the new Acropolis Museum. It was a moment before the completion of its construction for the inauguration that took place a year later, in June 2009. The building process of the museum had as a principle its relation with the Parthenon, the sacred rock of the Acropolis and the Athenian cityscape. The first impression reveals an imposing presence; I focused on its constructional details, which have been recognized as pioneering in presenting ancient Greek exhibits.


The audacious volume of cement opposes itself to the Athenian cityscape and shows the way towards the future, suggesting a redistribution of the zoning to put into effect new scales of construction. Peering down on the area and gazing at the city blocks, one realizes that the space occupied by the museum is perfectly integrated in the region of Attica. One could link the rest of the infinite shapes accordingly and reform them into new compact volumes for urban development with eco-management of the natural resources of Athens, taking profit of the natural Light of Attica. Bernard Tschumi made excellent use of the elements mentioned above for the presentation of the most important exhibits of the Greek civilization. 


The gallery of the Parthenon has been constructed in parallel with the monument and demonstrates the detached parts of its friezes at the respective place. The panoramic transparency offered by the crystal creates a continuous visual contact with the monument of the Acropolis, while at the same time, it opens a direct dialogue with contemporary Athens. The gallery is situated slightly higher than the level of the city, enabling its natural illumination; at the same time, it uses as background for the exhibits the transient Athenian cityscape. A perceptive concept that allows visitors to stand cogitating concerning the needs for the evolution of societies and their continuous relationship with art. It also seems to be determined as a reference point, a springboard for the reflection on the vision of the future. After noonday, the gallery continues to project itself over the urban landscape through its artificial illumination; therefore, the museum remains always open.


A landscape was created at the archaic gallery, which puts the viewer and reader in face-to-face contact with the ancient Greek sculptures of the sacred rock of the Acropolis. In this way, it offers the opportunity for a free and circumferential touring movement opposite the stable stillness of the sculptures. The height of the space in question, the use of the light, and the high-reliance columns create a timeless space; therefore, the connection with the present can be re-realized upon stepping out of the gallery. Another reading perspective is offered by the floor where the Karyatides have been placed. It offers a panoramic view of the exhibition allowing people to observe -undecidedly- who and what is alive in space.


I had the opportunity to visit the museum just before the completion of its construction. I collated the presented elements to emphasize the preparation process. I used the surrounding area of the museum to see the projections of the building and show forth its evolutionary urban planning relation. I treated the cast copies and the photo-print images of the sculptures as if they were real, where they had initially been placed for the evaluation of their final projection. The wooden boxes for the safe transportation of the original exhibits were placed as if for a contemporary art exhibition, where their context is the essence. Still, it cannot be seen, and the spectator sees nothing but a label with the title of the work of art, offered as its essential reading.


Epiphany is my intention. 

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