As far as its content is concerned, it can easily be considered one of the most significant museums in the world. But lately, the National Archaeological Museum of Athens had been sidelined by the newer – and architecturally acclaimed – Acropolis Museum. Now a series of initiatives have managed to turn the tide and the museum –which treasures some of the most important exhibits of the ancient classical world – has seen its visitors gradually increase, to the point of 2017 becoming a record year, with 545,565 tickets sold – marking a rise of 18.4 per cent.
Among the programs that were designed to attract more visitors was the much lauded exhibition ‘Odysseys’, which opened in 2016 and is still on, as well as the ‘Unseen Museum’, an initiative that allows visitors access to the museum’s restoration laboratories and other ‘backstage’ areas. More activities of this kind, as well as thematic exhibitions, are expected in 2018, reaffirming the museum’s position in the touristic and cultural map of Athens and the world. The museum has also expanded its collaboration with international organisations, hosting international research programs (103 in 2017 alone) and offering various exhibits on loan to museums and cultural institutions in Europe, Asia, and the US.