George Zach – Greek Tragedy
Comedy – 15 Nov, 16 Nov at Museum of Comedy
George is a Greek comedian living in the UK. Has appeared in all of the biggest clubs in the UK, as well as on BBC1’s This Week (twice) and The One Show.
In the UK his mates say he’s too Greek, but he’s not Greek enough for his parents abroad; he’s trying to fit in in a world he believes to be more stupid than him. Also, he is dodging his national service. Read the rest of this entry »
Disclaimer – I am not Greek, so everything I am writing below might be a load of rubbish. Similarly, I know that in Britain, there are many enlightened individuals, who understand the issues surrounding the Parthenon Marbles and want to see them returned to Athens.
One thing that I noticed while conducting this survey, much of which was done over Twitter, was that many of those who are against the return of the sculptures did not really understand what the issue meant to the Greeks. Not only were there those who dismissed the issue as unimportant and not worth worrying about, but others who merely responded that they were quite happy with the current situation and saw no need to change it. Still more spoke out against return of the sculptures, but when asked further questions realised that they did not actually know many of the details of the case.
All too often, the British press love to portray restitution requests by Greece as nationalistic tub-thumping – something that amounts to its critics as little more than petulant whining having changed their mind over a past decision. Hopefully those reading this website have a more enlightened view, but it does not take long reading the comments below many press articles, to find this flawed understanding is all too common.
A big part of the problem is that we only see the situation through our own eyes – we feel that as we are happy with it, that anyone who wants to change it is disruptive. We do not even attempt to look at the story through the eyes of a Greek – how they feel every time we think about it. The fact that many see the case as too insignificant to have opinions about compounds the issue – the Parthenon Sculptures really do not mean that much to the average person in Britain, whereas from a Greek perspective, the emotion attached to the case is very different.
George Zacharopoulos is a Greek comedian based in the North East of England. Some of his shows contain a sketch on the Parthenon Marbles – which while good for its amusement value alone, does offer a good way of starting to understand how their story is perceived by many in Greece. Looking at the situation in a different way helps to understand just how galling it feels to Greeks to hear mealy mouthed commentators trying to argue that rather than complaining, Greece should be thanking Britain for looking after the sculptures for them.
In the meantime, you can see a clip off him talking about the Parthenon Marbles here (Start watching 6:20 into the clip). He tells me that he has since further developed that part of the act, so it is longer than what you can see here.
Watch the video, and remember to see him while he’s in London if you are able to.
As anticipated previously, the Dja Dja Wurrung tribe in Australia is protesting about the display of various Aboriginal artefacts in the British Museum. These protests are likely to increase later in the year, when the artefacts return to Australia ass a temporary loan.
Aboriginal bark painting of a barramundi dating from 1861
Preservation or plunder? The battle over the British Museum’s Indigenous Australian show
Thursday 9 April 2015 08.00 BST
It’s been less than a century since the world’s leading collectors began acknowledging Indigenous Australian art as more than mere ethnographic artefact. Since then, the most enlightened, from Hong Kong to London, New York to Paris, have understood that when you purchase a piece of Indigenous art you become its custodian – not its owner. That image depicting a moment on one of the myriad songlines that have criss-crossed the continent during 60,000 years of Indigenous civilisation can adorn your wall. But you will never have copyright. Sometimes, not even the creator owns the painterly iconography and motif attached to particular stories that are family, clan or tribe – but not individual – possessions.
Such understanding is now implicit in the compact between collectors and creators, as remote Indigenous Australian arts centres match a rapacious international market with the rights of some of the world’s most accomplished, and impoverished, modern artists to support themselves and their families. But for museums, especially those of the great empires, ownership of Indigenous cultural property remains an existential bedrock. Which brings me to the British Museum and its forthcoming exhibition, Indigenous Australia: Enduring Civilisation. To call this exhibition – and a related one, Encounters, planned for Canberra’s National Museum of Australia – controversial dramatically understates the bitter politics, anger and behind-the-scenes enmity provoked by the British Museum’s continued ownership of some 6,000 Indigenous Australian items variously acquired after British contact, invasion and occupation of the continent beginning in 1770. Read the rest of this entry »
What: Conferences & Symposia
When: Tue 14 April 2015 10:00 – 17:30
Where: The Lydia & Manfred Gorvy Lecture Theatre
CONFERENCE: The recent destruction and loss of cultural heritage in Syria and Iraq is a cause for world-wide concern and condemnation. But what is the role of museums? Can we support people from these countries, whilst ensuring our own protection? Read the rest of this entry »
Australian Aboriginal activist, Dr Gary Edward Foley gave a talk about the restitution of the Parthenon Marbles yesterday, comparing the restitution of Aboriginal cultural artefacts to the ongoing campaign for the return of the Parthenon Marbles.
