Just a few days ago, the British Guild of Travel Writers, an organization composed of travel journalists, photographers, editors and broadcasters, voted the New Acropolis Museum as the best for the following reasons:
The winner of the Globe Category (receiving more than 250,000 visitors a year), nominated by Nigel Tisdall, was the new Acropolis Museum in Athens (www.newacropolismuseum.gr/eng), built to replace the old museum which has done an admirable job since 1865, but was short of space. In 2001 a competition was held to build a new one ten times larger and fit for the 21st century. It was won by a Swiss architect, Bernard Tschumi, and opened in June 2009.
Bright and spacious, the new museum lies at the foot of the Acropolis and has already attracted over two million visitors – many are amazed by the perfection of its design and the beauty of the artworks within. Built on three levels like disjointed slabs, the galleries use locally-sourced marble and recyclable glass and steel, and make ingenious use of convection to reduce the need for air conditioning. Wheelchair-friendly with 14,000 square metres of exhibition space, it rarely feels crowded. Signage is commendably unintrusive and visitors can walk right round its marvellous sculptures, with the changing daylight creating a contemplative atmosphere.
Ironically, this bit of news doesn’t seem to have reached mainstream media, like the Guardian, for example.
The curious silence from the British Media (also NPR shot blanks when I searched their site for mention of this award) clearly demonstrates that media has its own interests. With NPR it may have been simply a case of a dense producer who doesn’t understand the significance of the historical vandalism by Elgin of the Parthenon Marbles. We are provincial here in the States. British Media, on the other hand, perhaps has motives we do not know about, or even fathom, and could very deliberately keep this piece of news suppressed since the British are running out of reasons for sanctioning the theft of Athena’s glyphs by Elgin almost 200 years ago and know deep down they must …
Give Them Back!