Greek long-delayed Acropolis museum to open in 2007

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After years of delays, legal wrangles and cost overruns, Greece hopes to open its Acropolis Museum by the end of 2007, Culture Minister George Voulgarakis said on Tuesday.

"It is our ambition that by 2007 the museum will be open to visitors," he told journalists after touring the half-finished building near the ancient hilltop temples of the Acropolis.

Greece had hoped to open the museum before the 2004 Olympics to push its claim for the return of the 5th-century BC Parthenon marbles, widely known as the Elgin marbles, from the British Museum.

But after decades on the drawing board, the museum is now three years behind schedule and, at a projected final cost of 129 million euros (89.3 million pounds), 25 percent over budget.

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