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National Archaeological Museum is under staffed

Hello everyone,

I just wanted to send out a quick FYI about the National Archaeological Museum in Athens. I visited it this morning (Jan 20th 2016) and was looking forward to the Rick Steves Audio Europe App Walking Tour. I did The Acropolis walking tour the day before as was very pleased so naturally I was looking forward to this tour. I found out that the museum is grossly under staff, and because of this large portions of the museum is closed. Because of the closures almost 1/2 of Ricks walking audio tour is not accessible.

If you reference the maps provided for the walking tour (https://www.ricksteves.com/watch-read-listen/audio/audio-tours/map-audiotours-athens-nam.pdf) the points of interest number 3, 10 & 13-20 can not reached due to closed off areas. There are also a number of other areas that are not covered by Ricks walking tour that are closed off as well.

With that in mind you will need to determine if it is worth the 7 euro entry fee.

Hope that helps someone out.

Matthew K

Posted by
683 posts

What a shame! That is such an amazing collection. I hope the Acropolis Museum is adequately staffed.

Posted by
3333 posts

The Acropolis Museum is a nonprofit non-state institution thus not dependent on public funds ... we all know how pressed the Greek economy is now, so Athens is fortunate that there are other museums functioning such as the Cycladic Museum and the several Benaki Museums as well. For anyone visiting Athens at ANY time, I recommend print-take this valuable list of all museums AND ancient/modern sites-= http://www.athensinfoguide.com/open.htm -- giving hours & admission policies, so in case of any disruptions there still are plenty of things to discover & enjoy.

Posted by
6606 posts

What a disappointment to lose nearly half the museum on your visit! When we visited in October the Cycladic section was closed but the rest of the museum was open. These gallery closures are undoubtedly due to staffing cutbacks under the austerity policies Greece has adopted under creditor pressure. We found some other closures, like the Islamic art museum, and shortened hours in various places in Athens and elsewhere. Tourism is so important to Greece's economy that they're tried to keep it going smoothly, but even the tourist bubble can't go unscathed when unemployment is 25%.

As for whether the rest of the museum is worth 7 euros to enter, I'd say emphatically yes. Also, keep in mind that any closures due to short-staffing will rotate among the galleries, and perhaps even through different parts of the day or week. And God knows they need our euros!

Hope the rest of your trip is going well.