The Committee for the Conservation of the Acropolis Monuments (ESMA) and the Acropolis Restoration Service (YSMA) are to hold a two-day conference in the Acropolis Museum Auditorium, on the 18th and 19th November 2016, on the subject of:
Specialised research and implementation issues in the Acropolis restoration works carried out during the period of 2010-2015
The objective of the two-day conference is to present specialised research papers concerning the areas of architecture, structural restoration and surface preservation; at the same time to explore specific problems of technology and technical applications that had to be confronted during the implementation of the restoration programmes on the Acropolis monuments in the period of 2010-2015.
The event will not be an evaluation of the completed work and will not discuss restoration proposals for future programmes; these are discussion topics of International Meetings for the restoration of the Acropolis Monuments. The papers will be presented by members of YSMA’s staff during 2010-2015.
Along with the two-day Conference, there will be a photographic exhibition where archival material from the restoration of the Propylaia will be exhibited, focusing on issues related to the human contribution to the restoration works on the monument.
The Acropolis Restoration Service (YSMA) participated in 2016 European Heritage Days (23-25/9). This year’s celebration had the special theme “Violence and Tolerance-Seeking a new home: old and recent stories of people on the move”. As part of this celebration, the YSMA Information and Education Office organized at the Acropolis archaeological site a special educational program entitled “Acropolis and the Cylonian Conspiracy”. Fifty students from the Lyceum of Vouliagmeni attended the program, which took place on Friday, September 23th, 2016.
The measure of contribution of Ch. Bouras’s
scientific, educational and social work.
A quick glance to his beginning in the sixties (1)
an ampler view of his 2010-2015 scientific output (2).
The unusually short time of the architectural-archaeological research in Brauron (1960) and scholarly fashioned study delivered (print-ready) in the Ministry of Education in October 1962 (see Ch. Bouras, H Αναστήλωσις της Στοάς της Bραυρώνος [the restoration of the stoa at Brauron] –with French summary on pp 179-184-, Athens 1967, p.6) being of the highest scientific standards by a then very young scholar (23 years old he had already finished the 5-year studying-plan in the Technical University, and for the next two years he was in the service of Greek Army, from which he was released in 1959, in the age of 25) still inspires respect and admiration. The book still excels not only thanks to the exemplary archaeological documentation it contains, but equally for the very progressive principles of practice so properly conceived, formulated and applied by the young author:
…”The restoration must be timely preceded by the publication of the relevant study..”
...” Additions to a monuments original fabric must be discreet, but still discernible and as limited as possible…”. .
All these applied in the stoa’s restoration (1961-1962) well in advance of the inception of the Charter of Venice (1964)
…” Indispensable condition for any sort of intervention to the fabric of a historical monument must be the possibility of reversing it if needed”…
(Ch. Bouras, Η αναστήλωσις …, p. 171)
This is probably the earliest formulation and application of the now obligatory principle of reversibility of interventions proposed for a valuable monument (which principle remarkably was not included in the most esteemed charter of principles, that of Venice, incepted 2 years later!)
From the beginning of his teaching in the University of Thessalonike (1966) Professor Bouras started a new project: the writing of new handbooks for students and scientists, based on the then more recent state of scholarly research (released in 1967 in a simple form, but properly printed in a more complete form from 1975 onwards). The late Professor Gottfried Gruben (1929-2003) the author of Die Tempel der Griechen (1964) and a good friend of Bouras, appreciated these handbooks and advocated for their translation in order these to be used by German speaking readers (an actually unfulfilled desideratum)
From the beginning of his teaching in the Technical University of Athens 1974-1975, Professor Bouras started farther new projects: a) the establishment of an archive of Photographs and drawings of historical monuments (now more than 30.000 items) based on a system of geographical divisions and subdivisions, as well on a system of multiple thematic indexing.
b) the introduction of graduate and postgraduate studies in the field of the treatment of historical monuments
c) a weekly seminar for doctoral candidates in the form of lectures open to a wider scholarly audience
d) preparation of the conditions for the proper interdisciplinary collaboration expected in view of the soon to be incepted programs for the restoration of the Acropolis monuments
e) the inception of a series of thematically linked collective publications to facilitate the debut of young scholars on the one hand and on the other to intensify the interest for certain important historical buildings that happened to remain unnoticed or neglected.
His lectures on the protection and maintenance of historic monuments, thanks to their direct links with current and practical issues, always attracted sufficient number of students, many of whom having continue specialization at postgraduate level in Greece and abroad excel today as professionals in various fields.
Suffice to name some of them:
Professor Dr. Clairy Palyvou
Professor Dr. Ing, Dr. h.c. Manolis Korres
Dr. Calliope Theocharides
Professor Dr. Panagiotis Turnikiotis
Professor Dr. Georgia Marinou
Dr. Soterios Voyajis
Professor Dr. Mamaloukos
Professor George Panetsos
Professor Petros Koufopoulos
And many others
Almost all Greek architects practicing today the specialty of restoration of historic monuments are pupils of Ch. Bouras and always acknowledge the valuable effect of him not only in their professional formation, but equally in their scientific capacity, their ethics and their ideals.
During his long academic service, Professor Bouras, despite his unusually broad spectrum of duties and responsibilities (as for instance as a member of Committees, see CV), he never abandoned his main task: continually to search for new scientific knowledge, continually to shear his discoveries and other achievements with his colleagues, and never ceased to read, visit, observe, carry out measuring, make drawings and publishing on historical buildings, on historical subjects, on issues of education, on methods and principles of treating monuments and sites, with an always unusually great care for environmental aspects.
Within this frame of personal and social action, his first books were followed by others, summing up to fifteen and the articles to ten times more. But since numbers alone are not necessarily sufficient proof of any property (let alone their sometimes misleading effect) the only safe proof of what professor Bouras had given to us all, is just read his writings, even parts of them.
In the following, and in conformity with the term of presenting his last-five-years’ bibliography (achieved in the age of 78 to 83), it is quite appropriate to add more data about his Byzantine Athens (2010) his Monastery of Hosios Lucas (2015) and some of his other studies written in the time between these publications (sea bibliography attached in the proposal).
A1 Byzantine Athens from the 10th to 12th Century (in Greek: Βυζαντινή Αθήνα, 10ος – 12οςαι.), published by Benaki Museum, Athens, 2010, 280pp with a larger map at the end.
The fullest up to now monograph for the historic topography and the architecture of Medieval Athens, is the result of long systematic research by an author broadly recognized as one of the best architectural historians worldwide.
Despite its non-impressive external appearance, the book contains a wonderful wealth of information, both as regards the description of the object and as to the literature. Even more admirable is the critical ability of the writer, who ousting fallacies or insignificant items, remains firmly on the substance, which he brings out with an excellent composing talent.
The work consist mainly of a first part, being a synthesis and a list of 40 monuments (with reference to other ten monuments of uncertain identity, form or age).
In the first part summarizes the written sources and the research for the medieval Athens subsequently he examines the natural environment of Athens and presents a overall view referring to the streets, the fortifications and the gates, to the water supply and the most prominent of the existing buildings.
Next to it he examines the residential area in districts (Acropolis, Plaka, Center, Monastiraki, Hadrian's Library and Roman Market area, site of the ancient Agora and Areopagus, South Acropolis-slope, site of the Syntagma square, site of the National Garden, site of Zappeion exhibition building complex, site of Ceramicus) and summarises the types of houses and dwellings.
At the end of the second part a chapter is included on building techniques and architectural forms. It follows a general assessment of the Athenian ecclesiastical architecture in the context of the wider spectrum of Byzantine architecture in Greece (on which the writer has published his epoch making book Byzantine and Post-byzantine Architecture in Greece, Athens 2001, English edition 2006)
Following is the historic interpretation of Athenian monuments and one end-chapter titled the legend of Athens during the Middle Ages.
Indicative of the value of the book is the high degree of originality of texts and most of the overall 2118 footnotes. Similarly original are most of the 131 linear drawings, of which the great majority is drawn by the author. only few of the drawings had been published before.
Despite its well justified complex composition, the book, due to its structure and the extent of indexes (names, sites and monuments) is very easy to use.
