Athens: The Acropolis Museum

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The Acropolis Museum is probably the best laid out museum I’ve ever been to. Built to mimic the open air feel of Acropolis the space is all white marble and huge windows. The outside entrance and the main entry hallway have floors made with reinforced glass that let to look down into the excavation site.

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The ground floor leads you up the slope of the Acropolis site and displays all the everyday wares found on the site. Most of the artifacts on display are clay; the wooden supplies have long since decayed and the more precious ones were looted.

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The first floor covers statues and tokens found inside the Parthenon and the smaller temples of the Acropolis site. Dedicated to one of my favorite goddesses, Athena, the temple was full of statues of young women. The museum displays and text do a really great job in providing political and economic context to the artifacts. Athens went through major reforms during the height of the Acropolis that changed how people worshipped and who could participate in public life. Dedications and gifts moved away from an expression of piety and towards a display of wealth.

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The top floor was my favorite though. The museum has recreated the outside of the Parthenon, organizing the reliefs and carvings as they were originally intended. So much contextual understanding! Several pieces were accompanied by small sketches to better understand what the time worn relief was showing. Solid work, museum curators.

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2 thoughts on “Athens: The Acropolis Museum

  1. YAY. I love that our experiences matched, reading this made me feel like you and I were Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves in The Lake House (yes? no?)…. After the Humanities and Classics edumacation at Reed, I truly felt like I had a great perspective that resulted in a pretty intense connection to everything museum/Acropolis/Parthenon/Corinth/Peloponnese related….does that make sense? can’t wait to discuss this over a meal when you return!

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