Wednesday, January 23, 2008

New Parthenon Museum

The Parthenon, 5th Century BC, and finally its own Museum at its feet, by Swiss architect Bernard Tschumi. Do an images search right now to appreciate it. Thank you, Greece. We have not seen it yet (parts of columns and other items were there on the grounds, but under shelters, so we have an idea where it is) but the descriptions put it among the great designs for museums, we think. See the article in the NYT 10/28/2007, article about p. 31 by Nicolai Ouroussoff: building was raised on columns to preserve an ancient village discovered below, "overscale concrete canopy" over the entrance, concrete and glass grid, corners of the top floor cantilever slightly, all creating an "instability" that serves the narrative as the goer goes through the exhibits. Yet, "calm and unobtrusive." Forms growing more precarious, says the article. "A montage of visual experience." The article directs us to slide show at

Wish we had this for the old Iraq museum. We have little idea, and now it is too late, thanks to us.

Much of Greece's treasure of antiquities were taken to other countries in the last century, and even probably to now, with even half of the famous Elgin Marbles still at the British Museum in London - taken there by one Lord Elgin - still in London. Read about Lord Elgin at ://; and the Elgin Marbles at :// Mr. Ouroussoff went to London immediately after Athens, saw the Elgin Marbles there, and said they looked homesick.

Theft of heritage. See :// Elgin the one who saved the marbles by taking them? See ://

Iraq. See :// The US not concerned or safeguarding another nation's heritage.

What is in our cultural narrative that so degrades the past. Even our own. Do we teach our real history. Read "Mayflower," by Nathaniel Philbrick, at ://

Human opportunism, here, in politics, there, and elsewhere. Mr.Ouroussoff writes that even he could see little reason at this late date to do any returning, but he changed his mind after entering the New Acropolis Museum.

A village was discovered during construction, and that is preserved because the structure is elevated above - excellent.

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