General News: State takes over Petralona Cave Museum

The public sector has finally taken control of the Petralona Cave Museum, until recently managed by the Anthropological Society of Greece, after several legal battles stretched over a period of 35 years.
The foundation and operation of the museum by the state sector was approved during a session of the Museums' Council on Wednesday.
The museum is located 50 metres south of the entrance of the Petralona Cave, on the largest and most important caverns in Greece. It was built to house the important paleontological finds discovered within the cave, which date back 300,000 to 600,000 years ago.

These include a hominin skull found entirely accidentally in 1960 that is believed to belong to a species that was a transitional stage between Homo erectus and Homo sapiens.

First founded by the Greek Anthopological Society in 1978, the museum receives roughly 70,000 visitors a year but some of the exhibits on show are considered particularly controversial.

The exhibits include paintings, neolithic tools, fossilised sticks, reconstructions and objects of sometimes doubtful scientific accuracy and generally poor aesthetic quality.

For this reason the Central Archaeological Council recom-mended during a meeting on Tuesday that the exhibits inside and around the building be removed, including models of prehistoric animals in the museum courtyard.
A new exhibition will now have to be designed and approved by the Museums Council.

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