For those of you interested in the archeological happenings and artistic history related to ancient Athens, there is exciting news. The restoration work done on the Stoa of Attalos has paid off because the first floor of the site is ready to be opened. It’s taken a long 30 years for the restoration process, but the public will finally get a chance to see the 56 sculptures that had been discovered during the Agora excavations. In this article, you will learn more about the museum and a few plans for the site.
The first floor of the Stoa of Attlos will once again open its doors at the Ancient Agora of Athens. One of the highlights of the site will be the goods associated with the excavations of the Ancient Agora, which started in 1931. The research and work for this project is credited to the American School of Classical Studies (ASCS) and will shed light on the history of Greek archaeology. The school and donors (like the Rockefeller Foundation) are responsible for most of the expansion and progress of the museum. The excavations have produced a wealth of artifacts, including 160,000 items that date from Neolithic times to the 19th century.
Despite the ups and downs of the economy, the ASCS has continued to make strides in improving the museum and now the public can enjoy the first floor of the site by mid-May. The Stoa of Attalos is a place of interest because it contains some of the best monuments in Athens. In the past, the site served as an ancient shopping mall that dates back 150 BC. It was built by Attalos II, who was the king of Pergamon. He gifted it to the city of Athens.
The Stoa of Attalos hasn’t been completely dead over the years. In 2003, the site hosted the European Union Summit, which marked the inclusion of Cyprus in the EU.
When the first floor of the Stoa opens in May, it is one of the first steps of an initiative to revive the Ancient Agora that is run jointly by the ASCS, the Culture Ministry and the First Ephorate of Antiquities. The project was given a budget of 964,000 euros and received help from the European Union and the Public Investment Program of the Development Ministry as well. The public will be treated to an exhibition of sculptures associated with the excavations at the Ancient Agora. This will include Athenian art that represents the Late Classical, Hellenistic and Roman periods. The permanent exhibition will especially draw attention because these pieces have never been revealed to the public before.
The opening of the first floor will hopefully drum up more interest and funds to continue exposing the rest of the Ancient Agora to the public.