Acropolis treasures on the move

THREE hundred marble sculptures that have survived on the Acropolis in Athens through 2,500 years of war, weather and looting will soon be moved to a new museum, Greek officials said yesterday.

The sculptures, weighing up to 2.5 tonnes each, were carved in the sixth and fifth centuries BC to decorate the Parthenon and other temples. Most are currently exhibited in a small museum on the Acropolis.

A glass and concrete centre, built to house all the Acropolis finds at the foot of the hill, will open in early 2008, culture minister George Voulgarakis said.

A huge operation will start in September to move the marble works to the new museum.

"It will be a very difficult undertaking," said Mr Voulgarakis. "This has never been done before. But I think everything will go well."

Three cranes, up to 165ft tall, will relay the sculptures from the old museum to the new 88 million building - a distance of some 400 yards.

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