The highlight of the day was the opening of the archeological excavation below the Museum building, which finally took place after 25 years of hard work and great anticipation. Visitors are therefore now enjoying another exhibition level at the Museum, through a pleasant stroll along steel walkways erected between the houses, baths and workshops of an ancient neighborhood south of the Acropolis.
The main goal for the Museum in the coming years will be the continued enhancement of our exhibitions. This will include the enrichment of our presentation on the two great temples of the ancient Acropolis – the original Parthenon (580/570 BC), known as the Hekatompedon; and the so-called ‘Archaios Naos’ (520/510 BC), the predecessor of the Erechtheion.
We consider it necessary for our visitors to easily comprehend that the Museum presents architectural members, sculptures and votive offerings from not just one, but two great eras of the Acropolis: the Archaic and the Classical. Attendance at the Museum during the second half of 2019 was extremely high, similar to that of the previous year.
However, due to the pandemic spread of the new corona virus, beginning early in the first six-month period of 2020, visitor numbers began to decline significantly, ultimately reaching zero when the Museum was forced to close for the health and safety of our staff and visitors on 14 March 2020.
Despite these developments, the Museum has not remained inactive. A portion of the staff and some external collaborators, taking the necessary protective measures, continued to carry out planned exhibition works, conservation projects, building repairs and in-depth cleaning works. Restarting the Museum’s operation for the public will be a challenge, as the infectious disease has not yet disappeared and healthrelated protective measures will certainly be strict.
Nonetheless, the Museum has now been thoroughly refreshed and fully expects to carry on as a flagship, aspiring not only to recover, but also to continue promoting and embracing innovation. Many thanks again this year to the Ministry of Culture and Sports, the Ephorate of Antiquities of Athens and the Acropolis Restoration Service for their invaluable cooperation.
President of the Acropolis Museum