Swiss designs Acropolis museum

Bernard Tschumi's maquette of the new museum Keystone

Swiss architect Bernard Tschumi has presented his plans for the new Acropolis museum in Athens, which is to be built before the city hosts the 2004 Olympic games.

This content was published on February 20, 2002 - 19:36

Tschumi won an international competition for the design of the museum with the plans, described by Greek culture minister Evangelos Venizelos as "an ingenious solution, just how we imagined it to be."

Born in Lausanne in 1944, Tschumi studied at the Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich and later taught architecture in London, New York and at Princeton University in New Jersey. The author of several books about architecture, his work has earned him many international awards.

He now heads a practice with offices in New York and Paris, and has designed prestigious buildings in both cities as well as in other parts of the world.

The setting

The Athens museum will be located at the foot of the Acropolis and linked to other important archaeological sites by a pedestrian walkway.

It will include a glass-enclosed space on the top of the building, which Greece hopes will house the Elgin marbles, also known as the Parthenon sculptures. Visitors would be able to see them against the backdrop of the Parthenon building from where they originated.

Fifty-seven of the sculptures, shipped to London by the British ambassador to the Ottoman Empire, Lord Elgin, have been displayed for nearly 200 years at the British museum. Greek requests for their restitution have long been a subject of discussion between the Greek and British governments.


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