One of the most modern museums I’ve ever been to, specifically in terms of architecture and overall building design, has to be the Acropolis Museum in Athens, Greece.
In the 70s, architectural competitions were held to select the best design for the museum. Unfortunately, this fell through because ancient ruins were later discovered in the area where the new Acropolis museum was to be built. It was therefore necessary to build a museum that would be structured in such a way that it would not compromise the ruins below; a museum that would simultaneously contribute something new to the study of the Acropolis. However, it was only in 2007 that the new Acropolis Museum was in fact complete and open to the general public.
Even from the very onset, the Acropolis Museum is a structural masterpiece – its architecture sure sets it apart from other museums, making it a worldclass attraction. Prior to entering, you can observe parts of the museum as well as the ruins from the above entrance way – a glass flooring which is truly spectacular.
Unfortuntely, there is only one floor inside the museum where you can take photographs. That said, the main floors are quite spectucular and the sculptures which once appeared in and around the Parthenon are unlike anything I’ve ever seen before (and I’ve seen quite my fair share of sculptures, especially whilst living in Rome). The photos that follow are from the floors on which photography is permitted.
What I found spectacular about the Acropolis Museum is the combination of new and old. Here we see the ancient reliefs, part of a frieze that once formed the Parthenon walls, now set in a modern concrete framing. Everything here is breathtaking – clean lines, down-lighting and marble floor are modern and minimalistic in order to prevent the ancient objects from being overshadowed.
And just look how these torsos are held up by simple metal rods at different and interesting angles. They are positioned like pieces of a puzzle and it’s up to you as the viewer to imaginatively fill in the gaps.
Below, our local tour guide got a little expressive which made me smile.
And just look at the magnificent Acropolis in the background – all lit up in its modern-day glory. This is a museum which can be viewed at any time, but I must say that visiting during the early evening was, for me, most magical. Plus, during this time most of the crowds have died down and are preparing for dinner so you really have some quiet time to go through the Acropolis Museum with a fine-toothed comb.