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Last Updated: Monday, 15 October 2007, 08:31 GMT 09:31 UK
In pictures: Sculptures moved from Acropolis

Crane alongside the Acropolis

The Greek authorities have begun using cranes to winch thousands of ancient sculptures housed in a museum on the Acropolis to a new museum below.

Glass from the new Acropolis Museum reflects the Parthenon

Over the next few months, 4,500 antiquities will be carried the 400 metres (yards) to the new site.

Curator walking past wrapped statues

The marbles, most of which date from the Fifth and Sixth Centuries BC, have been insured for 400m euros (280m).

Container being winched onto museum roof

Last week a number of unworked marble slabs were lifted off the hilltop as the system was tested.

Parthenon frieze sculpture in container

When it came to start moving the real thing, the marbles were carefully packed in polystyrene and wood before being placed in metal crates.

Workmen moving crate

Crews in three cranes moved a 2.3-ton section of the frieze which once adorned the hill's largest temple, the Parthenon.

Crowd watching crate arrive

Down below crowds had gathered to watch the historic event.

Crate containing Parthenon frieze section being opened

Once safely in situ, the crates were opened and the rich carvings inspected.

New Acropolis museum

Greek officials hope the new site will boost the country's long campaign for the return of the Elgin Marbles.

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