(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) The New Acropolis Museum was officially inaugurated on Saturday evening (20.6) during a ceremony that brought together Greek and foreign dignitaries, boosting hopes that the purpose-built museum’s opening will mark a “reverse countdown” towards the reunification of the Parthenon Marbles.
“Today, the most important sculptures of the Parthenon can be viewed together. Some are missing. It is time to heal the wounds of the monument with the return of the marbles where they belong” said Hellenic Republic President Karolos Papoulias in his address at the opening ceremony. Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis stressed that the new museum “is the achievement of all Greeks, for the entire world to enjoy. It is the property of universal culture”. On his part, Culture Minister Antonis Samaras expressed optimism that the [pieces] that are missing, those that were taken apart 207 years ago will return.
“Parthenon marbles were looted” he said “but this looting can be redeemed and repaired today. The Acropolis Museum is a moral force that attracts the marbles back to where they belong.” Following the ceremony, the distinguished guests –amongst whom were EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, UNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura, the Presidents of Cyprus and Bulgaria, Demetris Christofias and Georgi Parvanov, several Prime Ministers and Culture Ministers- were given a tour around the museum by Prof. Dimitrios Pandermalis, president of the new state-of-the-art facility. World Media on Greece: www.minpress.gr; Google News: Greece’s Acropolis Museum Greek News Agenda: Special Issue – The Acropolis Museum