Acropolis Museum is Greece's top site: official data
Tuesday 12 April 2011
The Acropolis Museum was Greece's top tourist draw in 2010, eclipsing for the first time the ancient Athens citadel whose sculptures it showcases, official data showed on Monday.
Over 1.3 million people queued to visit the country's newest museum between January and December last year, the Greek statistics authority (Esa) said.
Designed by Franco-Swiss architect Bernard Tschumi, the ultra-modern building lies within sight of the ancient Acropolis citadel and showcases sculptures from the golden age of Athenian democracy in the fifth century BCE.
By comparison, the Acropolis citadel itself drew just over 990,000 people last year after being hit with several strike shutdowns in a broader protest movement against unpopular austerity cuts imposed by the debt-hit government.
Inaugurated in June 2009, the new museum includes a section reserved for the disputed Parthenon Marbles, currently at the British Museum in London.
Greece has long pursued a campaign for the return of the priceless friezes, removed in 1806 by Lord Elgin when Greece was occupied by the Ottoman Empire, which the British Museum refuses to repatriate.
The Greek statistics authority said overall attendance in 2010 had increased by 11.5 percent at the country's museums and fallen by 7.1 percent at archaeological sites.
Museum income increased by 31.7 percent compared to the same 12-month period in 2009 while site revenues dropped by 8.8 percent, Esa said.
Tourism proceeds are a major source of income for Greece which is battling to emerge from recession after a narrow brush with bankruptcy last year.
The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food
£240 - £275 per day: Investigo: Support the global business through in-depth a...
Negotiable: Ashdown Group: Data Manager - MySQL, Shell Scripts, Java, VB Scrip...
£27000 - £32000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Application Support Analyst - near S...
£23000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This successful group of compan...