Hadrian's Arch set for make-over
January 29th, 2002
ATHENS, Greece -- Hadrian's Arch, located at the foot of the Acropolis, once separated the old from the new in the city of Athens. Now restorers hope to help the ancient gateway regain some of its former glory.
Scaffolding is wrapped around half of the Roman monument, with archaeologists examining the Pentelic marble arch to determine the best method of restoring, cleaning and protecting it.
"Restorers will study the problem of pollution that has settled on the arch and how this could be removed in the most painless way," Dimosthenis Giraud, who heads the restoration effort, told The Associated Press.
The monument's central arch is supported by columns crowned with Corinthian capitals. Two inscriptions are carved on the architrave, one on each side.
On the side towards the Acropolis the inscription says: "This is Athens, the ancient city of Theseus." The side facing the new city reads: "This is the city of Hadrian and not of Theseus."
The results of this sample will provide an indication of what is needed to carry out work on the whole arch, Giraud said. The results will then be presented to the Central Archaeological Council, which will give the go-ahead for the actual restoration.