Acropolis Museum(2-4 Makryiannis Street, Athens)
The Acropolis Museum is located in the SE corner of the sacred rock itself. The first building was built between 1865 - 1874 in order to house the findings of the first after the release of research on the Acropolis. The excavations of Kawerau (Kawerau) in 1885 - 1889, which revealed the so-called "Persian embankment" and brought to light the treasures of archaic Attic art, enriched the museum with impressive works. The need to make the building low and small, so as not to stand out among the ancient monuments, meant that only the most important works of architecture and sculpture were housed in it, while the mircan finds and inscriptions were transferred to the National and Epigraphic Museum. After the end of World War II, during which the museum was closed and the antiquities were hidden, since then director Yiannis Miliadis began the re-exhibition of the ancients based on the data of modern museology. Thus, today the museum in its nine halls manages to provide a particularly dense collection of original works, unique for the study of archaic and classical Greek art.
In the first three rooms, a series of ancient archaic pediments with themes taken either from Eastern art or from the oldest religious traditions of the Greeks is exhibited. (Heracles slaying the Lernaean Hydra, the deification of Heracles on Mount Olympus, the pediment of Elia, Heracles wrestling with Triton and the Trisoma of demons, and finally bulls devouring lions). These gables come from buildings of the early 6th century that were located on the rock of the Acropolis, but no trace of their foundations has been preserved.
In rooms 4 and 5, the richest series of archaic daughters, who "with their white-embroidered multi-pleated tunics, serpentine braids and happy smile, rise to a glorious peaceful body and form" are exhibited along with other works. All these statues, which were dedicated to the Acropolis, were found buried at a depth of 3 - 3.50 m near the NW corner of the Erechtheion. They are dated between 560 and 490 BC. and we know in a complete way the history and the phases that the depiction of the standing clothed female figure went through during the archaic period, when the local artistic elements of Attica meet with those of eastern Greece.
From the archaic era also came the 4 statues that were saved from the marble composition of the pediment of the old temple of Athena, the Muscophorus (an offering of a rich landowner), the seated statue of Athena of Endoios, as well as the surviving part of the complex of two horsemen, which perhaps represent the Peisistratides.
In room 6 the most important works are the Victory of Callimachus, the boy of Critias, the head of the blond teenager and the relief of the thinking Athena. All, characteristic works of the so-called strict rhythm, which constitutes the transition from archaic to classical art.
In the next rooms, the architectural sculptures of the great temples of the classical period from the Acropolis are exhibited. All are original works of a great moment of ancient Greek art, works made by the hands of Pheidias, his collaborators and students, all great sculptors of the second half of the 5th century. In room 7 are exhibited pieces of the pediment sculptures of the Parthenon and in room 8 parts of the Parthenon's zoophoros, which were saved from the destruction of Morosini and the looting of Lord Elgin. Also, in the same room, parts of the Erechtheion bier and the Victory Chest have been exhibited.In 1980, the Caryatids removed from the Erechtheion to protect them from the erosion of atmospheric pollution were transferred to room 9. Finally, in the vestibule of the museum, the main exhibit is the statue of Procni with Ity, an original work by his student Phidias Alkamenis, dating around 420 BC.
Editor: Fotini Anastasopoulou