Athen's attico metro as museum space: attitudes and perceptions of visitors

Eirini Remboutsika
Irene Nakou

The construction of Athens Metro undoubtedly constitutes a great project for the city of Athens, since its main aim was the improvement of citizens’ quality of life. What makes this project unique, however, is that through the completion of the largest archaeological excavation, that has taken place, so far in the Athenian subsoil new findings were revealed which revise, reconstruct and complete the existing knowledge about the History of city. The great value of this project lies, also, in the fact that the new knowledge was directly provided for everyone through the creation of permanent museum exhibitions in stations with the discovered artifacts. Besides, the exhibitions of ancient artifacts, there has been a considerable effort in the aesthetic framing of the stations, of Athens Metro, with works of art by contemporary Greek artists.  The purpose of the present study was to explore public attitudes and perceptions of the permanent museum exhibitions, at five stations of Athens Metro, that is Syntagma, Monastiraki, Akropoli, Evangelismos and Egaleo. The study was realized, on a sample, of 194 passengers/visitors of the permanent exhibitions and 234, 7th and 8th graders, from 2 public secondary schools of Athens. Through the present study, it became clear, that the public has positively accepted the idea of exhibiting antiquities and works of contemporary Greek art in the stations. The results of the study revealed, both positive and negative elements of interpretive planning of permanent exhibitions and raised questions, about redesigning and improving the communication and educational policy, that is implemented in the exhibition areas of the Athens Metro.