In Athens, new Acropolis renovations threaten to erase ancient history, expert says

Info seputar Togel Singapore 2020 – 2021.

Q: Why are these changes problematic?

There are a few reasons. First, the ministry justified this work on the basis of providing access to those with physical limitations. That was a bit surprising to hear, because it hadn’t commissioned a detailed study by a group of scholars who specialize in planning for restoration work that expands accessibility. And that is made very clear by the steepness of some of the concrete slopes. People in wheelchairs cannot move autonomously on such steep paths.

Second, paving over the rock with reinforced concrete casts aside the notion that the plateau of the Acropolis is an important monument in and of itself. The natural rock has traces of activity, like cuttings and workings, that archaeologists use to understand people’s interaction with this space throughout history. People still refer to the Acropolis as “the holy rock.” The very geology of the place is important in the Greek public imagination. Reinforced concrete not only covers up but also damages the rock.

Third, the head of the restoration committee, Manolis Korres, has said his vision is to recreate the Acropolis in the image of the fifth century B.C., at the height of classical Athens’ golden age. The problem is, that is not the only historical period in which this site was culturally and historically significant. It is a multi-temporal monument. In the Late Bronze Age, around 1500 B.C., the Acropolis was an important Mycenaean citadel and the site of a Mycenaean palace, and there is still physical evidence, mostly in the form of fortification walls. Through the Roman and Byzantine periods, structures on the Acropolis served as administrative centers, churches and fortresses. At the time of the Ottoman Empire, the site had what one 17th century traveler, Evliya Çelebi, called the most impressive mosque in the world, and there was an extensive cemetery on the Western slope where saints and prominent Muslim leaders were buried.

Those who visit the site today would have no idea they’re walking over the graves of people of Muslim faith. A few tombstones from that period were salvaged and displayed in a protective metal cage — but there’s no signage to provide context. There are an increasingly large number of scholars who study various facets and historical eras of the site, but what’s missing is Greek officials’ appetite to integrate this scholarship into signage and brochures for the public.

Q: Why is it important for the global public to understand the full history of the Acropolis?

In the 19th century, neoclassical architects and archaeologists would remove anything they found at the Acropolis that wasn’t from classical antiquity. The 19th century Romantic nationalism movement viewed anything classical as the cornerstone of the Western European imagination. Anything from the Byzantine, the Frankish or Ottoman periods was deemed not important, or even a remnant of barbarity, and was destroyed with no recording. As a result, we lost so much information about the changing fate and value of that monument over many different periods of time.

Try and see this as a kind of metaphor for society as a whole. If you have a diverse, multicultural society, and you say, “We still believe that one particular culture is more valuable than the others, so the rest can be erased,” you can see how chauvinistic this becomes. Furthermore, this is not really about preserving the society, the monuments and the people of classical Athens. If it were, restoration workers would have painted the monuments and the statues in bright colors, since they were polychrome in ancient Athens. I see the current “preservation” plans of the Acropolis, and the decision to evoke one historical period at the expense of others, as a celebration of whiteness: a celebration not of the fifth century B.C. but of the 18th and 19th century white Eurocentric modernity, which chose the fifth century as its key ancestral legacy.

In recent years, we’ve begun to see why celebrating whiteness in this way can be harmful. Greece has recently suffered from the rise of neo-fascist parties, including Golden Dawn, whose leaders are now serving time for running a criminal organization. The nation is trying to heal, but it cannot heal as long as its monuments emphasize one idealized moment in time and ignore the others.