Photographs of the Athenian Acropolis: The Restoration Project

restoration project acropolis

Photographs of the Athenian Acropolis: The Restoration Project

Traveling Exhibition


Photographs of the Athenian Acropolis: The Restoration Project, was an exhibition featuring photography by Socratis Mavrommatis, the chief photographer of the Acropolis Restoration Service. The exhibition was a remarkable collection of photographs documenting the interventions and transformations of Acropolis monuments since 1975.

Photographs of the Acropolis have usually been idealistic renderings and dramatizations of the subject, romantically emphasizing the beauty of the abandoned site and its damaged condition. The photographs of the restoration work carried out on the monuments, by contrast, show them as they are, as close to reality as possible. The exhibition images, photographically printed in black and white on large panels that also contain descriptive text, are chronologically arranged and depict four key areas of the restoration effort: the rationale for preservation, the preparation for intervention, the main restoration work in process, and images of the monuments themselves. The photographs include large panoramic shots of the buildings, sometimes encased in scaffolding; close-ups of architectural features such as columns, cornices and friezes; documentation of damage by pollution, explosions and other factors; and the disassembly and reconstruction of some of the monuments.

The exhibition opened in Athens at the renowned Benaki Museum in October 2002, and traveled to Thessaloniki, Brussels, Paris, Rome and London. The North American tour was organized by the Thomas J. Walsh Art Gallery, Fairfield University.