Nikolaos Balanos

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Nikolaos Balanos in the front of the Parthenon frieze

Nikolaos Balanos (Greek: Νικόλαος Μπαλάνος, 1869 in Athens – 22 September 1943) was a Greek architect.[note 1]


After studying at the Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées in Paris, he became Director of the Technical Department of the Greek Ministry of Public Instruction. He then worked on the consolidation and restoration by anastylosis, of the monuments of the Acropolis of Athens, following the earthquake in May 1893. He then uses only the existing stones and uses a material And ancient techniques. On the other hand, its use of reinforced concrete will create heated controversy. In 1932, at the 350th anniversary of the University of Würzburg, he was named Doctor honoris causa, of the Faculty of Arts.


A major renovation effort was launched in 1894 in the Parthenon. Nikolaos Balanos, the chief engineer, is responsible for the restoration, and is launching a long-term project to reinforce the interior walls, replace some of the sculptures removed by Lord Elgin, and some colonnades lost in the 26 September explosion 1687, during the Morea War (1684-1699). The work will be completed in 1933 [1] Unfortunately, defenders of the modern heritage believe that Balanos is responsible for more damage to the Parthenon than to have benefited him. It made little effort to replace the blocks in their initial positions, and thus, compromised its structural integrity. Worse, he added iron clamps to secure the masonry. Unlike leaded iron, used by the ancient Greeks, the metal clamps used by Balanos were exposed to the elements and eventually corroded. The expansion of rusty iron has caused irreparable damage to most of the cracked building materials[2]


  • The Anasilosis on the North Side of the Parthenon (1936) ( Η αναστήλωση της βόρειας κιονοστοιχίας του Παρθενώνα )
  • The Erechteum , in American School Monograph , 1927
  • The Monuments of the Acropolis , Ταμνημεία της Ακροπόλεως, αποτύπωση και συντήρηση ), 1928


  • American Journal of Archaeology, July–September 1943, pp. 331 (obituary)
  • Eve Gran-Aymerich, The researchers of the past , CNRS Publishing, 2007, pp. 574–575


  1. ^ "Parthenon 1687". Retrieved 28 February 2017.
  2. ^ PBS (18 August 2015). "Secrets of the Parthenon".


  1. ^ A second restoration campaign, since the 1980s, attempts to correct the errors previously committed by Balanos: drums and capitals of the 46 columns, replaced in the right place, iron clamps replaced by titanium elements. This work is based on the research of the Greek architect Manolis Korres (ru). Initially planned for a decade, the renovation campaign should finally end for 2020, with a budget of $ 100 million.
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