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Athens guide » Sightseeings » Metro

During the large-scale excavations carried out with state-of- the-art instruments for the long awaited Athens Metro, more incredibly interesting ancient monuments and artifacts have surfaced. The Metro, although only partly finished, has greatly improved the life of Athenian commuters. But besides providing stress-free transportation, it has also created several underground museums at most of the new stations. At Syntagma, for example, one can admire the stunning cross-section of the ground, illustrating the various eras that once flourished in Athens. There are also cases of ancient objects found during the work on the station. Many people also are drawn particularly to the turn-of-the-century photographs of Syntagma square, which speak louder than words about the changes the capital of Greece has undergone in its most recent past. At the newer Acropolis station, visitors can admire a different permanent exhibit: copies of the Parthenon's eastern frieze, wonderfully depicting goddess Athena's creation, together with many other of the most important Parthenon sculptures that enrich the British Museum of London. The station pays homage to the late Melina Mercouri, the well-known actress who - as Minister of Culture - had made it her life s goal to get these so-called Elgin Marbles back to Athens. Melina is shown sitting in front of the Parthenon in a large photograph, while another most impressive picture on display at the station shows hundreds of ancient vases being unearthed as the huge crane moved the earth while digging for the station.
Syntagma station It is not only the works of the various ancient creators and craftsmen that adorn the various stations of the Athens Metro. The compositions of modern, well-known Greek artists may also be admired. Yannis Moralis work can be seen at Panepistimiou
station, Zongolopoulos flying umbrellas hang at an atrium on the Syntagma stop, Chryssa's creation is at Evangelismos, while at Dafni, Dimitris Mytaras bas-reliefs inspired by the 4th century BC depiction of the fighter Dexileos cover an area 3 x 11 meters and dominate the station. These are just an example of the many important artworks that can be admired at the Metro stops, which have created small underground art museums in various parts of the city, forcing even commuters who would never consider going to an art gallery or museum to get a glimpse of what they have been missing.

Froscoes and sculptures at Syntagma station

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See also: museums, nightlife, Athens transportation

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