Showing results 1 - 12 of 432 for the tag: Athens.

August 7, 2014

Riding from Athens to London for the Parthenon Marbles

Posted at 12:48 pm in British Museum, Elgin Marbles

I wrote last year about the Italian Luca Lo Sico, who planned to cycle from Athens to London in support of the Parthenon Marbles.

He has now left Athens, after a sendoff by Deputy Culture and Sports Minister Angela Gerekou.

He follows in the pedals of Dr Chris Stockdale, who undertook a similar cycle ride (but in the opposite direction) in 2005 for the same reason.

Deputy Culture and Sports Minister Angela Gerekou with Salvatore Lo Sicco

Deputy Culture and Sports Minister Angela Gerekou with Salvatore Lo Sicco

From:
Greek Reporter

London to Athens on a Bike for the Parthenon Marbles Return
Ioanna Zikakou
Aug 7, 2014

Salvatore Lo Sicco, a British-Italian professor who works in the UK, traveled from London to Athens on his bike to rally for the repatriation of the Parthenon Marbles.

Lo Sicco started his route outside the British Museum, which houses the Marbles that Lord Elgin removed from Athens in the 1800′s, and finished in front of the steps of the Acropolis Museum.
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July 22, 2014

Preview screening of Promakhos – a film about the Parthenon Marbles

Posted at 5:19 pm in British Museum, Elgin Marbles

I was fortunate enough to be invited last week to a preview screening (essentially where they drum up intereste from possible distributors etc) for the film Promakhos, which I have already written about previously here.

The event was well attended, with Stephen Fry giving his thoughts on it afterwards and leadng a question & answer session with the two directors.

Marbles Reunited has already done a very good writeup of the event – so I won’t try & repeat their work, but will just give a summary of my own thoughts on the film.

Styled as a legal thriller, it follows the story of one person’s fight to use the courts to secure the return of the Elgin Marbles to Greece. There are many dramatic scenes in it, and perhaps the most memorable part is where Paul Debevec’s superlative three-dimensional model of the Parthenon is broght to life in the room, as the people wander around it, stepping into a rebuilt past through the use of virtual reality glasses.

As you can imagine, things do not always proceed smoothly – yet the film’s protagonist manages to maintain his vision & despite the ups & downs remains focussed on the goal of securing the return of the sculptures.

The cinematography is magnificent, and for anyone who has ever spent time in Athens, prefectly manages to capture the spirat of the city, through othersise unremarkable details, in a way that perhaps holds far more of its modern day charm than many films, that only see things through the eyes of a tourist. There are various allusions throught the film to ancient Greece & aspects of mythology, helping to further anchor the present day story into the ethos of ancient Athens & to show the importance of the Parthenon Sculptures to Greeks.

The film is set against the backdrop of the financial crisis & the unrest that followed in Athens – and as such is very much of its time. However, that it just because it takes place now – the story that it is telling could largely be transplanted to any other time in the campaign for the return of the sculptures & would continue to make sense. It is not something that the British Museum can just ignore with the hope that it goes away.

There are a few amusing moments too – particularly, when during the cases, others highlight their own countries requests for the return of arterfacts from the British Museum.

The film is not on display publicly anywhere yet – in the meantime though, you can watch the trailer, to give you a flavour of what it is about.

Stephen Fry with one of the directors at the preview screening of Promakhos

Stephen Fry with one of the directors at the preview screening of Promakhos

July 9, 2014

Greece needs a new Melina Mercouri to spearhead the Parthenon Marbles Campaign

Posted at 12:55 pm in Elgin Marbles

George Vardas from Australians for the Reunification of the Parthenon Sculptures, writes about how a new figure with the charisma & public appeal of the late Melina Mercouri is needed to lead Greece’s campaign for the reunification of the Parthenon Sculptures.

Greece's Deputy Minister for Culture, Ms Angeliki Gerekou

Greece’s Deputy Minister for Culture, Ms Angeliki Gerekou

From:
Neos Kosmos

“We need another Melina”
The Greek Culture Ministry and the campaign for the return of the Parthenon Sculptures
26 Jun 2014
George Vardas

Just over a year ago the then newly-appointed Culture Minister in Greece, Panos Panagiotopoulos, announced with considerable fanfare a new Greek initiative on the Parthenon Sculptures: a strategy based on convening a mediation under the auspices of UNESCO at which the British and Greek authorities would meet to attempt to reach a resolution of this long standing cultural dispute.

Some commentators, including this writer, were sceptical about how the British would react, as mediation requires both sides to enter into negotiations in good faith. Mr Panagiotopoulos was adamant that this was Greece’s official position and sought support for his stance from the various overseas national committees. In due course a formal request for mediation was sent to the British side by the UNESCO Director-General, Ms Irina Bukova, and we waited to see what the British response would be.
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May 14, 2014

The Athenian Acropolis as a movie backdrop

Posted at 12:57 pm in Acropolis

In recent years, there has been much debate about the decision by Greece’s government to make it easier for commersial filming to take place on the Acropolis.

These decision to free up the access to the site appear to be gradually producing visible benefits, with new films using the backdrop of the Parthenon as a key part of their story.

Viggo Mortensen and Kirsten Dunst in ‘The Two Faces of January’

Viggo Mortensen and Kirsten Dunst in ‘The Two Faces of January’

From:
Independent (Ireland)

Cinema Reviews: ‘The Two Faces of January’
Cert 12A

Padraic McKiernan, Hilary A White, Aine O’Connor – Published 11 May 2014 02:30 AM
Reviewed this week are ‘The Two Faces of January’, ‘In Bloom’, ‘A Thousand Times Goodnight’, ‘A Winter Chill’ and ‘In Secret’.

With a title that bears reference to a two-faced Roman god and a stunning backdrop that takes in some of Ancient Greece’s most famous ruins, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to read there’s a certain mythic quality to the story that unfolds in director Hossein Amini’s engaging thriller.
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April 25, 2014

Greece’s economy might be rebounding, but the Parthenon Marbles have yet to return

Posted at 12:52 pm in Elgin Marbles, New Acropolis Museum

A common excuse given by supporters of retaining the Parthenon Sculptures in the UK, is that the time is not right for them to return. The New Acropolis Museum opened during the middle of one of the worst financial crises to affect the world in recent years & for some, their words carried some weight. Surely now though, when Greece is re-issuing government bonds & the remnants of the years of riots are being repaired, this is the ideal time to rebuild Greece’s culture, by righting a historic wrong?

Acropolis Museum in Athens

Acropolis Museum in Athens

From:
Bloomberg News

Athens Lacking Only Elgin as Windows Erase Crisis: Cities
By Marcus Bensasson and Nikos Chrysoloras Apr 24, 2014 5:27 AM GMT

The marble paving stones have been relaid in Athens’s Syntagma Square, the site of pitched battles between police and protesters during the worst of Greece’s economic crisis.

Yannis Stournaras has replaced his sixth-floor window overlooking the square. It was pierced by an errant bullet during one of the riots in 2010.
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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.