ATHENS – While the marbles stolen off the Parthenon some 200 years ago are still in the British Museum and likely never to return, they are on display now through a new application that lets viewers see them in their entirety.
The Acropolis Museum is now showing a synthesis of the entire Parthenon frieze, the 160 meter-long (525-foot) relief sculpture that adorned the upper part of the inner temple (cella), in an upgraded version of the web application www.parthenonfrieze.gr.
In a report, Kathimerini wrote about how the ancient glory can be seen, if not in person, although a new Acropolis Museum opened in 2009 and set aside a glass-walled top floor with a view of the Parthenon to put back the stolen pieces.
Since they haven’t been returned and the British Museum keeps finding more reasons why they shouldn’t – while claiming the Greek treasures are British property – the app shows what they looked like with the frieze before the theft.
The iconic frieze, sculpted between c. 443 and 437 BC, depicts the Great Panathenaia, a religious festival that celebrated the birth of the Athena, patron goddess of ancient Athens.
Made of Pentelic marble and depicting 378 figures and 245 animals, the high relief sculpture originally encircled the four sides of the cella, starting in the southwest corner, the report noted.
Only 128 meters (420 feet) of the original frieze survives, with another 75 meters (246 feet) stolen by Scottish diplomat Lord Elgin – who said he had the permission of the ruling Ottoman Empire which didn’t own – in the British Museum.
The 50 meters (64 feet) remainding is at the Acropolis Museum in Athens, while one block is on display in the Louvre – which won’t return them – and several fragments are in museum collections across Europe.
Available in Greek and English, the upgraded version of the app incorporates a series of new functions, enhancing user experience, and is fully accessible through mobile phones, laptops and computers, said the report.
The app gives the general public a way to see the frieze in its historical context, its general design and construction, and allows users to explore individual blocks on the four sides of the temple, or take six thematic tour of its scenes.
The app also features an in-depth guide to the Parthenon, presenting architectural drawings and diagrams, and videos.