The new museum is substantially more airy and filled with modern design elements. When construction first started, the builders discovered something amazing – a settlement dating back to the Archaic era. While this caused construction delays, eventually it was incorporated ingeniously in the final design – they covered the settlement with a ceiling of glass and built the museum on top. It then became a working archeological site.
It felt tense walking over the transparent walkway but it also felt amazing to be hovering over an excavation site while archeologists worked.
Once inside, we went straight to the top floor and worked ourselves down.
For some unexplained reason, they were only allowing photographs on the top floor. Unexplained because I asked why, and they couldn’t give a proper answer other than ‘it’s not allowed’.
We were able to see ongoing restoration works of the friezes and sculptures, and some of the finished artifacts. One of the guides told us that once finished, the works would be placed back on the Parthenon. Considering the relative security and controlled environment of the museum, one would think it better to leave them here.
I wish I could have gone as well to the National Archeological Museum but one great museum was enough for this trip. Will have to pray to the gods for another chance to come back. Maybe next time, they’ll let us take photographs.