"In designing an experimental course offered to students in architecture, oneneed not necessarily utilize sophisticated techniques. Instead, one has only to"re-invent" a real life issue, immerse it in sound theoretical context andthen allow students to get trapped in a tough debate on architectural ethics.This is roughly what happened in a planning course offered by the author to4th year students in 1988-89. The forthcoming international competitionfor the new Acropolis Museum, officially announced in June'89, was the"issue" selected. Already a subject infested with ideological conflict inGreece, it offered students an opportunity to test the limits of conventionalthinking in architecture, while following alternative rules for the competi-tion.In brief, the creation of a new museum, to house the Acropolis marbles wasnecessitated by the rapid deterioration of the monument itself due to heavyatmospheric pollution. While the buildings themselves were to be restored,it was decided that all major works of art would be removed andsealed insidea museum, located as close as possible to the Acropolis site. Combined withthis was another effort yet by the Greek government to acquire the Elginmarbles, which would join the rest of the works of art inside the new mu-seum.The only prerequisite imposed on students was to allocate the new museuminside the Athens historical center which surrounds the Acropolis. Althoughtoo obvious a matter, such a larger scale approach had been consistently ig-nored by the competition brief throughout its long gestation period (1988-89).Students were free to choose site or sites (be it the urban tissue itself or anarcheological site), organizational and formal aspects of the museum unit (I.e. whether it would be a single volume or more, dispersed or grouped, be-low or above ground), presentational techniques and most importantly, a setof ideological "assumptions" to support their conceptual approach.An often too lively debate in class and the high level of the projects submit-ted were sure signs of intense fermentation in class, which often questioneddeeply rooted notions among the students, concrening the sacredness of cul-ture (Parthenon,the unsurpassed paradigm), the competence of contempo-rary-Greek or international - architecture to uild such a museum facingthe Acropolis and the justification of planning intervention inside a histori-cal center. A substantial part of the class was uncomfortable with the con-sistently "value-free" and "provocative" approach of the instructor; someeven resented the unusual degree of freedom from "authority" allowed inclass. On the finial count (an anonymous critique submitted by students atthe end of each semester)- roughly half of. the class expressed its gratitudefor participating in a challenging course that wen beyond their expectations,while the other half was split between bewilderment and open disapproval ofthe method used."