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The New Acropolis Museum: Ancient meets modern

The Parthenon in Athens is

The Parthenon in Athens is “one of the great achievements of human history,” said Nicolai Ouroussoff in The New York Times. A high point of ancient Greek architecture, the hilltop structure has also come to represent democracy and reason. No architect “would want to invite comparisons between his building and the Parthenon,” but Bernard Tschumi’s sleek, understated New Acropolis Museum beguilingly complements the ancient structure. “I can’t remember seeing a design that is so eloquent about another work of architecture.” Its main attraction is a central gallery, which has just begun to be filled with sculptures and pediments that originally decorated the ancient structure. The most famous of these, the Elgin Marbles, still reside at the British Museum in London, and controversy has long swirled over whether they should be repatriated. But “it’s impossible to stand in the top-floor galleries, in full view of the Parthenon’s ravaged, sun-bleached frame, without craving the marbles’ return.”

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