A2. Working Methods of the Byzantine Architects and Master Builders, Academy of Athens, 2010, 41 pages.
Τhe problem as to whether there were architects or master builders in middle and late Byzantine times remains unresolved. It becomes clearer, however, if we examine the capabilities and knowledge all those responsible for the construction of a building had at that time. Το be sure they had neither the specialised education nor the social recognition
received by the architects in Antiquity or later, during the Renaissance. They were not theoretical technicians, but they simply did not improvise in the building lot.The evidence for this lies in general in: ε) their ability to give originality to some of their works, which implies planning, b) the general diffusion of the knowledge of geometry necessary for
architecture that is confirmed by the books-manuals used by the army, which were drawn from compilations of Antiquity that are preserved in Constantinople, and ο) the possibility of understanding and communicating with officials of Church and State.The complicated synthesis of many Middle Byzantine buildings makes it certain that they were planned. The fact that no plans of that period have survived does not mean that they did not exist, given clear references to them as σκιάσµατα and as accessories to official documents. It is virtually certain that the plans included «orthography», that is, right angle projections in plans, elevations and sections of the buildings, just as in Antiquity. Α number of plans inscribed on stones or ceramics verify this. The existence of plans in any case was absolutely necessary incases in which they wanted to construct a building with the exact same dimensions of proportions as another. The books compiled for the use of the military show common
knowledge of practical geometry and knowledge of measuring with sighting instruments. They refer to examples of purely constructional content, as well as to the ability to draw with ruler and divider. The carving of sculpture and the setting of Middle Byzantine marble floor inlays bear witness to this same capability of designing with great accuracy.
C2 the influence of Byzantine Architecture on the Architecture of the 19th and 20th century (in Greek with an Italian summary) in Θησαυρίσματα 39-40 (2009-2010) of Hellenikon Instituto Byzantinon kai Metabyzantinon Spoudon Venetias (Greek Institute of Byzantine and Post-byzantine Studies in Venice) Venice 2011, 461-469
The byzantine architecture was discovered by the Western Europe, rather late, and the relevant studies start mostly after 1840. In the context of confrontation of styles, architects who were looking for new modes of expression directed toward and toward the Byzantine architecture, especially the sacral.
The famous classicists architects Leo von Klenzeκαι Theophil Hansen are example of such trends, while in France famous architects like Esperantieu imitated medieval buildings with Byzantine elements. Similar phenomena have been likewise in England (Cathedral of Westminster).
In the same time they configured the appropriate ideology on the desirability of imitation of byzantine architecture.
The idea that the national continuity from antiquity to contemporary era contains also the Byzantine era, with its art as an important part of the national heritage. In this spirit adhere also the plans of Ernest Hebrard for the reconstruction of Thessaloniki after the great fire (1917).
Subsequently, after some unfortunate combinations of Byzantine and Classic, other architects, like Α. Ζachos and Α. Orlandos created ecclesiastical works in which they renewed Byzantine forms. A similar tendency to imitate Byzantine elements appeared then also in the architecture of Serbia.
C6. Alaric in Athens, in Δελτίον της Χριστιανικής Αρχαιολογικής Εταιρείας 33 (2012) 1-6.
The reexamination of the written sources and of the aftermath of the damages to the Parthenon confirms Alison Frantz’s view that the ancient fire was instigated by the fanatical newly baptized Christian Wisigoths led by Alaric, who suppressed the ancient religion by destroying its sanctuaries through methods known in the Est. The systematic effacing of the metopes of the temple and the destruction of statues seems to have been concurrent with the fire.
C13. Genoese Doorframes in Chios (in Greek with English Abstract), In G. K. Bargelioti and K. G. Tsiknakis (edit.), Γαληνοτάτη (=Serenisima), Athens 2013, 511-527
In Chios we have a small but unique in Greece group of sculptures of the early Renaissance, heritage of the occupation of the island by the Genoese (1346-1566). Three architectural members of this group that were found during the last years in the Castle of Chios, bear in lowrelief and in profile busts of emperors all' antica, two of them in medaillons. The state of preservation of two of the busts ismediocre.
The stone of the architectural members is pietra serena and this is a strong indication that they are imported from Genoa nοt made in the island. The date, based οn the style of the works is about 1500. Close examination shows that they are parts from two pilasters and from a frieze, which comefrom a doorframe of a Genoese mansion or public building of the city.
The propοsed restored drawing of the doorframe is based on measurments of the existing parts and οn cοmparisοns with other doorframes in Genoa. Of the same periοd is another Genoese doorframe, in excellent condition, in a church of the Chalkios village, once in the Castle of Chios (F. W Husluck, BSA, 1909-1910). Busts of emperors or heroes in low relief all'antica can be seen οn the spandrels of its arched opening. Two more portraits inlowrelief are saved on a lintel of an old house in the town of Chios, perhaps of the same period, drawn by D. Pikionis.
C4, C9. C10 (several) Studies on Greek Byzantine City
Professor Bouras, based on everything known about its particular city in Greece (records from excavations in different archives, many circumstantial, not observed findings etc.) and on any indirect evidence traceable on the surface (by his legendary power of observation), managed to approximate the forms of cities in question better than anyone else. Still his sense of objectivity leads him to a rather modest display of his great compositions. He rather prefers always to remind us what is uncertain, what has to be revised, what has to be improved. The following is a summary of some main points of his scientific concern :
The study of provincial cities of Byzantium is still at its initial stage, while in the time elapsed since its beginning, an unfortunately very large part of the archaeological evidence, which should have been timely documented, has been lost forever.
There are still many subjects to investigate, mainly through written sources, as the water supply, systems of defense, hygiene, baths, buildings associated with the power of the State or the church, including that made to keep the archives, buildings for the care of foreigners or the sick, or the public warehouses. Likewise issues of residential mobility, like that of villagers moving to towns and people of the capital (like for instance administrative or military officers, or traders, monks and deportees etc) moving to the country.
There are also issues of the residential distribution of the social classes and prominent occupations (bankers, land owners) or the ethnic groups (like the Jews): whether there was a relevant distinction of them in terms of spatial distribution -if and how they lived in (separate?) and what was the value and taxation of dwellings in cities. Always the demographic problem remains.
The whole issue is actually more complicate because of the instability and dramatic changes of the overall configuration in the course of time. In the three middle centuries and in Post-Byzantine era the economy and or the social situation strongly influenced the conditions of life, the land use and the urban development. And yet, despite the well known inertia and resistance of the built environment to changes, the investigator of cities of Byzantium should not ignore how important could be the time laps in situations that for the sake of simplicity are being considered as stable; thus we are again left with the need for more detailed scrutiny of the data and the physical evidence.
A3. H αρχιτεκτονική της Μονής του Οσίου Λουκά (The Architecture of the Monastery of Hosios Lucas) Melissa, Athens, 2015 (151 large format pages ca 28x38 cm. the full English version of the Book is under preparation).
It contains chapters on the history of research, the founder of the monastery, foundation, its country and population in the 10th and 11th century, history of the monastery, general setting, building types and related issues, architectural forms and decoration of the Panaghia (Virgin Mary) church, structural system and related issues of the same, architectural forms and decoration of the Catholicon (Hosios Loukas church), structural system and related issues of the same, the refectory and other buildings, conclusions. An appendix with the original plates published by R. W. Schultz and S. H. Barnsley, in 1900 and extensive indexes.
The pictorial documentation with linear drawings and black and white photographs of well chosen parts and details is excellent.
At the end the old genetic question about origins and influences in the Byzantine architecture of the Greek province is being treated in a quite comprehensive way, with the main points of the issue as follows:
• The importance of the monastery of Hosios Loukas becomes understandable when one compares the state of the arts in Greece before and after its construction.
• From the time of Iconomachy up to 950 many churches were built as a result of the pursuit of their donors for self-demonstration, some quite sizeable but always of low building technology and unskillfully made sculpture. The more elaborated ecclesiastical buildings appeared as late as the 11th century, that is after the building of this monastery.
