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CNN

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 arch stands by one of
Athens' busiest streets

"The restorers will see how to deal with serious cracks." 

Built in 131 A.D. by the Roman emperor Hadrian, the arch served as the gateway between the ancient Greek city of Athens and the newer section to the city. Now, it stands beside one of central Athens' busiest streets.
The 60-foot gate was made of marble mined on nearby Mount Penteli -- the same sort used for the Parthenon. 

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." 

Another series of Corinthian pillars -- similar but smaller than those of the neighbouring temple of Zeus -- tower over the top of the structure. 
Giraud said workers also have to figure out how to restore the structure's stability, because eight of the columns that adorned the monument were removed more than 250 years ago.
Studies are expected to take about three months, with experts examining sample areas of about half of the monument.

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.

 

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