The Acropolis Museum was founded to exhibit all the significant finds from the Sacred Rock and its foothills. It was designed by architect Bernard Tschumi with Michael Photiadis and inaugurated in the summer of 2009. The Museum hosts its collections across three levels, as well as in the archaeological excavation that lies at its foundations.
Located on the ground floor, the “Gallery of the Slopes of the Acropolis” houses finds from the sanctuaries that were established on the slopes of the Acropolis, as well as objects that Athenians used in everyday life from all historic periods.
The nine-meter high, naturally lit “Archaic Gallery”, in the east and south sections of the first floor, hosts the magnificent sculptures that graced the first temples on the Acropolis. It also displays the votive offerings dedicated by the worshippers, such as the beautiful archaic Korai (depictions of young women), the Hippeis (horse riders), statues of the Goddess Athena, sculptures of male figures, marble reliefs, and smaller bronze and clay offerings.
The Museum’s exhibition culminates on the third floor, in the glass-encased “Parthenon Gallery”. The relief sculptures of the Parthenon frieze depicting the Panathenaic procession are exhibited in continuous sequence along the perimeter of the external surface of the rectangular concrete core of the Gallery. The metopes, the marble slabs with relief representations from Greek mythology, are exhibited in between the stainless steel columns of the Gallery, which are the same in number as the columns of the Parthenon. The colossal figures of the two pediments have been placed on pedestals on the east and west sides of the Gallery. The east pediment depicts the birth of the Goddess Athena, emerging from the head of her father Zeus, and the west pediment depicts the battle between Athena and Poseidon over the land of Attica.