• The historic interpretation of this very important cultural improvement unfortunately remains incomplete. The written sources are minimal, the monastery seems to be almost unknown to Constantinopolitan scholars and elite, the donor of the church of Virgin Mary is an otherwise unknown magnate, while the donors of the Catholicon were just local land owners of whom only one family-name survives.
• Informations from archives and visitors are only of much later times. Moreover, the pilgrimage to Hosios Loukas apparently had a rather limited geographic range, mostly confined within Greece proper and slowed down soon after 1204.
• With the church of Virgin Mary a building type already crystallized in Constantinople was imported from there in Greek province to be adopted to the function of the pilgrimage. With the Catholikon on the other hand, with its large dome, a new type of church was made, but always in the spirit of trends observable in large churches of the Empire’s capital.
• The view expressed by Gabriel Millet and accepted by others that in these and other churches in the Greek province indigenous structural methods were applied is far fetching. If in certain churches some constructional particularities differ from what is oservable in Constantinople is only due to differences of the building material available and some practical issues, so that in consideration of the architecture proper no general conclusion could be drawn.
• Clearly, with the monastery of Hosios Loukas and the two gifted architects, a new architecture was imported from the empire’s center in the still underdeveloped Greek province. To these builders money was plentifully disposed and more importantly the freedom of innovation. All this happened in a country on which by this time a new beginning was attempted.
• The plan and spatial types, the architectural forms and the structural systems that with these churches made their first appearance in Greek province, had a strong impact in the Greek South for the next two centuries. the historical explanation is not easy.
On the other hand the absence of many other architectural forms and typological elements of the capital in the Greek province supports the view that the all these artistic characteristic of its monuments that constitute what G. Millet called ecole grecque had their immediate origin in the monastery of Hosios Loukas.
This spreading does not necessarily mean that those who in later times were making use of these forms were aware of their Constantinopolitan origin.
• The Constantinopolitan idea for an enlargement of the central dome was applied in continental Greece (Hosios Loukas and other buildings faithfully copied from it with no other influences) in a characteristically different way as in the island of Chios (Nea Mone, middle 11th century)
• The broader use by Greek builders of the plan and forms created first in Hosios Loucas, undeniably was made possible by the country’s economic growth in this time.
Written sources on this relationship lack and the only useful observation is that the most elaborated and expensive churches by this time were clearly the catholica of the monasteries.
• The inference of some economic progress in Greece is indirect, based on the observable building activity, so that no convincing historical interpretation of the same phenomenon could be made. Moreover, in the great majority of instances in Greek mainland and islands much smaller or humble churches were still being built with limited financial means and chip material
• In both churche-types derived from Hosios Loukas, the composition is based on the central element of the dome and the barrel vaults supporting it and transmitting its thrust farther down to a system of other bearing elements properly disposed to withstand against any load and lateral thrust. Necessarily the barrel vaults are disposed like the arms of a cross, which is equally visible inside and outside in the configuration of the space and of the roofs respectively, so that a certain sympolic value emerges which actually is not as clear in the case of domes based on an octagon.
However the spatial relationship of the central part to the corner apartments in the lower zone and to the peripheral galleries above is being offered for other symbolisms.
• In the six churches with an octagonal dome base made in Greece following the paradigm of Hosios Loukas some aspects of the spatial composition or the system of bearing elements appear simpler mainly due to a lesser size or /and lesser means. At any rate they justify the view that in Byzantium the willingness for improving existing forms and methods was limited.
• The big change made in Greece with the creation of the two churches in Hosios Loukas’s monastery becomes even more evident in the sphere of sculptural decoration. In Byzantine churches generally, sculptured architectural members and painting complement the enhancement of architectural composition and space. In the 'Hosios Loukas’s churches however this enhancement is by far more perfect and luxurious than in other churches
• In Greece the availability of good marble certainly favored the development of sculpture, so that in many instances, already in the 9th century and more often in the 10th important churches were enriched with marble elements. Their decorative patterns are always rich in composition and variations but their composition is unpleasing with horror vacui characteristics and their execution is pour and unskillful.
In contrast to all these examples, the sculptures of the Panhagia are of by far higher quality, with impressive composition skillfully executed, being comparable with Constantinopolitan examples recent to them.
Soon this new style was imitated in many other Greek churches in the 11th and 12th century.
Με μεγάλη θλίψη πληροφορηθήκαμε τον θάνατο του Καθηγητή Χαράλαμπου Μπούρα, ενός ανθρώπου που συνέδεσε άρρηκτα το όνομά του με την αναστήλωση των μνημείων της Ακρόπολης. Ο Χαράλαμπος Μπούρας υπήρξε ο ιθύνων νους πίσω από τα έργα αναστήλωσης, ο μεγάλος οραματιστής που εμπνεύστηκε, συντόνισε και κατηύθυνε τα έργα από τη θέση του στην Επιτροπή Συντηρήσεως Μνημείων Ακροπόλεως– της οποίας διατέλεσε ανελλιπώς Πρόεδρος από το 1985 έως σήμερα. Ακάματος μελετητής της αρχαιότητας, εισηγητής νεωτεριστικών ιδεών για την προστασία των μνημείων, με απαράμιλλο συγγραφικό και επιστημονικό έργο, αλλά πάντοτε σεμνός και ευγενής, έθεσε τα θεμέλια και επηρέασε όσο κανείς άλλος τον χαρακτήρα του αναστηλωτικού προγράμματος στην Ακρόπολη. Οι συνεργάτες και οι μαθητές του (μεγαλύτεροι και νεώτεροι, καθώς υπήρξε δάσκαλος για παραπάνω από μία γενιές αναστηλωτών), θα τον θυμόμαστε πάντοτε για την ακούραστη και πεισματική του παρουσία στο εργοτάξιο και τις συνεδριάσεις της ΕΣΜΑ, για τις οξυδερκείς παρατηρήσεις και τις συμβουλές του, για την απαιτητικότητά και την επιμονή του σε ζητήματα αναστηλωτικών αρχών, αλλά και για το μειλίχιο χαμόγελό του, που όλοι γνωρίζαμε ότι στο πλαίσιο του δικού του λιτού και αυστηρού κώδικα επικοινωνίας αντιστοιχούσε στον μεγαλύτερο έπαινο.
Με συγκίνηση και οδύνη η κοινότητα της Ακρόπολης αποχαιρετά τον Χαράλαμπο Μπούρα σήμερα Παρασκευή 29.7.2016 στις 14.00, στο 1ο Νεκροταφείο Αθηνών.
The educational programme "Acropolis & Restoration" was organized at the Acropolis by the Acropolis Restoration Service on Thursday 14/4/2016 and Friday 15/4/2016. The programme was addressed to 300 students of the 1st Grade of Lyceum from 14 schools of Attica. It aimed to introduce them to the restoration work carried out on the Acropolis monuments. The students participated in a series of workshops at the archaeological site and especially inside the monuments.
On Friday 22 January, 2016 the “Presentation of the digital repository of the Acropolis Restoration Service (YSMA) and of the YSMA publications for the year 2015” was held at the auditorium of the Acropolis Museum. The event which was co-organized by the Committee for the Conservation of the Acropolis Monuments (ESMA), the Acropolis Restoration Service (YSMA) and the National Documentation Center (EKT) was deemed a great success.
The presentation opened with a lecture by Maria Andreadaki-Vlazaki, Secretary General of the Ministry of Culture and Sports who underlined the importance of developing innovative tools within the Culture Sector, followed by a speech by Charalambos Bouras, Professor Emeritus of the NTUA and President of the ESMA, who talked about the contribution of the ESMA to the introduction of the principles of documentation and transparency of works at the restoration of the ancient monuments.
Following this, Vassiliki Eleftheriou, Director of the YSMA, talked about the Archive of the restoration works of the ESMA and the YSMA, which focuses on the Acropolis monuments and the disposition of its content through digital applications. Moreover, she put forward the aims which were set during the cooperation of the YSMA and the EKT and the actions that were taken towards building the necessary structures for the dissemination and promotion of the valuable cultural content of the Service.
