Work on the road and the site has made the Marathon archaeological site unrecognizable as it undergoes refurbishment. As for the museum within the site, scheduled to be ready in June, work has begun on the walkways and planting is in progress. The Iroon, a later monument where wreaths were laid in memory of the victory, is about to be shifted.
The 4-5-hectare expanse, which includes the tomb and the museum, will be a low-key archaeological site. A three-dimensional plaque will provide information, depicting the topography of the Battle of Marathon in relief and the archaeological site.
The museum is also slated for extension, but not until after the Olympic Games. The Gate from the farm of Herod Atticus at Oinoi will be set up outside the museum, on display to the public for the first time.
Meanwhile, a new roof is being constructed to cover all three tombs at Vrana. Excavation is continuing at Brexiza. Casts of the Egyptian statues have been made for the site, and the originals will be on display at the Marathon museum. And as of spring, visitors to Kerameikos will no longer see the immense German archaeological storehouse but just a terrace and railings that match the rest. Wood factories in the area have been demolished to make a small park where marble architectural elements and sarcophagi will be placed.
The Delphi Museum is to open in April, and the Treasury of the Athenians will be restored by summer.
Meanwhile, government last month blamed the judiciary for delays in construction of the new Acropolis Museum, a senior project official said there are contingency plans should the building not be ready – even as a shell – in six months’ time.
Athens had initially planned to have the 94-million-euro museum in place for the Olympics, hoping to shame the British Museum into complying with Greece’s demand for the return of the Parthenon, or Elgin, Marbles. However, some 20 months after the foundations were supposed to have been laid under the Acropolis, nothing has materialized.