Arts and Design

Acropolis wow: replica Parthenon to be built at National Gallery of Victoria

A small piece of Melbourne is set to become a mini-Acropolis, with a replica of the Parthenon to be installed at the National Gallery of Victoria this spring and covered with large-scale murals by local artists.

The Temple of Boom was recently announced as the NGV architecture commission for 2022, an annual series that invites Australian architects to create temporary structures for the gallery’s garden.

Last year, a pink pond was installed for visitors of the gallery to wade through. In previous years there has been a tower, an amphitheatre, an open-air maze and a pink car-wash inspired playground.

Artist render of Temple of Boom
A reimagining of the Parthenon on the Acropolis in Athens is the NGV architecture commission for 2022. Photograph: Render courtesy of Adam Newman and Kelvin Tsang.

As with its predecessors, Temple of Boom will host a summer-long program of performances, live music and other events at the NGV.

The name Temple of Boom was inspired by the vibrations of music.

Created by artists Adam Newman and Kelvin Tsang, the Temple of Boom is about a third of the size of the Parthenon, the ancient temple that sits atop the Acropolis in Athens, Greece.

Melbourne artists will be invited to paint murals on the structure, taking inspiration from the vibrant colours and artistic embellishments that were a feature of the Parthenon more than 2,000 years ago.

Victoria’s minister for creative industries, Steve Dimopoulos, said the installation would “breathe new life” into the Parthenon.

“There is something very special and moving about visiting the Parthenon but fundamentally, it’s a museum piece,” he said.

“This will be something quite different and I would say equally special, where you can interact with it, you can walk through it, have a drink nearby on a nice summer night and Melbourne and Victoria can represent itself on its facade.”

The NGV director, Tony Ellwood, described the Parthenon as one of the most famous examples of classical architecture.

“[It] is often viewed as a potent symbol of western art and culture,” he said. “This thought-provoking work by Adam Newman and Kelvin Tsang invites us to consider how we create and imbue architecture with meaning, as well as how this meaning can shift across time periods and cultures.”

Melbourne is home to the largest Greek population outside Greece.


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