Evi Sachini, Director of the EKT, referred to the services provided by the National Documentation Center (EKT) as a firm base for the (dissemination) of the Greek digital civilization as well as to previous actions that were taken by the YSMA and the EKT during their 16-year-old collaboration. Subsequently she presented the new applications that were designed in the framework of this collaboration: the digital repository of the archive material produced during restoration works at the Acropolis of the YSMA, as well as the enriched catalogue of the YSMA Library, which from now on will be fully accessible in the Internet through the service openABEKT of the EKT.
Finally, Fani Mallouchou-Tufano, Professor of the Technical University of Crete, presented the publications that were issued by the ESMA and the YSMA in 2015, with funding by the NSRF of the EU: the Proceedings of the 6th International Meeting for the restoration of the Acropolis monuments (Athens, October 2013), the studies for the restoration of the Parthenon (volume 8 and 9) and of the Propylaia (volume 3), as well as the educational leaflets “Educational actions for the Acropolis", “Exploration map of the Acropolis for children” and “ 10 questions about the restoration of the Acropolis”. The event concluded by the distribution of the above-mentioned publications, as well as of the latest issue of the “Acropolis Restoration News” (2014-2015).
The talks and presentations of the event (in greek) are available below:
Ch. Bouras (talk)
F. Mallouchou-Tufano (talk)
Ε. Sachini (presentation)
The European Heritage Days Initiative (EHD) was launched by the Council of Europe in 1991 to raise awareness of European citizens to their common cultural heritage as well as to the richness and cultural diversity of Europe. Once a year, citizens in 50 countries celebrate Europe's cultural heritage, organising national and regional events around a special theme. The 2015-2016 EHD theme in Greece is "Violence and Tolerance".
During these heritage days the Department of Information and Education of YSMA organised a special educational program at the Acropolis archaeological site under the title “Cultural Conflicts and Convergences at the Acropolis Monuments”. 50 students of the 1st High School of Spata participated in the program, which took place on Friday, September 25th, 2015.
The aim of the program was to familiarize the pupils with the adventures of the monuments through time by detecting traces of violence as well as tolerance according to the conditions of each period.
The restoration of the south fortification wall of the Acropolis between the 6th and 7th buttresses, at the area above the theater of Dionysus, was completed in July 2015. The project included archaeological cleaning which revealed the state of preservation of the upper part of the wall to a full width of 6 m. Also included were the placement of a bituminous material and the formation of a drainage system for carrying off rainwater in the contiguous channel, the replacement of crumbling building material and the filling of gaps with poros stone from Pitsa (Corinth), conservation of construction mortars.
The Wall construction and its state of preservation were examined in the course of the work by means of endoscope, thermal infrared camera etc. The use of scattered ancient material for repairing the walls is indeed well known and is always investigated with interest. Some 20 spolia were identified, the most significant of which is part of a Roman inscription that was subsequently removed from the wall. This work is considered to be a pilot project and the problems that emerged, both in the monument itself, and in the very process of stabilizing it, have provided valuable information for their more successful confrontation in the interventions to come.
The stabilization of the schist slopes of the SW incline of the Acropolis is in progress. It includes removal of flora and sections of the rock that are loose, use of anchors, supporting the rock in areas of negative slope with walls, strengthening the rock slope by the use of metallic mesh and so on.
In the framework of the current program of restoration interventions on the Acropolis monuments (NSRF 2011-2013) a digitisation project was realised targeting audiovisual material from the archive of ESMA. Among the digitized items has been the documentary "Parthenon 1991: The restoration of the eastern side". This is the final copy in Betacam format containing english narration and subtitles.
The film contains extended footage from the restoration interventions on the east side of the Parthenon, a project that lasted between 1984 and 1991. Key participants in the interventions including Prof. Ch. Bouras, president of the Committee for the Conservation of the Acropolis monuments, M. Korres, N. Toganidis and P. Koufopoulos, architects of the project, K. Zambas, civil engineer, E. Touloupa, archaeologist and former director of the Ephorate of Acropolis, J. Arbilias, chief marble-mason, describe the works and their impressions of their involvement with the conservation of the monument.
The film is directed by Dimitris Vernikou with the scientific supervision of Cornelia Hadziaslani.
You can see the movie in the YSMA channel on Youtube.
Produced by: Ministry of Culture - Committee for the Conservation of the Acropolis Monuments, Copyright 1992.
The Department of Information and Education has created 3 new publications both for school groups and families. The 3 following publications;
The booklet describes the activities of the Department for school groups and families. Described are all categories of the educational programmes conducted on a daily basis and in conjunction with temporary exhibitions, anniversaries or special events. Certain educational programmes are also held for pupils on a large scale, as special programmes. Presented also is the educational material addressed to school groups and families, the online applications, the exhibitions and training seminars, as well as the special symposia for educators.
In this trail, children can explore the Acropolis and learn about the contemporary, large-scale technical project taking place on the monuments of the Rock, through the answers to the ten most frequently asked questions about it. The answers are given by Glafka, a specially designed owl - mascot.
The Acropolis exploration map shows a colour reconstruction drawing of the Acropolis, specifically created to make it more comprehensible to children from 9 years up. For each of the key monuments there is a reconstruction drawing and a brief description given to children in order to enhance their visit.
The above publications have been developed within the NSFR 2007-2013.
The Department of Civil Engineering of the Aristotle University Thessaloniki in collaboration with the post-graduate program "Antiseismic Design of Structures (A.S.T.E.)" organize a workshop on the:
"Modern Interventions on the monuments of the Athenian Acropolis",
to be held on Friday, March 20, between 10:00 and 16:00 at the first Amphitheatre of the Centre for the Dissemination of Research Results of the Aristotle University Thessaloniki, located at September 3rd Street - Campus.
There will be lectures by scientists and engineers of the Acropolis Restoration Service on:
• The work of the Acropolis Restoration Service
• The current restoration projects on the Parthenon
• The restoration interventions on the Propylaea and targeted interventions on the Temple of Athena Nike
• Conservation interventions on the Acropolis monuments
• Structural restoration interventions and issues regarding the joining of stone fragments
You can download the poster and the program of the event by clicking on the following links
To address the seismic behavior of the Acropolis monuments, YSMA integrates innovations stemming from academic research in the restoration studies.
The structure of an ancient temple is completely different from that of modern constructions. The seismic stimulation is manifested through sliding and/or oscillation of the blocks one by one or in groups. In the context of a restoration project, the identification of the strain is possible using specialised software (3DEC by Itasca).
The planned restoration intervention on the Parthenon aim to link separate parts of the monument, which stood freely during the last centuries, e.g. restoring the structural connection between the opisthonaos and the west colonnade of the Parthenon by repositioning the intermediate coffer slabs. Correspondingly the extensive additions of ancient material, such as in the long walls of the Parthenon cella, influence the static correspondence of the entire array of blocks under restoration. As a result, a much more complex study of the architectural solutions is required, which must clearly take into account the safety/strength limits of the seismic analysis.
Based on these data a research project was commissioned in collaboration with National Technical University of Athens (NTUA) and specifically with the Earthquake Engineering Laboratory on the investigation of the stability of possible restoration scenarios for the reconstruction of the long walls of the Parthenon, which was completed in December 2008. Figures 1-3 contain depictions of the models produced using specialised software.
The numerical analyses were performed with appropriate software that enables simulation of the seismic behavior of monumental structures in three dimensions, allowing the calculation of the stress among individual architectural elements. The parameters used in the simulation resulted from previous academic studies, which confirmed the reliability of the 3DEC method and the software.
In the context of the study for the restoration of the west façade of the Parthenon in 2011 a similar procedure calculated the effect on the seismic behavior of the monument posed by the proposed dismantling of the two corners. The relevant models are depicted in figures 4-6.
The seismic analyses realised employ carefully selected seismological data, derived from relevant seismological studies, so as to be compatible with the expected ground seismic motions in the historic center of Athens.
YSMA forwards research in this area and conducts further studies in order to identify and resolve issues related to the seismic response of monuments. Figures 7-9 display 3D models prepared for the simulation of the seismic response of the Parthenon west side under alternative scenarios of repositioning the coffer slabs.
