NOVA PBS

Restoring the Ruin

back | 1 of 12 | next

van de Passe

Undoing past doings
Before the restoration team could begin, they had to take apart, block by block, and repair nearly every piece of the Parthenon. That's because early restorers, most notoriously a Greek engineer named Nikaloas Balanos who led restorations from the late 1800s to the mid-1900s, put column drums and whole blocks back in the wrong place. Even more damaging, Balanos used iron clamps like the one seen here to hold blocks together. The ancient Greeks had done the same, but they had coated their iron with lead to prevent rusting. Balanos's uncovered clamps corroded and expanded, cracking and even destroying the marble.


Secrets of the Parthenon homepage | NOVA homepage

NOVAPBS