Showing results 1 - 12 of 427 for the tag: Athens.

April 17, 2014

Evangelos Venizelos speaks out on Parthenon Marbles issue

Posted at 12:51 pm in British Museum, Elgin Marbles, Similar cases

PASOK leader & Greek Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos is no stranger to dealing with the Parthenon Sculptures issue. He has been quiet about it in public though, since he lost his position as Culture Minister after Nea Demokratia took power in the 2004 general election.

Today though, he had the opportunity to speak to the European Parliament plenary in Strasbourg, about the return of looted cultural artefacts, where he mentioned both the case of the Parthenon Marbles, as well as the various more recent cases that have arisen in Cyprus since the 1974 Turkish occupation.

PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos

PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos

From:
Famagusta Gazette

Greek FM refers to destruction of Cyprus’ cultural heritage in occupied north
Thursday, 17 April, 2014

Greek Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos, speaking before the European Parliament plenary in Strasbourg on the return of cultural objects unlawfully removed from the territory of a member state, referred to the need to return the Parthenon marbles to Greece and the damage that Cyprus` cultural treasures have suffered since the 1974 Turkish invasion.

He said that the new directive regarding the return of cultural objects is clearly improved compared to the one that existed since 1993 and it will be an important instrument in handling illegal trafficking of cultural artifacts, which is one of the widely used forms of organised crime.
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April 16, 2014

Is removing an act of vandalism vandalism? – AKA the Banksy Paradox

Posted at 1:06 pm in Similar cases

Had I just seen the first story, there would have been a different take on this, but juxtaposed with another story that also appeared today, it raises far more questions.

The first case is not the first time that Bristolian street artist Banksy has become the topic of this website. In the previous instance, the controversy involved the owner of a wall removing the artwork that had appeared on it one night. The local residents complained, even drawing parallels to the Parthenon Marbles. While the case raised other issues though, the person who did the removing had a legal entitlement to do so, as it was their own wall.

This case however is a clear cut instance of Elginism. The person who removed it is claiming that they had a right to do so because it was in a public place, but now they are claiming it as their own & planning on selling it to raise money. I’m not sure in what way this can not be construed as theft. If don’t own something & you take it, the law is fairly clear cut that this constitutes theft.

However, the second article raises the question of what is vandalism. Since a few years before the start of the financial crisis, the levels of graffiti on walls in Athens has massively increased. Walls that were once pristine & respected have become noticeboards of conflicting political ideologies & poorly thought out solutions to the problem. Many of these are vandalism plain & simple, but they have none the less been documented by people, as one of the most indelible records of the change in the city as the crisis took hold. Now, the social messages in some of the better executed pieces are being analysed further – the works have in effect crossed the same boundary that Banksy did, where vandalism becomes art.

Now – it is worth pointing out that this is a very fuzzy boundary. For some people, it is clearly art, while others continue to maintain the view that the perpetrators should be prosecuted. It is intriguing though how this boundary shifts – Other than his fame / notoriety as an individual, what defines the artistic merit in Banksy’s work that makes people angry when it is destroyed, versus the works of a barely known Greek protester that are routinely scrubbed from walls by municipal workers?

"Access Control," a mural by the Greek street artist iNO on Pireos Street in Athens

“Access Control,” a mural by the Greek street artist iNO on Pireos Street in Athens

From:
Independent

New Banksy art ‘Mobile Lovers’ removed with crowbar, hoarded in youth club
Christopher Hooton
Wednesday 16 April 2014

Banksy’s latest official artwork, being dubbed ‘Mobile Lovers’, has been prized off a Bristol wall by an opportunistic local with a crowbar.

Broad Plain Boys Club manager Dennis Stinchcombe removed the image of a man and a woman distracted by their smartphones from Clement Street, believed to be on plywood, and hopes to sell it for hundreds of thousands of pounds.
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April 3, 2014

Summer opening hours for Acropolis Museum

Posted at 1:00 pm in Acropolis, Greece Archaeology, New Acropolis Museum

Previously I mentioned the new opening hours for the Acropolis. The New Acropolis Museum will also be switching to its summer hours.

One think I really like, is that unlike many places in mainland Europe, the museums are open on Mondays, albeit for shorter hours than normal.

Acropolis Museum

Acropolis Museum

From:
Kathimerini (English Edition)

Thursday April 3, 2014
Leading Greek museums and sites extend visiting hours for new tourist season

A number of the country’s archaeological sites and museums inaugurated extended visiting hours on Tuesday in view of the upcoming tourist season.

The Acropolis and the National Archaeological Museum in Athens, Crete’s Knossos, Santorini’s Akrotiri and the sites of Ancient Olympia and Delphi in the Peloponnese were among a group of 33 museums and sites set to operate on the new spring-summer schedule – daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. – through the end of October.
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April 2, 2014

Unfortunately, the previous post on UNESCO mediation was not accurate

Posted at 12:01 am in British Museum, Elgin Marbles

As many may have spotted, yesterday was April 1st. As a result of this, some of the items I posted, may not have been entirely accurate.

