Conserving the Caryatids

Friday, 28 January, 2011 - Wednesday, 18 June, 2014

The Acropolis Museum commenced the conservation and restoration of the Caryatids, the Kore from the south porch of the Erechtheion temple. The project documents the current condition of the statues and focuses on fixing unstable segments of the marble statues, their structural restoration, removal of the corrosive factors and cleaning of layers of atmospheric pollutants with the use of laser technology. 

The Museum has chosen not to move the Caryatids from the Museum galleries for these works, avoiding the risks to the exhibits entailed in an additional move but also to provide visitors with the opportunity to observe procedures that until recently were undertaken in the conservation laboratories.

Conservation is undertaken using an innovative laser technique especially developed for the project by the Acropolis Museum and the Institute of Electronic Structure & Laser at the Foundation for Research and Technology in Crete. The purpose specific designed platform isolates one sculpture at a time while visitors are protected during working hours by the safety curtains. When laser works stop the curtains are then removed to reveal the sculptures and restoration works.

The Acropolis Museum was awarded for this innovative program by the International Institute for Conservation (IIC) in Vienna, with the Keck Award 2012. Read more here.