The main Greek archaeologist, Dimitrios Pandermalis, who has served as president and curator of the Acropolis Museum in Athens because it opened in 2009, has died, aged 82, the Ministry of Tradition introduced on Wednesday. “It’s with nice disappointment that we are saying goodbye to a uncommon scientist, an inspiring trainer, a precious colleague, a very good buddy,” Greece’s tradition minister Lina Mendoni, mentioned in an announcement.
Along with main the planning, building and operation of the brand new Acropolis Museum within the metropolis centre, which was constructed with the aim in thoughts of someday reuniting all of the Parthenon marbles, together with these now held within the British Museum, Pandermalis has led the excavations on the historic web site of Dion within the foothills of Mount Olympus since 1973. He was additionally president of the historical past and archaeology division, and dean of the Philosophy Faculty, on the Aristotle College of Thessaloniki.
“Nevertheless, his nice work, his life’s imaginative and prescient, was the Acropolis Museum,” Mendoni mentioned, “which he served from the primary second, with all his power. He was the soul of the museum, when it was nonetheless solely an thought on paper. He was there, at each stage of its creation and till its completion. We owe it to him that Greece has one of many best and most beloved museums on this planet, a mannequin of cultural administration, which honors our tradition and our homeland.”
Nikos Stampolidis, the Acropolis Museum’s director basic, mentioned in an announcement, that it was “not straightforward to speak in regards to the lack of such a beloved individual as Professor Dimitrios Pandermalis, whom I had the nice fortune to know for the reason that early Nineteen Seventies as a pupil”. However, Stampolidis added, “the reminiscence of the individuals who depart is saved intact in future generations by their work. And his best work and contribution is the creation of the Acropolis Museum.”
Pandermalis was an outspoken proponent of the reunification of the Parthenon marbles, saying that returning the sculptures now held within the British Museum to Greece “is the one and solely resolution” to the long-running cultural debate between the 2 international locations.
When the brand new Acropolis Museum opened in 2009, Pandermalis mentioned it was “the perfect web site” for all the unique Parthenon sculptures to be displayed collectively. At this time, a particular gallery holds the sculptures that when made up the traditional temple frieze, with these components eliminated by Lord Elgin within the nineteenth century changed by plaster copies. “It’s not potential for the sculptures to have one half—to have a torso in a single museum and the pinnacle in one other. From the second that they belong to the identical work, they have to be reunited.”
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