Much as I (and many others) want the British Government & British Museum to enter into the UNESCO mediation process, thus far, there has been nothing except silence from them.

I should also note that Pillory Dour & Henna Biltong are entirely fictional characters, and that any resemblance of them to people working for the British Government & British Museum is entirely coincidental.

So, to make the previous post become reality, more needs to be done to encourage the Government to accept the mediation request. At the moment, they are ignoring it, because they feel comfortable taking this course of action. So, write to your MP, raise awareness, publish stories publicising the lack of response, so that eventually they might feel more inclined to take action.

March 31, 2014

Earth hour at the Acropolis

Posted at 1:03 pm in Acropolis

As in other years, the Acropolis in Athens has been a part of the worldwide Earth Hour, dimming its lights on the evening of 29th March.

The Acropolis, before & during Earth Hour

The Acropolis, before & during Earth Hour

From:
Inquirer

Lights out for iconic landmarks on Earth Hour
Agence France-Presse
10:36 am | Sunday, March 30th, 2014

NEW YORK – Iconic landmarks around the world were plunged into darkness Saturday as lights went out in thousands of places as part of a global fundraising drive for local environmental projects.

New York’s Empire State Building, the ancient Acropolis in Athens, Rio’s Christ the Redeemer statue and Sydney’s Opera House were among those blacked out for 60 minutes at 8:30 pm local time for the annual Earth Hour.
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March 24, 2014

Human chain around the Parthenon

Posted at 6:23 pm in Acropolis

More coverage of the human chain around the Parthenon for Anti-Racism day.

As I mentioned before, it would be great if something like this could happen on a regular basis to help draw attention to the issue of the Parthenon Marbles.

Children form human chain around the Parthenon

Children form human chain around the Parthenon

From:
Greek Reporter

2,500 Kids Form Human Chain Around Parthenon
Ioanna Zikakou – Mar 21, 2014

Today, 2,500 children gathered at the Acropolis, forming a human chain around the Parthenon upon the initiative of the General Secretariat of Transparency and Human Rights to mark the occasion of International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

Under the banner “We embrace the Acropolis, embrace democracy, embrace humanity”, children of many nationalities as well as some with disabilities sang about the meaning of the day and released 2000 colored balloons into the Attica sky, sending the message of peaceful and creative coexistence without discrimination amongst people.
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March 20, 2014

Children to form human chain around Parthenon for anti-racism day

Posted at 2:06 pm in Acropolis

Stories such as this, go some way towards illustrating that the Parthenon is more than just another ancient monument – it holds a larger symbolism for many within Greece & internationally.

Perhaps a similar event should be organised on a regular basis to highlight the plight of the Marbles? People have previously suggested that the anniversary of the opening of the Acropolis Museum becomes Parthenon Day. Perhaps we could organise people to encircle both the British Museum & Acropolis Museum simultaneously on that day to show the unity of the two sites? Who’s interested?

The Parthenon

The Parthenon

From:
Greek Reporter

Kids to Hug Acropolis for Anti-Racism Day
by Abed Alloush – Mar 19, 2014

2,500 children will form a human chain round the Parthenon on Friday March 21 to mark International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. Their motto will be “We hug the Acropolis, We hug democracy, We hug humanity.”

Organized by the Greek Ministry of Justice, children of different nationalities and people with special needs will sing and release colorful balloons into the sky to sending a message “of a peaceful and creative co-existence of all human beings, without any racial discrimination.”

The Acropolis museum will later host an event featuring work by celebrated artists including Antonis Remos, Dimitris Mpasis, Melina Kana, Melina Aslanidou, Sonia Theodoridou and the director, Giannis Smaragdis, as well as from children of the Paladion primary school. The event will be attended by President of the Greek Republic Karolos Papoulias and by Charalambos Athanasiou and Konstandinos Arvanitopoulos, ministers of justice and education, respectively.

March 13, 2014

Acropolis Museum popularity on the increase

Posted at 2:04 pm in New Acropolis Museum

Last year, some had noted that the New Acropolis Museum’s visitor numbers had declined since its first months of opening.

It appears now that this may be changing, as the November 2013 figures just released indicate a 14% increase from the previous year.

New Acropolis Museum

New Acropolis Museum

From:
Kathimerini (English Edition)

Thursday March 13, 2014
More visitors at Greek museums, archaeological sites

The number of visitors at Greek museums was up by 2.4 percent in November 2013, while the cultural institutions saw a 0.6 percent increase in their receipts compared to the same month the previous year, a Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) report revealed on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, although the number of visitors at archaeological sites recorded an increase of 4 percent in November 2013, the respective receipts recorded a decrease of 1.4 percent in comparison to the same period last year.
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March 4, 2014

Longer opening hours for the Acropolis

Posted at 1:51 pm in Acropolis

The opening hours of the major archaeological sites in Greece have got better in recent years – in the past, if you were visiting in the early spring or late autumn, you might well find even important sites in Athens shut at 2pm. This new move to open all the sites from 8am until 8pm from Spring through to Autumn will definitely make it easier for more people to see sites such as the Acropolis, as well as hopefully reducing the scale of the crowds at the busiest times.

