March 30, 2012

Filming costs at the Acropolis will be reduced

Posted at 12:53 pm in Acropolis, Greece Archaeology

Despite the way that this was reported as hiring out ancient artefacts in many new sources, the actual story is that the cost of permits for professional filming on the Acropolis are to be reduced. The permits already exist, it is just that the cost will be less than previously.

Greek Reporter

Debt-Riddled Greece Will Lease Acropolis For Commercial Exploitation
By Stella Tsolakidou on January 17, 2012

In a move bound to leave many Greeks and scholars aghast, Greece’s Ministry of Culture said on Tuesday it will open up some of the debt-stricken country’s most-cherished archaeological sites to advertising firms and other ventures.

Leasing the Parthenon through the taxation of photo and cinema shoots seems to be one of the top priorities for the Greek government, in order to raise money and tackle the debt crisis threatening the country with default.

Everyone wishing to take a photo of the Parthenon for advertising purposes or any other profitable reasons will have to pay a certain amount of money depending on the method of commercial exploitation of the archaeological site.

The Central Archaeological Council has decided to lease archaeological monuments, such as the Parthenon, Faistos, Knossos, the Poseidon Temple and Delphi, for photographic or cinematographic projects.

Depending on the site, prices range from 10 to 100 Euros per minute of audiovisual shooting. Especially in the case of Parthenon, commercial advertisements and campaigns using models can cost up to 1,000 Euros per minute.

Cards, posters, and magnets can be charged up to 300 Euros, while pictures saved in DVDs and CDs can exceed a 500 Euro charge.


Thursday, January 19, 2012
Acropolis for rent: surely Hellas is insulted

Greece is to make its archaeological sites available for rental by commercial concerns, according to recent reports, seemingly in a desperate effort to help shore up the nation’s disastrous debt burden.

So, Pericles’s “everlasting glory” has come to this. For generations, Greece’s cultural heritage monuments were regarded as beyond the reach of the dead arm of corporate interests, but the global debt crisis has changed all that. Now it seems almost anyone will be able to rent the country’s archaeological sites for use as film sets, or for advertising and other commercial purposes. The notion that this could have any measurable impact on Greece’s seemingly insuperable sovereign debt burden is risible and smacks of desperation.

As if it were not bad enough for Greece to have to watch its own Parthenon Marbles generating vast amounts of tourist revenue for the British Museum, it is now forced to prostitute its ancient birthright to commercial interests in order to offset the misery caused by corporate banking greed. (Has there ever been a more auspicious moment for Britain to return the Marbles to Greece? It would be a humanitarian gesture of immeasurable symbolic impact that could only lift the spirits of a deeply demoralized nation and doubtless also help it generate vital revenue.)

Needless to say, the Greek government’s decision to rent out the nation’s cultural sites has been greeted with widespread vocal opposition from cultural heritage groups crying “Sacrilege!” One can’t help thinking back to the understandable snorts of moral outrage elicited by the use of corporate advertising hoardings on Venice’s ancient buildings a few years ago.

Ton Cremers of the Museum Security Network used his Facebook page to suggest that the British Museum should begin paying Greece ‘back-rental’ on the Parthenon Marbles looted by Lord Elgin. This drew a snort of moral outrage from the Honourable Anna Somers Cocks, Editor-at-Large of The Art Newspaper, who responded thus: “Hey, anachronistic! they were acquired with the written permission of the Ottoman governor of Athens, the only legal authority there at the time.”

Don’t be fooled by the streetwise “Hey!” that prefixes that outburst (her tune might have changed had it been her beloved Venice pillaged by the crapulous Lord Elgin). If you’re looking for a definition of the term ‘anachronistic’, look no further than the Establishment’s Facebook page.

Greece, think again…for all our sakes. It’s bad enough that the Ottoman Turks conspired with a syphilitic Scottish aristocrat to desecrate the Parthenon. Don’t let corporate interests add insult to injury.

Message to the British Museum: Do the right thing. Send the Marbles back to Athens.

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