The resetting of the architraves on both corners of the west side of the Parthenon was recently accomplished. These blocks that connect the corner columns with their immediate neighbouring ones, were dismantled due to severe cracks, rejoined, consolidated in the worksite and repositioned. Structural restoration and conservation interventions at the capitals on which the architraves are mounted preceded their resetting.
The restoration of the particular architectural members is in effect a most difficult task due to their size and nodal position on the monument. Each inter-columnar space is bridged using three architrave blocks weighing about 8 tons each. The exterior blocks in particular, one on each corner, weigh up to 9.5 tons. Lifting these blocks required special worksite infrastructure, while before their final placement multiple trials were performed so as to ensure that their joints are completely sealed.
As a result, the Parthenon has acquired its renowned form once again having ensured the removal of distortions to a considerable extent.
Work proceeds with the repositioning of the triglyphs and copies of the metopes, since all original metopes have been transferred to theAcropolis Museum for protection.
Similar interventions are also completed at the Propylaia. On the south side of the monument restoration interventions were realised on four architraves that were restored by A. Orlandos in the 1960s. Four additional architrave blocks were restored and supplemented with new marble. These blocks - eight in total - were placed in their final position after structural restoration and conservation interventions on their subjacent architectural members, the column capitals and the free-standing pilaster capital.
The Association of Greek Archaeologists presents a group exhibition of visual and applied arts by the group “25+ AKRO-polites”. Twenty-seven employees of the Ministry of Culture at the Acropolis restoration project participate in the exhibition with more than 80 works.
The first exhibition “25 AΚRΟ-polites descend”, hosted last year in the building of the Association of Greek Archaeologists, was an artistic meeting of particular interest due to the diversity and pluralism of the artistic works. The repetition of the exhibition after one year gains new momentum and importance.
The monument, the coexistence in their everyday professional life and each person’s artistic creativity are no longer the only connecting elements of the group. The joint effort, the experience and everyday practice of the past season fostered the formation of anew shared collective identity.
Their mutual relationhips formed through working together is constantly under negotiation. The “Acro-polites” are active citizens, who through their own collective create a common meeting place for artistic expression, interaction and dialogue aiming to strengthen the ties among themselves as much as with the public.
The exhibition opening will be held on Tuesday 9/9 at 20:00 at the building of the Association of Greek Archaeologists, 134-136 Ermou St, Athens
At 20:30 the short film "The Star of the Sun" by Anthonis Chiotis will be screened. A live music performance will follow by the flutist Catherine Tsents, Remi and his band, and Dj Ariel.
The exhibition will run from 9 to 25 September 2014.
Visiting hours: Monday-Friday 17:00-21: 00, Weekend 11:00-14:00 and 14:00-21:00
During the exhibition two musical evenings will be held:
• Saturday 13/9, 21:00: The Psycorders unplugged, music garage rock
• Saturday 20/9, 21:00: Dj Ariel + guests.
Niki Papaspyrou, art historian
Spyros Nasainas, architect
Fani Boubouli, archaeologist
Panagiota Pitsiri, sculptor-restorer
Kostas Tsirintoulakis, marble technician
Photography of the projects
Markos Toufeklis, Petros Georgopoulos
Exhibition participants: Michalis Alvertis, Fratzeskos Alexopoulos, Iosif Armaos, Theodoros Arfanis, Emmanuel Vassilakis, Euridiki Velalopoulou, Dimitris Vouziouris, Marianna Voutsina, Panagiotis Gabriel, Petros Georgopoulos, Vasiliki Eleftheriou, Lazaros Zaharopoulos, Eleni Zervou, Giorgos Kontonikolaou, Leonidas Michalakos, Pavlos Niaouris, Costas Dallas, Evangelos Panopoulos, Nikos Papadopoulos, Panagiota Pitsiri, Evangelos Skaris, Angelos Sotiropoulos, Markos Toufeklis, Kostas Tsirintoulakis, Vasilis Tsitsimpakos, François Mathieu, Antonis Chiotis
Dimitris A. Kollaros - Marble processing tools and machinery.
Alexandras Ave. & Skylitsi 2
Tel. 210 8215218 / Fax: 210 8223080
The programs were organized from 1 to 10 July 2014 by the Information & Education Office of the Acropolis Restoration Service in collaboration with the Acropolis Museum. They had three different themes:
a) "Let's Play Ancient Games!" – the program was based on toys found in the ancient settlement on the Acropolis slopes and on ‘board games’ engraved on the Acropolis monuments
b) "Temples: Houses of the Gods ..." – the program was based on models and drawings of the Acropolis as well as on the architectural members exhibited inside the Museum.
c) 'Olive Tree: The Gift of a Goddess .... " – the program was based on exhibits and myths around the olive tree and the use of olive oil in antiquity.
Almost 190 children participated with great enthusiasm. They became explorers in the Acropolis Museum, played with replicas of ancient games and made their own toys from clay, they painted columns and did crafts designing their own temple. Finally, they were dressed as ancient gods and made gifts to a new imaginary city to which they gave a name, as the goddess Athena did.
A seminar on the recent restoration of the Acropolis of Athens was organised by the professors G. Rocco and M. Livadiotti as part of the teaching course "Specialization in Architectural Heritage and the Landscape" at the Polytechnic School of Bari, Italy. The invited lectures were given by Vasiliki Eleftheriou, Director of the Acropolis Restoration Service, and Constantine Karanasos, supervisor of the restoration works at the Propylaea. The seminar was attended by students and faculty of the School and included wide-ranging discussions on the topic. In collaboration with Prof. Giacomo Martines, the students also took part in a workshop on the restoration of the south wall of the central building of the Propylaea.
Tuesday, June 3
V. Eleftheriou. The restoration project on the Acropolis of Athens (principles, methodology, damages, causes, documentation, dissemination)
V. Eleftheriou. Restoration programs of the Acropolis (completed and in progress)
Wednesday, June 4
K. Karanasos. Restoration of the Propylaia: completed interventions
K. Karanasos. Restoration of the Propylaia: interventions in progress
V. Eleftheriou, K. Karanasos in collaboration with Prof. G. Martinez. Workshop - Restoration of the Propylaia. Part I.
Thursday, June 5
V. Eleftheriou, K. Karanasos in collaboration with Prof. G. Martinez. Workshop - Restoration of the Propylaia. Part II.
K. Karanasos. Criteria for the structural restoration of the monuments on the Acropolis of Athens. Methodological problems during design and execution phases.
V. Eleftheriou. Restoration of ancient monuments in Greece. Common and special issues. The case of Lindos.
The Committee for the Preservation of Monuments Acropolis and the Acropolis Restoration Service invite you to explore the Acropolis monuments and learn about the restoration interventions using the upgraded virtual tour web application that allows the interactive investigation of the archaeological site. By taking a virtual ‘walk’ through the archaeological site, you will find yourself among the Temple of Athena Nike and the Propylaea, you will stand inside the Parthenon and the Erechtheion, you will enjoy the view of Athens and you will examine the walls surrounding the Acropolis hill.
The application uses high resolution panoramic images, which are complemented with textual information about the monuments and selected areas of interest. Users can orientate themselves through an orthophotomap of the Acropolis and choose different viewing positions depending on the monument or their interests, following their own route through the archaeological site. The images facilitate detailed zooming onto the monuments, making visible the erosion of the marble, the cracks, the conservation repairs. They also allow the observation of areas that are inaccessible to the public, e.g. the circuit walls or the interior of the Parthenon, while a number of night shots are included to demonstrate the impression of the monuments off visiting hours. Finally, textual content provides information on the history and architecture of the monuments, as well as on the restoration works.
The application comprises an upgrade from a previous version with a focus on extending the app’s functionality to mobile devices and augmenting the information content. The decision to adopt cutting-edge technological solutions to bring online the entirety of the archaeological site aims at presenting the restoration works undertaken as well as promoting access to this important world heritage site. Enhanced visual access through the specific solutions adopted can be used as a basis to explore the monuments by any interested party or potential visitor, as well as a scientific or educational tool in several disciplines.
The application is accessible at http://acropolis-virtualtour.gr. Development was realized through the collaboration of the Documentation Office of YSMA with Culturplay, a company specializing in the provision of digital media solutions and interarctive tools for the cultural heritage domain. We hope it manages to enrich the understanding of the monuments and the restoration projects for every ‘virtual' visitor!
