Article

Parthenon

Jenifer Neils

in Classics

ISBN: 9780195389661
Published online June 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780195389661-0070
Parthenon

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The Parthenon, the largest and most highly decorated temple of Athena on the Acropolis of Athens, and its sculptures have been the subject of European scholarship since James Stuart and Nicholas Revett visited the site in 1751, with the first monograph devoted to the complex published by Adolf Michaelis in 1870–1871 (Michaelis 1870–1871, cited under General Overviews). Subsequent scholarship has been largely divided between architectural studies and those devoted to the temple’s sculptural program. Parthenon studies are a growth industry owing in part to the Parthenon Projekt under the direction of Ernst Berger and to the extensive restoration of the building, which has been taking place since 1984 under the direction of the architect Manolis Korres and others. In the Basler Skulpturhalle, Berger assembled plaster casts of nearly all the sculptural fragments (opened in 1979), and his systematic publications based on these casts are major scholarly and bibliographic contributions to the field. Korres’s work has resulted in many new architectural discoveries (e.g., a shrine in the north peristyle, windows, a possible second Ionic frieze over the entrance). The application of modern technologies (laser cleaning, computer simulations, special photography) has resulted in new readings of the building and its decoration, but controversy still exists regarding the Parthenon’s exact purpose and the meaning of much of its imagery. The opening of the Acropolis Museum in 2009 reignited the question regarding the legitimate home of the Parthenon marbles (London or Athens), and thus the so-called Elgin marble debate continues unabated.

Article.  11331 words. 

Subjects: Classical Studies ; Classical Art and Architecture ; Classical History ; Classical Literature ; Classical Philosophy

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