Work of Orlandos

One of the protagonists to report against Balanos' plans, was Anastasios Orlandos,

Figure 7.6 Temple of Nike in Athens after the second restoration in the 1930s

Figure 7.8 A detail of ancient marble restored by Balanos showing the cut in original material for the insertion of new stone and an iron cramp who became the leading archaeologist, Professor of Greek archaeology, and Balanos' successor on the Acropolis. In 1915, he published his comments, based on careful measurements of each stone and on mathematical calculations of their ideal positions in the construction. Comparing his results with the work of Ross, Schaubert and Hansen, with their measured drawings, and with the measured drawings of M. Philippe Le Bas (Ross, Schaubert and Hansen, 1839; Le Bas, 1888), he was able to point out various mistakes (Orlandos, 1915:27ff). Orlandos main

Figure 7.8 A detail of ancient marble restored by Balanos showing the cut in original material for the insertion of new stone and an iron cramp tained that Ross had rejected a number of blocks in the cella walls due to some defect, which Orlandos had been able to collect and use to complete his observations. His studies revealed that many blocks had been placed in the wrong course or incorrect order, sometimes even upside down. Also some measurements were mistaken.

In 1933, it was noticed that the rock on which the bastion was standing was detached from the rest. Cracks were visible in the western front of the bastion reaching up to the base of the temple and the front was leaning outwards. In the temple there was an irregular settlement on the southern side. Consequently, it was decided to consolidate the bastion, and for this purpose also to dismantle and re-erect the temple of Nike. The work started in 1935 under the direction of Balanos and continued until 1940 when it was concluded by Orlandos. The temple was completely dismantled except for the foundations and the lower step of the base on the north side. During the excavation, the remains were found of an earlier temple on the same site. The temple was now built directly on the rock, and the archaeological remains inside the bastion were made accessible. On the insistence of Orlandos, special attention was given to placing each element in its proper position, more than in any of the earlier works on the Acropolis. When Balanos retired in March 1939, the lower part of the temple was 'fixed and leaded' definitively. The rest remained for Orlandos to complete.

Concerning the lacunae, i.e., the losses, Orlandos preferred to complete them in old rather than new marble, because 'its appearance harmonized with the antique sculptures' (Orlandos, 1947-1948:26). Similarly, broken columns were reintegrated in marble, repeating the fluting (as opposed to the unfluted blocks preferred by Ross), and the block with simple geometrical forms earlier used to mark a lost capital was replaced with an exact replica. The blocks were fixed together using cramps of an H-form (308 mm long). The terracotta casts of the first reconstruction were so blackened by this time that they were replaced with new casts in white cement, offered by the British Museum. Here again, much more attention was paid to the final aesthetic result, even though the lacunae were filled in with blatantly diverse materials. G. Ph. Stevens, who made a study of the Erechtheum, had discovered fragments that belonged to the cornice of the temple of Nike (Stevens, 1908:398). Accordingly, these fragments were placed in position with some reintegration in order to show the form of the original. Significantly, these new fragments showed traces of painted decoration, fuelling the discussion regarding colour in classical architecture. The second anastylosis of the temple of Nike was completed by the end of September 1940, revealing the temple again to the public, and providing a new appearance to this beautiful building, which - like the Arch of Titus - had become one of the symbols of modern restoration.

Was this article helpful?

0 0

Post a comment