The crew of the Acropolis Restoration Service, in cooperation with the Museum of Greek Folk Art, present their personal work, at the "Bath House of the Winds", the only surviving public bath of old Athens.
The exhibition of the restoration crew of the Acropolis rock is a call to colleagues from different disciplines (craftsmen, marble technicians, sculptors, architects, designers, conservators, guards) to create an artistic work, off working hours.
The group exhibition is an act of communication and extraversion among employees, but also towards the wider audience.
What does "free" time mean? Working within an institutional framework and working as an artistic expression. The personal work of people who are invited to create, taking into account a common reference point.
The Rock of the Acropolis is the common place, not only literally, but also on the level of the exhnibition theme. The Rock, not as a sacred and thus sterile place, but as an experienced space - as a place of work and everyday co-existence, initiates a series symbolisms and associations, which are transformed by the employees into artworks and new forms of expression on show from 16/5/2014 to 1/6/2014.
Opening: Friday, May 16 at 7 pm, with the flautist Katerina Tsents
Location: Bath House of the Winds, Kyrristou 8, Plaka
Duration: May 16 - June 1, 2014
Opening hours: 9.00 - 15.00 every day except Tuesday.
Information: 210 - 32 44 340
As part of our constant effort to promote of the restoration works carried out on the Acropolis the addition of audiovisual material has been initiated on the YouTube platform. The official channel of the Acropolis Restoration Service will include revealing footage from the ongoing works as well as archival material from our film collection to learn about the progress of the interventions, and also their long history and key participants. Video clips will appear organized by theme and complemented with descriptive information and view statistics.
We hope that this initiative will bring an even larger audience in touch with the projects. Therefore, you are all invited to get to know the details of the largest restoration project in Greece. You can also subscribe in our channel in order to receive updates every time a video is uploaded and share your experience by further communicating the work carried out for the past 25 years on the monuments.
After the invitation of the Onassis Foundation under the University Seminars Program a series of lectures was organized at major universities in the U.S. on the ongoing restoration project on the monuments of the Acropolis and the marble surface laser cleaning method.
The presentations were given by the Director of YSMA, Ms Vasiliki Eleftheriou, and Dr. Dimitrios Angglos, Associate Professor of Chemistry at the University of Crete and Associate Researcher of the Institute of Electronic Structure and Laser, Foundation for Research and Technology.
The educational tour was held from 24 March to 4 April in the following sites:
On March 24, at Columbia University, Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, hosted by Trisha Logan, Assistant Director of Urban Planning and Historic Preservation.
On March 25, at Yale University, Program of Hellenic Studies, hosted by Dr George Syrimis, Associate Program Chair.
On March 26, at Penn University, Department History of Art and Architecture, hosted by Dr Frank G. Matero, Professor of Architecture, Historic Preservation.
On April 1, at Boston University, Department of History of Art & Architecture, hosted by Dr Fred S. Kleiner, Professor of History of Art & Architecture, Professor of Archaeology, Chair of the Department of History of Art & Architecture. The event was co-sponsored by the Archaeological institute of America.
On April 2, at Delaware University, The Art Conservation Department, hosted by Dr. Joyce Hill Stoner at the Winterthur Museum.
Finally , on April 4, at Stony Brook University: Hellenic Studies. Hosted by Dr Stella Tsirka, Acting Coordinator of Hellenic Studies, at the Department of Engineering.
The lectures were attended by members of the scientific community, university professors and students, as well as representatives of the local Greek communities. The response by the audience has been extremely warm in every occasion, as manifested by the great interest expressed, the number of questions and the positive comments as to the progress of works on the Acropolis and the applied marble laser cleaning techniques.
On November 8, 2013 the Professor of Architecture at the National Technical University of Athens, Manolis Korres, was awarded with the “International Feltrinelli Prize” for his contribution in the field of Archaeology and Restoration.
The prize is the highest distinction awarded by the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei of Rome - one of the oldest and most influential scientific academies worldwide, which was founded in 1603 and includes to its members, among others, Galileo Galilei. The International Feltrinelli Prize is granted to personalities who have been distinguished for their exceptional performance in art, literature, history, philosophy, medicine and mathematics. The prize is awarded once every five years in each field and is accompanied by a prize of 250.000 €. A second prize is presented alongside to an international organization for humanitarian action.
Prof. Manolis Korres, PhD Eng. NTUA - PH.D. h.c. FU. Berlin, was awarded for his life contibution, which - as pointed out in the award - combines “restoration with original archaeological and architectural research”. It is worth noting that in the same category in the past prominent personalities have been presented with the same award, such as Dinu Ademesteanu, Cezare Brandi and Ferdinado Castagnoli. Prof. Manolis Korres is the first Greek who receives this distinction.
Prof. Manolis Korres is a member of the Central Archaeological Council, the Committee for the Conservation of the Acropolis Monuments and other scientific committees of the Ministry of Culture and Sports. He has participated in the projects of the Acropolis restoration works (1975, 1983-1999), the works at the Theater of Dionysos (1981-1982), the study and restoration of two ancient temples on Naxos (University of Athens -TUMunchen, 1976 onwards), the Pythian Castle in Evros (1974 onwards), the temple of Apollo in Metropolis near Karditsa (1999 onwards). He has studied the Roman monuments of Thessaloniki, Byzantine and modern monuments in Mani, the church of Panagia Gorgoepikoos, the Stoa of Eumenes, the Monument of Filopappou, the viaducts of the Roman aqueduct of Hadrian and the Temple of Olympian Zeus in Athens, ancient and christian sites in Amorgos, Ionic capitals in general (at the Technical University of Munich, 1976-1977), the great temple-like tombs of the Etruscan necropolis of Norchia (with M. Kreeb, 1990), the Mausoleum of Theoderic in Ravenna, various mechanical constructions etc.
He has received fellowships (Ministry of Education, DAAD, DAI, Princeton University, Fulbright, Alexander von Humbolt) and honors (Bronze Medal of the Athens Academy, Silver Medal of the Academy of Architecture of Paris (Academie d 'Architecture de Paris), Commander of the Order of the Phoenix), participates in numerous scientific societies, has taught at universities abroad, has authored eight books and 80 scientific articles and has also lectured in Greece and abroad. His drawings have been exhibited in nine solo and seven group exhibitions in Greece and abroad.
The Committee for the Conservation of the Acropolis Monuments (ESMA) and the Acropolis Restoration Service (YSMA), in collaboration with the 1st Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities and the Special Service for the Sector of Culture organized the 6th International Meeting for the "Restoration of the Acropolis Monuments" that was held on Friday 4 and Saturday 5 October 2013, in the auditorium of the Acropolis Museum. The symposium focused on the theoretical aspects of the restoration of the Acropolis monuments and the results of recent research on their architecture and conservation. In addition, particular problems of technology and technical applications were outlined.
In the morning of Friday, October 4th, the meeting opened with the welcome speeches from the Chairman of ESMA, Mr Charalambos Bouras (NTU Professor Emeritus and President of ESMA) the General Director for the Restoration, Museums and Technical Works, Ms Evgenia Gatopoulou, the General Directorof Antiquities and Cultural Heritage, Ms Maria Vlazaki-Andradaki, and the Director of YSMA, Ms Vassiliki Eleftheriou. The opening session was followed by a visit to the worksites on the Acropolis, where the participants were informed on the completed projects and the progress of the current interventions by the worksite supervisors and researchers of the monuments. In the afternoon session there were presentations on the restoration works completed in the period 2000 – 2010 with funding from the Third Community Support Framework, as well as the ongoing interventions implemented according to the approved by the Central Archaeological Council assessment studies, with funding from the Operational Programme "Attica" (National Strategic Reference Framework 2007-2013) and co-financing from the European Regional Development Fund and the Greek State. Afterwards, there were presentations on the work of the 1st Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities and the Acropolis Museum regarding the management of the archaeological site and the exhibition of the architectural sculptures of the Acropolis monuments. These were followed by a 30-minute film screening session highlighting the current restoration projects, directed by Kostas Arvanitakis and produced by YSMA.
