The Acropolis Museum is one of the most important museums in the world, since it houses the unique collection of original sculptural masterpieces of Archaic and Classical Greek art from the sacred rock and citadel of ancient Athens.
These are mainly freestanding votive sculptures and important groups of architectural sculptures, which decorated the buildings erected on the Acropolis in the Archaic and Classical periods. The display also includes clay votive offerings. Other finds from the Acropolis, such as vases, bronze objects and relief sculptures, are displayed in the National Archaeological Museum, while the inscriptions are kept in the Epigraphical Museum. A noteworthy absence for the Acropolis Museum is the sculptures removed by Lord Elgin in the nineteenth century and currently displayed in the British Museum.
This single-story museum, which was built on an east-west orientation, is located where the natural rock dips at the southeast corner of the Acropolis, so as not to detract aesthetically from the ancient monuments. The museum is entered through a porch with four stone-built columns, from a small courtyard, which is accessed by two stairways at the north and south. The display elements are exhibited in chronological and thematic order in the lobby and nine halls. The north part of Room VIII was closed off in 1993 and has since been used as a laboratory for the conservation of the Parthenon's west frieze. The museum also has a conservation laboratory, basement storage rooms and a bookshop.
The museum is directly linked to the archaeological site of the Acropolis and to the extensive conservation work carried out on the sacred rock. It is under the supervision of the First Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities of the Ministry of Culture, which also oversees the construction of the New Acropolis Museum.
Christina Vlassopoulou, archaeologist
for more information: http://www.theacropolismuseum.gr/