New Acropolis Museum picks up award in London

08 November 2010, London

THE WINNERS of the UK travel trade’s most prestigious annual tourism project awards were announced at the British Guild of Travel Writers’ Annual Gala Awards Dinner held at the Savoy in London on November 07, on the eve of the World Travel Market.

The event is the UK’s premier occasion for the travel industry to recognise the world's most innovative and newest tourism projects following nominations from members of the Guild, the premier professional association for bonafide journalists, editors, photographers, and radio and film broadcasters working in the travel field from Britain.

The Guild Tourism Awards presented for successful and environmentally sustainable projects that benefit local communities, are highly coveted.

The evening was attended by more than 300 of the UK’s top travel media professionals as well as high-profile representatives of the international travel world.

Globe category

The winner of the Globe Category (receiving more than 250,000 visitors a year), nominated by Nigel Tisdall, was the new Acropolis Museum in Athens, built to replace the old museum which has done an admirable job since 1865, but was short of space. In 2001 a competition was held to build a new museum - one ten times larger and fit for the 21st century. The competition was won by a Swiss architect, Bernard Tschumi, and  the new Acropolis Museum opened in June 2009.

Bright and spacious, the new museum lies at the foot of the Acropolis and has already attracted over two million visitors - many are amazed by the perfection of its design and the beauty of the artworks within. Built on three levels like disjointed slabs, the galleries use locally-sourced marble and recyclable glass and steel, and make ingenious use of convection to reduce the need for air conditioning. Wheelchair-friendly with 14,000 square metres of exhibition space, it rarely feels crowded. Signage is commendably unintrusive and visitors can walk right round its marvellous sculptures, with the changing daylight creating a contemplative atmosphere.

Melissa Shales, Chairman of the British Guild of Travel Writers presents the Globe Award to Greek Deputy Minister for Culture & Tourism George Nikitiades.