Midnight in Athens and the Elgin Marbles

We arrived in Athens just before midnight, due to a 3 hour delay. Not too bad for us as Greek time is 2 hours ahead of UK. The metro was closing but the buses run all night. The journey was easy and we were in our excellent hotel, close to the Acropolis, in less than an hour.
With just one day before we moved on we decided to start by visiting the new Acropolis Museum, opened in 2009.

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Stunning is an understatement, probably the best we’ve ever visited. Of course they have the most wonderful exhibits but they are displayed to great effect. It is terrific to see up close and from all sides so many world famous pieces.

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The famous caryatids are there – the originals, those on the site are now replicas. The photo shows the significant gap – for the ones removed by Lord Elgin and currently in the British Museum.

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The top floor is a masterpiece! With views of the Parthenon a short walk away this is the showplace for the Parthenon frieze and sculptures, arranged in sequence so they are seen as they originally were as far as possible. Many have been destroyed or lost over 2,500 years and many have been removed to other museums. The majority of the missing ones are the Elgin marbles which have been in the British Museum since 1816.
The Acropolis Museum makes the best argument so far for the return of the Elgin marbles to Athens. For the alternative, British Museum, view see here:

http://www.britishmuseum.org/about_us/news_and_press/statements/parthenon_sculptures.aspx

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