On Saturday, October 5th, the Chairman of ESMA and the supervisors of the works demonstrated the scheduled restoration programs and discussed special topics concerning the use of new materials and the intervention methods. In addition, the documentation of the interventions, the enhancement of the archaeological material and the educational activities of the Service were presented by the heads of the respective departments. The meeting concluded in the same evening with an overall discussion with contributions from the conference participants. During the conference a poster exhibition on "The restoration works on the Acropolis" was hosted in the temporary exhibition room of the Acropolis Museum. Thirty-five posters displayed various themes related to the intervention studies conducted, offered insights on the restoration materials research, and exhibited the impressive photomosaics that have been produced in the last six years.
The participants received the conference material and a double CD edition of the report on the restoration works by YSMA during the period 2000-2010 (37 articles 850 pages) and of the studies of the current projects (950 pages). Participants are invited to complete the questionnaire that was distributed to them during the conference. The questionnaire focuses on the competing proposals concerning the intervention of the western pediment , the walls of the cella and the roof of the west wing of the Parthenon.
The organization of the International meeting was supported by the Acropolis Museum, the Friends of the Acropolis and companies working in the field of photogrammetric documentation, GEOANALYSI SA, ELPHO Ltd., FOTOPO and GEOSYSTEMS HELLAS SA & METRICA S.A.
The summaries of the presentations of the 13 speakers at the Meeting (book of abstracts ), as well as the complementary material (poster , invitation , programme ) have been posted on the website of YSMA . The conference proceedings are scheduled to be published in print.
The Acropolis Restoration Service participates in the exhibition of the National Institute of Fine Arts of Mexico, on "Parthenon - Architecture and Art", hosted at the National Museum of Architecture at the “Palacio de Bellas Artes”. The inauguration took place on Wednesday, July 24, in the presence of the ambassador of Greece, Ms. P. Stefanidou, and the representative of the Archbishop of Central America and Mexico, Eminence Athenagoras. The exhibition will run until 22 September 2013.
The initiative for the exhibition belongs to the Greek Community of Mexico and is part of a wider effort to redenine the image of Greece in Central America. The exhibition has on display approximately 100 works including prints, photographs, drawings, sketches and videos that depict the architecture of the Parthenon, its artistic decoration and modern restoration interventions. According to the curator of the event, Mr. Alexandros Apostolakis, archaeologist, art historian and board member of the Greek Community “the exhibition is about the architecture and art of the Parthenon, since the building is a symbol, a ‘capsule’ of information that continues to impress us until today”.
The reception of the exhibition in the daily and periodical press of Mexico highlights the impact of Parthenon on the history and movements of Architecture on a global scale and the significance of the modern restoration interventions on the Acropolis monuments.
As part of the 50th Anniversary Congress of Europa Nostra, which this year takes place in Athens, on June 13th-16th, Europa Nostra and the European Commission will present the awards for the restoration of the roof of the main building of the Propylaea of the Acropolis, and the long-standing contribution of the Committee for the Conservation of the Acropolis Monuments to the protection, conservation and enhancement of cultural heritage.
The awarding ceremony of the European Cultural Heritage 2013 prizes will be held on Sunday, June 16th (21:00) at the Odeon of Herodes Atticus, in the presence of the Greek president, Mr Karolos Papoulias, the European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, Mrs Androulla Vassiliou and the President of Europa Nostra, Mr Plácido Domingo.
The ceremony is kindly supported by the European Commission and is co-organized by the Greek Society for the Environment & Cultural Heritage, which is the official representative of Europa Nostra in Greece. During the ceremony the results of the online voting for the Public Choice Award will be announced. The event is complemented with a rich musical program entitled “Humankind and Nature - From Homer to Elytis” with the participation of leading Greek artists. The ceremony is open to the public with tickets that can be obtained from the box office of the Athens Festival (Tickets cost € 10 and € 5). All proceeds will go to the rescue of the Byzantine tower of Oinoi in Marathon.
The intervention on the west side of the Parthenon is the most important work underway on the monument. It is funded by the National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF). The purpose of the new intervention is to address the serious structural problems and deformations in this section of the monument caused by the adversities of the past, earlier restoration interventions as well as the earthquakes that affected the monument.
In the framework of these works a total of six metopes are transferred to the Museum, three from the NW corner of the Parthenon and three of the Southwest. In the videos below you can watch the dismantling of two distinctive examples, the so-called "Annunciation" and a metope from the theme of the Battle of the Lapiths and the Centaurs.
The metope ΒΜΟ32 was dismantled on 26/10/2012. It is the westernmost panel on the north side of the Parthenon. Two female figures, one seated to the right and the other standing upright to the left are identified with Hera and Athena respectively. It is the only surviving metope on the north side that was saved from the vandalism by the Christians, perhaps because they perceived the theme as a representation of the “Annunciation”. The metope exhibits clearly the transition from the strict rhythm to the classical style, as the rendering of the drapery displays elements of both styles. The metope was brought to the New Acropolis Museum and a cast copy will be placed on the monument.
The metope NMO32 was dismantled on 16/5/2012. It is located on the southwestern corner of the Parthenon and it comprises the only surviving panel on the south side of the monument. The metopes of the south side depict scenes of the battle between the Lapiths and the Centaurs. According to the legend, the centaurs grabbed the women of the Lapiths, the people of Thessaly, during the wedding feast of the king of the Lapiths, Peirithos, in which they were invited. The myth reflects the punishment of the hybris of the barbarians as well as the supremacy of the Athenians among their Greek adversaries. The metopes of the south side of the Parthenon were not destroyed by the Christians and they were preserved in excellent condition until the explosion of 1687 during the sieze by F. Morozini.
The presentation of the book by the late A. Papanikolaou, "The Restoration of the Erechtheion (1979-1987) - Final report on the work", was held on Wednesday, April 10, 2013 at 18.30 in the auditorium of the New Acropolis Museum. The book is a comprehensive publication of the first intervention conducted under the scientific supervision of ESMA on the Acropolis.
In the event there was a welcome address by Ms L. Mendoni (Gen. Secr. of Culture) followed by speeches by Ms Vasiliki Eleftheriou (Architect - Director of YSMA), Mr Charalambos Bouras (NTU Professor Emeritus and President of ESMA), Mr Kostas Zambas (head civil engineer of the restoration project of the Erechtheion and collaborator of A. Papanikolaou) and Ms Fani Mallouchou-Tufano (Associate professor ΤUC and Member of ESMA).
There was also a screening of the digital film "The Erechtheion, history and restoration", which is an YSMA production.
This two-volume edition can be downloaded from our Publications page.
The Committee for the Preservation of the Acropolis Monuments (ESMA) and the Acropolis Restoration Service (YSMA) invite you to the presentation of the book by the late A. Papanikolaou, "The Restoration of the Erechtheion (1979-1987) - Final report on the work", to be held on Wednesday, April 10, 2013 at 18.30 in the auditorium of the New Acropolis Museum.
The book is a comprehensive publication of the first intervention conducted under the scientific supervision of ESMA on the Acropolis. In the event there will be speeches by Charalambos Bouras (NTU professor emeritus and president of ESMA), Kostas Zambas (head civil engineer of the restoration project of the Erechtheion and collaborator of A. Papanikolaou) and Fani Mallouchou-Tufano (Associate professor ΤUC).
There will also be a screening of the digital film "The Erechtheion, history and restoration", which is an YSMA production.
The Acropolis Restoration Project received two awards this year from the Europa Nostra.
The project Restoration of the upper structure of the main building of the Propylaea was awarded in Category 1 - Conservation
Also, the Acropolis Restoration Committee received an award for its contribution to the work carried out on the monuments in Category 3 - Dedicated Service.
This double award by Europa Nostra is very significant, especially at a time when we stand in need of hope and optimism.
It is a reward for our long efforts towards:
• The scientific approach of the interventions on the monuments
• The interdisciplinary collaboration
• The promotion of traditional techniques and the research on the use of modern technology
• The dissemination of the works and public outreach.
The establishment of the Acropolis Restoration Committee in 1975 initiated a new period of restoration interventions, in which issues with respect to the principles, the materials and the methods of intervention were further developed and standardised.