Aboriginal Activist to Give Lecture on Parthenon Marbles’ Return
by Ioanna Zikakou
Mar 4, 2015
Starting this Thursday, the 2015 Greek History and Culture Seminar series, organized by the Greek Community of Melbourne for the fifth consecutive year, will take place in the community’s new building. The seminars’ inaugural lecture is on March 5 with Aboriginal activist Dr Gary Edward Foley and Greek-Australian University of Melbourne professor Nikos Papastergiadis.
During his speech, Foley will focus on the recovery of cultural heritage and the return of Aboriginal antiquities, alongside the Parthenon Marbles case. This will be the first time that an Aboriginal will present his speech before the Greek Community of Melbourne. Read the rest of this entry »
Katherine A Schwab’s drawings of the Parthenon Sculptures will go on display at Creighton University’s Lied Art Gallery in Omaha, Nebraska. The exhibition opens on February 21 and runs through to March 29.
Parthenon sculptures drawing by Katherine A. Schwab
Parthenon Secrets ‘Unleashed’ in Nebraska
by Katerina Papathanasiou – Dec 17, 2014
Visitors from across the world will have the opportunity to steal a glance at a lesser-known side of the ancient Greek Parthenon, its severely deteriorated metope sculptures, on the occasion of the exhibition “An archaeologist’s Eye: The Parthenon Drawings of Katherine A. Schwab’’ that will be hosted at Creighton University’s Lied Art Gallery in Omaha, Nebraska, from February 21 through March 29. This marvelous collection, organized by the Bellarmine Museum of Art at Fairfield University (Connecticut), Creighton University (Omaha) and the Timken Museum of Art (San Diego), consists of thirty-five drawings of Dr. Katherine Schwab crafted on paper with the use of graphite and pastel pencil.
Through her personal drawing project, the American art historian of Fairfield University provides her audience with her own interpretations of the ancient Greek world by disclosing an amazing representation of some, previously damaged, fabulous metope sculptures of great narrative push. The drawings, casting light on the connection Schwab seems to have developed with the original sculptures’ creators of the most protuberant sanctuary of the Athenian Acropolis, are divided into three thematic units. The first one, embracing the popular Greek mythology theme of the fight between Olympian gods and earthborn giants, consists of sixteen graphite and pastel depictions of the east metopes. The second unit illustrates twelve graphite drawings inspired by the Sacking of Troy, while the third, based on a careful selection of figures from the Parthenon pediments and frieze, includes seven graphite sketches. Read the rest of this entry »
Monday November 24, 2014 New film, ‘Promakhos,’ makes case for return of Parthenon Marbles
Two lawyers fight for the return of the Parthenon Marbles from the British Museum to Greece in a film produced by Greek-American brothers Coerte and John Voorhees, due to open at theaters on Thursday, November 27.
The brothers were in the Greek capital last week to promote “Promakhos,” which they have also written and directed, and spoke to the press about the project and what they hope it can achieve. John and Coerte are the sons of a US-based lawyer who has been an active campaigner for the return of the Parthenon Marbles to Athens. Coerte studied history and classics at Georgetown University. “Promakhos” is their first film. Read the rest of this entry »
CLOSING NIGHT EVENT: Promakhos
Greece/USA/UK, 2014, 91mins (Drama)
Director Coerte Voorhees and John Voorhees
Someone needs to stand up for Greece, make a case for her…”
For over two centuries, the legality behind the removal of the Parthenon Marbles from the Acropolis has been the subject of much controversy and passionate debate. Very credible cases against the British Museum have been put forward by a number of lawyers – including the father of this film’s makers – however, Greek governments have steered clear of any involvement. Read the rest of this entry »
The Parthenon sculptures have been the subject of controversy since their creation 2,500 years ago. How did a Scottish aristocrat acquire the very best of them, and how did the British Museum buy them in 1816? This lecture celebrates their magnificence, and examines how their significance has changed, from decorations on an ancient temple to disputed cultural objects in the present day. Lecturer: Alan Read
Date: 18 November 2014, 7pm Price: £12 / £10 Friends (includes a glass of wine)