Greek officials on Sunday successfully moved the first of the ancient Acropolis' sculptural masterpieces from its hilltop home for the last 2,400 years to a new museum at the foot of the citadel.
Despite a strong breeze, three cranes lifted the 2.3-ton block, which originally stood high on the Parthenon temple, from an old museum on the rocky hill and carried it safely 400 meters to a new glass-and-concrete Acropolis Museum. The operation took more than 90 minutes.
"Conditions are very good, the wind is not a problem," said Alexandros Mantis, the archaeologist responsible for the world heritage site, before the start of the huge operation. "I am sure everything will go well."
The antiquities, mostly marble sculptures dating to the 6th and 5th centuries B.C., have been insured for US$567 million.