Today about 35 Scientific Committees oversee the largest restoration projects across the country. Under their supervision a common vocabulary between archaeologists, architects, conservators and other experts has been developed, while the specialisation in the treatment of the stone, which is top priority, has rendered three generations of experienced marble workers, who have been instrumental to the implementation of the completed restoration programs and guarantee the success of those in progress and those planned for the future.
For all the prizes you can check the website of Europa Nostra, where you can also vote for the people's choice awards.
For all the prizes you can check the website of Europa Nostra at the following address:
You can also participate in the people's choice awards by giving your vote at:
The two-volume edition by the late A. Papanikolaou, "Restoration of the Erechtheion (1979-1987). Final report on the work" has now been published. With these volumes, edited by F. Mallouchou-Tufano and Ch. Bouras, the series of YSMA Reports on the Acropolis Restoration Works is inaugurated. This publication is an extensive and scientifically coherent final report on the Erechtheion restoration work (1977-1987), which was the first intervention carried out under the scientific supervision of the Committee for the Conservation of the Acropolis Monuments (ESMA). The project was funded by the Third Community Support Framework (2007-2013) with an additional financial support of the Ioannis F. Kostopoulos Foundation.
The edition is in Greek. However, the followings chapters in English are included.
Selected Texts in English
F. Mallouchou-Tufano, The restoration of the Erechtheion (1979-1987). Chronicle of actions and works, pp. 646-654
F. Mallouchou-Tufano, Restoring the Erechtheion. Ambient atmosphere and conditions, reflections, discussions, decisions, evaluations, pp. 655-676
Ch. Bouras, Anastelosis interventions on the Erechtheion (1978-1987), pp. 677-680
Captions of the photographs in the Erechtheion volume, pp. 681-702
Captions of the drawings in the Erechtheion volume, pp. 703-708
On the 23/5/2012 the 13th metope of the west side of the Parthenon was taken down, completing the approved program for the removal of the sculptural decoration of the monument. According to this program, 6 metopes in total, 3 from the NW corner of the Parthenon and 3 from the SW, were transferred to the Acropolis Museum.
The remaining 10 metopes of the west side of the Parthenon will remain on the monument, since there are no static reasons for their removal. They will thus comprise the only original architectural sculptures still remaining on the sacred rock.
Despite their poor state of conservation due to inflicted damages and decay, the representation of the battle of the Athenians against the Amazons can still be recognized. The specific theme projects the victorious war of the Athenians against the Persians as well as the supremacy of Athens in comparison to other Greek cities.
In addition, the restoration program of the southern wing of the Propylaea is underway, as the installation of the scaffolding and crane at the worksite has been completed.
In April, the lowering of 6 architraves from the northwest corner of the Parthenon was completed. The stones weigh from 5 to 9 tons (40 tons in total). Three of them were fractured and their restoration has already been inititated.
The structural restoration involves a series of tasks such as:
• cleaning the surfaces to be joined
• perforating the marble to insert titanium rods, in order to reinforce the join
• filling the holes with mortar consisting of white cement and inserting the rods
• sealing any observable voids with mortar consisting of white cement and quartz sand
• maintaining the moisture in the joined area in order to achieve the full strength of the mortar
All these tasks are performed on specially designed platforms, so as to ensure the proper adjustment of each individual part. The joined piece is left to rest for 20 days.
Recently the restoration works center on the northwest corner of the Parthenon. Due to serious damages observed on most of the architraves of the west side, it was decided, on the basis of the approved study, to proceed to their dismantling and restoration on the ground. In effect:
Already two of the outer architraves have been dismantled and lowered to the ground, the westernmost weighing 9 tons and the northernmost weighing 7.8 tons. Works will continue with the lowering of the internal architraves, which will be followed by the lowering of the intermediate ones. Similar works are planned to take place in the southwest corner of the Parthenon.
The educational program "A day in the Acropolis: Restoring its monuments" was organized in cooperation with the 1st Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities, between 29-30/3/2012. The program aimed to introduce students to the restoration work taking place at the Acropolis in a series of workshops on site. The participation was impressive as a total of 40 secondary education schools visited the site in those two days. The program was curated by the archaeologists of the Department of Public Relations and Education, Irine Kaimara (Head of the sector), Asimina Leonti, Sylia Paraschou and Cornelia Hadziaslani (Head of the department by the end of 2011).
On October 8, 2010 a meeting on the restoration works at the Acropolis of Athens was held at the British Museum with the participation of the Acropolis Restoration Service (YSMA) members. The President of the Acropolis Restoration Scientific Committee, Emeritus. Prof. C. Bouras, made the overall assessment of the project progress in the past 35 years, while the Director of the Service Mrs. M. Ioannidou, presented the research and technology projects implemented in the framework of the project. The restoration works carried out in each monument were presented in detail by the heads of each technical office. The presentations were published in a volume entitled "Acropolis Restored" by C. Bouras, M. Ioannidou and Ian Jenkins (eds.) to be released in March 2012.
The meeting on modern technologies in the restoration of the Acropolis was organized by the Acropolis Restoration Service in the Acropolis Museum on March 19, 2010. It provided an opportunity to present the important work of geometric documentation and instrumental monitoring of monuments on the Acropolis held in previous years to the scientific community. The Proceedings were published in the Issue 10 of the Newsletter.
A special session dedicated to the Acropolis entitled "Recording and Documenting the Acropolis of Athens. From Classical, Ancient Greece to Modern Olympics" was included in the international conference "The international Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information". The conference was organized by the ISPRS (International Society of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing) from 3 to July 11, 2008.
The session speakers were scholars and project directors from YSMA as well asassociates.
2008, the year of Greece in China, is the Olympic year that united Greece, the country that organized the 2004 Olympic Games, with China, the country that organized the 2008 games. In May and June of 2008, the Acropolis Restoration Service held an exhibition of the Acropolis Restoration Works at which the visitors were also able to see documentary films of the Service and a film about the Parthenon frieze. A two-day symposium was also held at the Tsinghua University of Beijing. The subject of the symposium was the works of restoration on the Athenian Acropolis and in the «Forbidden City» of Beijing.
From the beginning of March to the end of May 2008, the photographic exhibition of the Restoration Works of the Acropolis, consisting of photographs by the photographer of the Service, Socrates Mavrommatis, was presented at the Pergamon Museum in Berlin. The exhibition was taken to other cities of German-speaking Europe as well. Specifically, the public had the opportunity to see it at the Institute of Classical Archaeology of the Ruprecht Karls University of Heidelberg, at the Archaeological Institute of Freiburg, the Sculpture Gallery of Basle, the Germano-Roman Museum of Cologne, the Archaeological Institute of the University of Hamburg, the Institute of Classical Archaeology of the Westphalian University Wilhelm in Munich, at the Liebieghaus in Frankfort, the Museum of the History of Art in Vienna and other cities of German-speaking Europe.
On the invitation of the Society for Hellenism Abroad of the Pacific and Far East, the YSMA, in collaboration with the Organization for the Construction of the New Acropolis Museum, the Department of Modern Greek Studies (Faculty of Arts, School of European, Asian and Middle Eastern Languages and Studies, Department of Modern Greek) and the Department of Architecture (Faculty of Architecture, Design and Planning) of the University of Sydney, arranged a series of events on the subject of the Acropolis, in October 2007. The purpose of the programme was to promote the Acropolis works, the New Acropolis Museum and Hellenic Culture in general, in Australia.
The events included:
The Acropolis Restoration Service co-organized the 21st International Symposium of the International Committee of Architectural Photogrammetry (CIPA), which was held in Athens at the Zappeion Megaron, 1-6 October 2007. The special theme of the Symposium was «Anticipating the future of Cultural Past». The organization was a collaborative effort with the International Committee for Architectural Photogammetry (CIPA), the international and Greek sections of the ICOMOS (International Council of Monuments and Sites), and the Photogrammetry Workshop of the School of Agronomic Topography of the National Technical University of Athens. The YSMA participated with the presentation of its work at a meeting on 3/10/2007 dedicated solely to the restoration of the Acropolis monuments.