True Colors

When we look at a Greek statue or temple we have to squint our eyes sometimes at the brilliance of the white marble. We have come to associate all Greek temples and sculptures as white. Nothing is further from the truth.

Ancient Greeks and their society loved color and they used color readily to beautify their spaces and express their opinions and ideas. Color constituted a way to characterize various attributes. Blonde hair projected power; brown skin was a sign of virtue and valor while white skin expressed the grace and radiance of youth.

The Parthenon was once a splash of red, blue and green as was discovered recently by chemical engineer Evi Papakonstantinou-Zioti during a routine laser cleaning of the marbles for restoration works.


The statues of the Parthenon once had crisp saturated colors, bright garments, and brilliant jewelry creating a singular aesthetic pleasure which made the archaic statues wonderful to behold for the people of the period.

Using very careful observation, special photography sessions and spectroscopic analysis specialists plan to digitally recreate the original colors of antiquity and present them to the public at the Acropolis Museum.

As of July 31 2012 and for the next twelve months the Acropolis Museum will be offering a series of very interesting presentations, public discussions and activities for kids on scheduled days and times to the public and plans to open an extensive discussion with the public and various experts on color, its technical issues, its detection using new technologies, its experimental use on marble surfaces, its digital reconstruction, its meaning, as well as the archaic period’s aesthetic perception of color.

You can visit the Museum with our Acropolis, City Tour & Museum Tour and imagine how it all was thousands of years ago!

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