Saturday, 26 October 2013 10:55
Kicking off our FT Explorer series, Chinthaka Thenuwara and Poornima Jayasinghe take us on a multipart photographic journey through Greece, its history, art and culture, with the first stop being the Acropolis Museum.
Greece is the cradle of modern civilisation, the birthplace of democracy, Western philosophy, political science, major scientific and mathematical principles, Western drama, including both tragedy and comedy, the Olympic Games and many more things that have shaped modern civilisation and made it what it is today.
Its history, mixed with a touch of mythology has amazed readers for generations and viewing the art and architecture of the country can be considered taking a veritable journey into the past, allowing you to catch a glimpse of the grandeur of those times, thousands of years ago.
Photographic Artists Chinthaka Thenuwara and Poornima Jayasinghe took a trip to Greece recently, where they visited the following the country’s most renowned places of cultural and historical interests.
On 20 June 2009, the whole world witnessed the opening ceremony of what has been characterised by the New York Times as one of the highest-profile cultural projects undertaken in Europe in the last decade; the new Acropolis Museum. The museum was envisioned to embed Greece’s cultural identity and heritage and become the vehicle for rebranding Greece, enhancing the country’s image and its capital worldwide.
As it is clearly stated in its statute, reclaiming the Parthenon marbles was the museum’s chief goal. Such a political position brings the museum to the forefront of Greece’s cultural diplomacy.
Carefully thought out, all artefacts can be viewed in a similar spatial proportion to their original location. Furthermore, the use of replicas next to the originals is an utmost original idea and technique, unique in terms of museology standards.
Of optimum importance, light is used as a theme to add a fourth dimension to the ancient artefacts. Display lighting reveals the colour variation of the surviving collection from the missing pieces. One can easily detect the contrast between the whiteness of the copies and the honey coloured marbles.
The museum is on the top list amongst Greece’s archaeological museums in terms of visitor numbers. The publicity it attracted has urged the return of at least 25 missing artefacts including fragments of the Parthenon frieze from Italy, the Vatican, Germany and Sweden.