GREECE TO OPEN NEW ACROPOLIS MUSEUM IN JUNE

ATHENS, Greece: Greek officials say a new museum showcasing masterpieces from the Acropolis will be inaugurated this summer after long delays.

Culture Minister Antonis Samaras said Friday the opening ceremony will be on June 20. Initially, Greece had planned to open the museum ahead of the 2004 Athens Olympics.

The new glass and concrete museum under the Acropolis is a centerpiece of Greece's campaign for the return of the Elgin — or Parthenon — Marbles from the British Museum in London.

The British Museum has repeatedly refused to relinquish the 2,500-year-old sculptures, which formed part of the Parthenon Temple's decoration until their removal to Britain 200 years ago.

Greek officials say the €129 million (US$166 million) new building will allow all the surviving Parthenon sculptures to be displayed together.