The museum was a fitting end to our short visit to the country. We visited lots of ancient sites as well as the Acropolis the day before.
When we approached the Acropolis Museum, Kim and I were surprised by how many police officers seemed to be standing outside.
As we got closer, we noticed lots of black cars parked along both sides of the road.
I immediately said “maybe the President of Greece is visiting” to Kim. However, I didn’t notice any cars with the country’s flag at the front. I then thought it might be a senator or someone else of importance.
Once we got inside, I didn’t think anything of the police presence or cars outside.
When you enter the first floor’s exhibits, if you try to take a photo you’ll be told that no pictures are allowed on that floor or the right half of the second floor….
We started wandering around. During that time, one of the museum employees told another guest about the no photos policy and he got relatively annoyed… Then I saw a group coming through the second floor, no photo area…
One woman led the way with her phone out snapping photos. For some reason, none of the many museum employees made a comment to her. I decided to inquire and ask why this was OK.
The woman I questioned turned to go say something and then turned came back towards me very fast. Quietly she said, “I don’t know, but they’re with the president of the museum”. Case closed I guess…
Soon after, the crowd got closer to me and as it did, a relatively large man with an ear piece came over to me and asked me to not go towards the middle of the room for now. I then noticed a credential on it which had the Irish flag.
We started chatting a bit so I figured that there wasn’t any reason to ask who was being shown around. To my surprise, he was happy to share the info. He told me the President of Ireland was being given a tour.
While chatting, I asked if I could take a photo with the president. The man smiled and said sure but it would have to be when he left the museum. He went on to tell me how the president, Michael D. Higgins liked visiting museums…I walked away to check out some more exhibits and then the president and his entourage came towards me again. I decided to pull out my phone and snap a couple of photos really fast.
The same security officer was close to me and got angry! He said that the museum does not want photos in this area etc… I apologized and decided to walk away.
As the president headed towards the side which allowed photos, I stayed on the other side with Kim, Theo and Lucas. I assumed that the president was just beginning his museum visit.
Then I noticed this.From a large window, on the other side of the second floor, I saw the president saying his goodbyes at the top of the entrance. It was too late to go outside and try to get a photo with a world leader!
I stood by the window with Lucas, watching President Higgins get into a black Mercedes and get driven away.
While I didn’t get a photo with the president, it was still pretty cool to be at the museum, just 10 feet away from a world leader.
Around 8 years back , I randomly got to meet the president of Turkey at Ephesus. I wonder which president I’ll run into next!