The Acropolis Museum is an archaeological museum focused on the findings of the archaeological site of the Acropolis of Athens. The museum was built to house every artifact found on the rock and on the slopes, from the Greek Bronze Age to Roman. It also lies over the ruins of a part of Roman, the museum was founded in 2003, while the Organization of the Museum was established in 2008. It opened to the public on 20 June 2009, nearly 4,000 objects are exhibited over an area of 14,000 square metres. The Organization for the Construction of the new museum is chaired by Aristotle University of Thessaloniki Professor Emeritus of Archaeology, the first museum was on the Acropolis, it was completed in 1874 and underwent a moderate expansion in the 1950s. However, successive excavations on the Acropolis uncovered many new artifacts which significantly exceeded its original capacity, creation of a gallery for the display of the Parthenon Marbles has been key to all recent proposals for the design of a new museum. The first architectural competition to design a new museum was held in 1976 and was limited to participants from Greece, both the 1976 competition and one that followed it in 1979 failed to produce any results mainly because the plots of land selected for the proposed constructions were deemed unsuitable. In 1989, a competition for the design of the new Acropolis Museum was announced that would be international. A choice of three sites was provided. This competition was won by the Italian architects, Manfredi Nicoletti, in retrospect, the location of the new museum was rather straightforward, the large lot of the unused Camp Makrygianni gendarmerie barracks, opposite the Theater of Dionysus. The barracks were built on land and a limited number of expropriations of surrounding private houses were needed to free up the necessary space. The main building of the old barracks, the neoclassical Weiler Building, has been renovated, the fourth competition had made no provision for the preservation of the ancient site. These were met to a degree only after local and international campaigners exposed this oversight, the new plans were adjusted so that the building was elevated above ground, on pillars. Competition was open only to architectural practices by invitation and it was won by New York–based architect, Bernard Tschumi, excavation has revealed two layers of modest, private roadside houses and workshops, one from the early Byzantine era and another from the classical era. Once the layout and stratigraphy of the findings were established, suitable locations for the pillars were identified. These traverse the soil to the bedrock and float on roller bearings able to withstand a Richter scale magnitude 10 earthquake. Greek officials expressed their hope that the new museum will help in the campaign for the return of the Parthenon Marbles, the museum is located by the southeastern slope of the Acropolis hill, on the ancient road that led up to the sacred rock in classical times. The entrance to the building is on Dionysiou Areopagitou Street and directly adjacent to the Akropoli metro station the red line of the Athens Metro, the design by Bernard Tschumi was selected as the winning project in the fourth competition
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The archaeological site over which the new museum is built - the pink Weiler Building is seen top right, the two buildings scheduled for demolition are seen top left, with the hill of Lycabettus barely visible behind them
Εarthworks in the archaeological site in Makrygianni, during the construction of the museum.