The new Acropolis Museum is a fact! It sits near the base of the Acropolis with a direct view of the Parthenon and is one of the highest-profile cultural projects undertaken in Europe in this decade.

The Director-General of UNESCO, Mr. Koichiro Matsuura, accompanied by the Goodwill Ambassador of UNESCO, Mrs. Marianna V. Vardinoyannis.

The new facility, 25.000 square meters of glass and concrete, with exhibition space of over 14.000 square meters, designed by the New York-based architect Bernard Tschumi, replaces the old Acropolis Museum, a 1874 building at the rock of the Acropolis next to the Parthenon.

The Museum was inaugurated on June 20th 2009 by the President of the Hellenic Republic Mr. Karolos Papoulias and the Prime Minister of Greece Mr. Kostas Karamanlis.

Apart from the President and the Prime Minister, the inauguration ceremony was addressed by the President of the European Commission Mr. Jose Manuel Barroso, the Director-General of UNESCO Mr. Koichiro Matsuura, and the Greek Minister of Culture Mr. Antonis Samaras. After the addresses, the President of the Acropolis Museum, Prof. Dimitris Pantermalis, made the presentation of the museum.

The Director-General of UNESCO, Mr. Matsuura, was accompanied by the President of the Foundation and UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador, Mrs. Marianna V. Vardinoyannis.

Through various initiatives Mrs. Vardinoyannis strongly supports the campaign for the return of the Parthenon Marbles to Greece. The inauguration of the new Museum opens new pathways and is the strongest argument for repatriating the Marbles.

The event was also attended by several Heads of States, the Greek Government, the Leader of the Opposition Mr. George Papandreou, ambassadors, parliamentarians, businessmen, etc.