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Acropolis Museum to make its big debut online

June 19, 2009 |  6:52 pm

Acropolis

Designed to house treasures from the 5th century B.C. and beyond, the new Acropolis Museum in Greece is choosing to announce its arrival in a 21st century A.D. way.

On Saturday, the Acropolis Museum will live-stream the opening ceremony on its website, where you can watch various E.U. dignitaries speak at the foot of the original ancient site. The new museum, which is located 300 meters downhill from the famous ruins, cost $181 million to build and will feature 150,000 square feet of space that will be able to accommodate an estimated 10,000 visitors per day, according to reports.

Many years in the works -- and beset with delays -- the museum is designed by architect Bernard Tschumi and makes extensive use of glass and steel to afford visitors views of the surrounding hills. The building also pays homage to the Acropolis by placing remnants of the much-treasured Elgin Marbles at the center of the museum.

The Elgin Marbles -- classical Greek sculptures dating from the 5th century B.C. -- have long been a source of dispute between Greece and the United Kingdom, the latter of which took many of the statues nearly 200 years ago. The Acropolis Museum was built in part as a response to British claims that Greece did not have a venue suitable to display the ancient works.

Admission to the new museum is set at one euro -- an enticement to tourists, whose spending makes up a large part of the Greek economy.

-- David Ng

Photo: A view of the new Acropolis Museum in Greece. Credit: Louisa Gouliamaki / AFP / Getty Images

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