The new restoration project, which is funded by the NSRF, includes an extensive program of interventions on the Parthenon.
The most important intervention relates to the west side of the monument, which was restored by N. Balanos during earlier restoration activities (1898-1902). The intervention aims:
a) to address the serious structural problems and deformations of this part of the monument, due to damages of the past, the oversights of previous restorations and the effect of earthquakes
b) to facilitate the structural restoration of most architectural parts and their supplement with new marble on several occasions, for reasons of structural adequacy.
The new study for the intervention was prepared by the architects B. Eleftheriou and V. Manidaki alongside the Engineer A. Vrouva.
In the restoration programme for 2011-2015 the intervention on the two corners of the west side of the monument has been included. Since 2011, a total of 111 architectural blocks have been dismantled. These will be reset on the monument after the completion of their structural reconstruction. During the same time, from the two corners of the monument, a total of seven metopes were dismantled and transported to the Acropolis Museum for their display and protection. Accurate copies in artificial stone have already been manufactured and will be placed on the monument as their replacement. Surface conservation is being carried out on all blocks that have been dismantled and on all blocks still in situ on the building. After structural restoration, the dismantled architectural members will be reset in their original positions on the monument. In order to detect the extent of shifting that may have occurred in the corner columns and especially in the fourth column of the west side during the process of dismantling and resetting, a monitoring system has been installed with optical fibre sensors.
Together with the works on the west side, restoration interventions are also under way at the orthostate and the first section of the cella’s north wall. The current programme relates to the restoration and resetting in their original positions of 15 ancient blocks from the exterior course of the orthostate. The structural restoration of most of the blocks has been completed and their resetting on the monument has been initiated. From the internal row of the orthostate, only one ancient block has been identified. Further blocks will be made of new marble and placed in positions that lack original material, so as to support the overlying sections of the wall. The remaining parts of the north and south walls will be restored in successive programmes. The restoration of the side walls of the cella is based on the intervention studies of N. Toganidis and K. Paraschi for the south wall and N. Toganidis and K. Matalas for the north wall. The implementation of this program will contribute to the recovery of the structure of the walls of the cella and the further enhancement of the architecture of the monument.
Current works on the Parthenon also include the completion of the carving of the flutes in the new marble additions of six columns of the north colonnade (4th – 9th columns from the east). This is the final processing of the surface of the drums made of new marble and requires highly skilled craftsmanship. Three of the SE columns have already been completed. Further surface processing activities covered by the current NSRF relate to the carving of the flutes in the additions of the two northernmost columns of the five restored columns of the Pronaos (East Porch).
Finally, due to begin are the reconstruction works of the lintel of the door of the west wall of the cella that had been restored by N. Balanos. In this phase, the two internal beams, parts of which are preserved, will be restored and complemented with new marble. In a successive phase, blocks of the upper part of the west wall, the westernmost lintel’s block still in situ and blocks of the upper parts of the doorway will be dismantled.