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sunset at the acropolis and its museum: 178/365 | by helen sotiriadis
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sunset at the acropolis and its museum: 178/365

more from the acropolis museum

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EDIT: i just got news that this image has been published in the august 2010 issue of Geo Saison in germany for a feature on athens!



yesterday evening i was thrilled to visit the acropolis museum in athens.


i have very few words to describe my feelings seeing, for the first time, these superlative treasures of humanity, produced by some of its most brilliant minds, masterfully displayed in a sleek jewel-case of a building.


understanding the importance of the acropolis, and especially the parthenon, is highly fulfilling. as an introduction, if you haven't seen secrets of the parthenon, i strongly urge you to do so.


the gallery at the top level of the museum is a contemporary counterpart, of sorts, to the parthenon itself -- an airy frame for the uppermost sculptures of the temple, surrounded by the light of the attica sky. circular metal columns replace the original marble ones, the pediments are placed on either end of the rectangular plan, the metopes surround the outer perimeter above head height and the frieze is placed eye-level on the innermost wall of the structure. it's easy to understand the original position for each piece -- all one has to do is glimpse over to the original temple, in full view.


portions of the sculptures and reliefs are replicas, occupying the space of the original pieces that exist elsewhere in the world, most notably the ones purloined by lord elgin in the early 19th century, and now showcased in the british museum.


of course, it's a ridiculous state of affairs. christopher hitchens makes the case eloquently in his book, the elgin marbles: should they be returned to greece?, and most recently in his article, 'the lovely stones' in vanity fair:


'i’ve written a whole book about this controversy and won’t oppress you with all the details, but would just make this one point. if the mona lisa had been sawed in two during the napoleonic wars and the separated halves had been acquired by different museums in, say, st. petersburg and lisbon, would there not be a general wish to see what they might look like if re-united? if you think my analogy is overdrawn, consider this: the body of the goddess iris is at present in london, while her head is in athens. the front part of the torso of poseidon is in london, and the rear part is in athens. and so on. this is grotesque.'


it's always tricky to get satisfactory shots amongst the crowds... luckily my stay extended to closing time and i managed to shoot a few frames as people were leaving.


one of my favorites is this one of the acropolis, as viewed from the surrounding glass wall of the top gallery, during sunset. if you line up the window panes and the temple on the hill, you'll confirm that they are completely parallel, as both structures have the same orientation. the backs of the metopes are visible on the top of the image.


i'll be working on and uploading some of the more successful images i shot over the next few days.


this is an HDR image compiled from 3 exposures and processed on photomatix. i've placed the museum's location on the map.


on the blog:

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Taken on June 27, 2009