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Costas Kirykos Vasiliadis

Acropolis Museum

Head of Conservation Department and Casts

Country: Greece

ITP Year: 2014


Conservation of antiques has always been something creative, challenging and exciting for Costas. Through his studies and work experience he has had the chance to approach and work with various materials. Since 2001 he has been focusing on conservation of marble sculptures and ceramics. In particular, he is interested in the study of old interventions on sculptures as well as in designing mounts and bases for exhibitions. Researching colour traces on sculptures and the identification of pigments is a new topic he is passionate about, and currently working on at the Acropolis Museum. Since active conservation is currently a highly debated topic, he wishes to study diachronically the role of methodology and conservation policies in decision-making processes.

Since 2000 he has been conserving sculptures at the Acropolis Museum. Costas feels it is a highly demanding task which requires skills, a deep respect for and knowledge of the importance of the items, and an eye for detail. Having been involved in several research and exhibition projects, Costas is now coordinator of the Sculptures Conservation Laboratory, as well as senior laser conservator. In 2012 Costas’ team were given a Keck Award for their laser conservation of the Caryatides which was a great success for the team.

In June 2022, Costas became Head of Conservation Department and Casts.  He still works as a conservator but now has the additional responsibility for organizing the conservation team, all the actions of the department and its administrative work.

Most recently, Costas and his team finished the installation of the Temporary exhibition Meanings -Personifications and Allegories from Antiquity to Today, where a mix of objects travelled and came together from 19 Italian Museums, the British Museum, the Prado, Kunsthistorische of Vienna and many Greek Museums and collections

Currently, with the conservation team, Costas is organising a permanent exhibition at the excavation area under the Museum building, where more than 1000 findings will be exhibited from June 2024.

In September 2023, Costas was invited by the Palace Museum in Beijing to participate as a lecturer in a training programme dedicated to Laser technology for analysis and conservation of heritage objects, as part of “China-Greece Belt and Road Joint Laboratory on Cultural Heritage Conservation Technology”. There Costas gave lectures to Chinese professionals about the use of laser technology in the cleaning of marble sculptures.

Costas has contributed to the following publications:

  • ‘Scientific Investigations of the Polychrome on the Lyon Kore (ca. 540 BC)’ in Proceedings 7th Round Table in Ancient Sculpture and Architecture, Florence 2015
  • ‘Polychromy in Greek Sculpture’ in Olga Palagia (ed.) Handbook of Greek Sculpture, De Gruyter 2019
  • ‘Conservation and restoration of the Archaic Kore Acr.269’, PESA annual meeting, Athens 2023.

At the British Museum

During his time on the International Training Programme in 2014, Costas was based in the Greece and Rome Department and his partner placement was spent at Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums, Newcastle.

In 2014 participants were asked to prepare a project outlining an exhibition proposal based on the Asahi Shimbun Displays – a temporary exhibition in Room 3 at the British Museum.  Costas’ exhibition project proposal was entitled, Kekrops: the Great King of Athens.

Costas’ place on the programme was generously sponsored by the Dresden Fellowship.

Legacy Projects

In 2015 Costas was awarded a research fellowship by the State Museums of Dresden (SKD) where he worked on a project entitled The Conservation of a Standing Male Sculpture (Athlete).

In 2016 Costas was part of a team of ITP fellows who organised the workshop Talking Heavy in Istanbul. The workshop addressed current practices on site conservation, documentation and preservation of heavy heritage in the Mediterranean basin.