Greece’s Central Archaeological Council has announced its major decision to reconstruct the northern wall of the cella (or chamber) of the Parthenon in Athens, completing restoration works that have lasted for over three decades.
KAS said on Wednesday that the completion of the world landmark’s restoration was of “prime importance”, adding that researchers were considering the re-use of hundreds of marble fragments found on the Acropolis premises, as well as marble pieces from Mt Pendeli (Dionysos quarry) for the reconstruction of the temple’s northern chamber wall.
The cella of the Parthenon – the inner chamber – housed the 12-meter-high gold-and-ivory statue of the goddess Athena Parthenos, which was sculpted by Phidias in 447 BC and dedicated in 438 BC.
“Today’s meeting is of great importance because, through the application of research findings on the restoration of the cella, we will have reconstructed the facades, a very important factor with regard to the later history of the Parthenon,” said the Directorate for the Restoration of Ancient Monuments.
Once completed, the works will have restored to a great degree the geometry of the ancient Greek building, offering insight into the identity and history of the monument, while visitors will have a clearer understanding of its architecture.
Restoration works on the Acropolis began in 1834-1835 but in 1975 and after the establishment of Committee for the Conservation of the Acropolis Monuments in 1983, numerous large-scale restoration projects have been undertaken.
According to estimates, the costly reconstruction and restoration effort will last for at least 15 years.
It should be noted that each year more than 7.2 million people visit the ancient Greek temple standing on the Acropolis and overlooking the city of Athens.
*Image by Nick Bourdaniotis Photography (Copyright)