Tourism promotion outside the Greek parliament

Tourism promotion outside the Greek parliament

From:
Kathimerini (English Edition)

Friday February 28, 2014 (18:49)
Ministry extends opening hours of sites, museums in spring and autumn

With more than 18.5 million tourists expected to visit Greece this year, topping record arrivals in 2013, the Culture Ministry has moved ahead with the long-awaited extension of opening hours at museums and archaeological sites.

Starting on April 1, 33 of the country’s 117 gated sites and museums are to remain open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week – hours usually reserved for the summer season and on fewer days, as well as limited to a smaller number of attractions.
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February 25, 2014

When will UK respond to Parthenon Marbles mediation request

Posted at 2:13 pm in British Museum, Elgin Marbles

Greece’s requests for mediation through UNESCO over the return of the Parthenon Marbles were made in early October 2013, but so far there has been no response from the British Museum or British Government.

Now, the International Association for the Reunification of the Parthenon Sculptures has written to the Prime Minister, Foreign Secretary & Culture Secretary, along with the Trustees of the British Museum, imploring them to take this request seriously.

UNESCO logo

UNESCO logo

From:
International Association for the Reunification of the Parthenon Sculptures

Dear Prime Minster

Last week the Guardian published the results of a poll that showed 88% of respondents believe Britain should return the Parthenon Sculptures to Greece. The poll is consistent with all the other surveys in recent years that demonstrate overwhelming British public support on this issue.

The widespread support for the return of the Marbles is not limited to the British public. There are now volunteer organisations in 16 countries that have been formed to support the claim for the sculptures to be returned; in Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Britain, Canada, Cyprus, Finland, Germany, Italy, New Zealand, Russia, Serbia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the USA. (partheononinternational.org)

As you would be aware, last year the Director General of UNESCO, Irini Bokova, wrote to your Government requesting that Britain agree to participate in a UNESCO process of mediation to settle the dispute over the Parthenon Sculptures.

There are strong moral arguments for Britain to accept the UNESCO mediation initiative that would allow the issue of the Parthenon Sculptures to be resolved in a spirit of cooperation, good will and friendship, with both sides being able to respect each other’s sensitivities.

We are also confident that in a mediation process there would be the opportunity for the British Museum to explore mutually beneficial arrangements with Greece involving the return of the Marbles that would leave the British Museum in a stronger position than at present.

Accordingly, I would urge you to support the British participation in the proposed UNESCO mediation process.

I will next be in London in March and would very much like the opportunity of meeting with you to discuss the matter.

Yours sincerely

David Hill
Chairman

February 17, 2014

Guardian Poll shows that more than 17 out of every 20 people support return of Marbles

Posted at 12:17 am in Elgin Marbles

There have been many polls about the Parthenon Marbles in recent years and only a few have shows anything other than a high level of support for their return. The Guardian recently ran a poll, following the publicity from George Clooney’s statements about the sculptures.

The results speak for themselves – but the end of the two day poll, the web page attracted over 2,500 comments, and the end result of the poll itself showed that 88% of those who took part were in favour of the sculptures being returned. Politicians have a tendency to state that the marbles are a complex issue & that the country is deeply divided over them – the reality though is that nearly everyone supports return – so why can’t they listen to this & respond sensibly to it, by entering into serious negotiations to resolve it?

88% favour returning Parthenon Sculptures

88% favour returning Parthenon Sculptures

From:
Guardian

Wednesday 12 February 2014 11.50 GMT
Is George Clooney correct? Should Britain return the Parthenon marbles?

While promoting his new film Monuments Men, about returning art taken by the Nazis to its rightful owners, George Clooney has said that the UK should give back the Parthenon marbles to Greece. Are you with him?

Should Britain return the Parthenon marbles to Greece?
88% - Yes
12% - No

February 16, 2014

Promakhos trailer – a fight for the return of the Parthenon Sculptures

Posted at 11:57 pm in Elgin Marbles

Just a few days after I last wrote about the filming of Promakhos, one of the directors got in touch with me, to let me know that the first trailer of the film had now been posted online.

The film is about a legal challenge over the Parthenon Marbles. This is an interesting dimension to the issue, as it is something that has often been raised as a possibility by campaigners & very credible cases have been put forward by a number of high profile lawyers (not least the father of the directors of this movie), but it has always been something that the Greek government has steered well clear of having any involvement with.

Having read the script a couple of years ago, I’m very eager to see the completed film once it is out later this year.