From Atlanta to the Acropolis
George Doyle IV, a civil engineering major, first learned of the work of the Acropolis Restoration Service (YSMA) when he participated in the Art and Architecture in Greece and Italy Study Abroad program in 2014. Three years later, he became the third Georgia Tech student to make contributions to the Acropolis.
The Greece and Italy Study Abroad Program, led by the School of Architecture’s Thanos Economou, offers a seven-week, on-site, immersive study of cities, buildings, sculpture, and painting from the Bronze Age to the pre-industrial city in Greece and Italy. Doyle found his passion for history and ancient architecture particularly enriched when the program visited the Acropolis to hear a guest lecture by Petros Georgopoulos, a sculptor with YSMA.
"To me, the Acropolis is one of — if not the — most important monuments in all of Western civilization,” Doyle said. “YSMA's continuous restoration efforts are a service not only to the people of Greece, but to the people of the free world. Being a part of such a momentous effort has been an incredible personal experience for me."
Doyle participated in YSMA’s efforts as a member of the Parthenon Restoration Service and spent two months working on the rock.
YSMA has directed restorations at the Acropolis since 1976, with a goal to repair damage to the monuments, which has occurred over the centuries as a result of natural, historical, and unintended mistakes from prior interventions. The current restoration is characterized by multidisciplinary, long-term research efforts involving mechanical, chemical, biological, artistic, architectural, engineering, and archaeological techniques, earning the team global recognition for their contributions to the monuments and various disciplines.
Doyle’s tasks included creating educational presentations on the Parthenon for English-speaking students and tourists, transcribing YSMA’s restoration processes into a simplified Gantt Chart for better visual representation, hand-drafting new mechanical parts for a mechanism used in YSMA's marble member transportation process, learning to sculpt Pentelic marble from sculptors whose techniques come from the legendary school on the Greek island of Tinos, and applying these techniques to three marble members who will be installed back onto the Parthenon.
His story is one of many that come from students participating in study abroad programs. Students interested in the Art and Architecture in Greece and Italy program, or other programs, should attend the Study Abroad Fair on Tuesday, Oct. 3, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Student Center Ballroom to learn more about upcoming opportunities.
An info session for the Art and Architecture in Greece and Italy program will take place Wednesday, Oct. 4, at 6 p.m. in Room 259, West Architecture Building.