Friday October 31, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
18o C
13o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
Monumental mistakes

By Maria Katsounaki

“A certain hotel complex in Messinia is offering guests a chance to take part in archaeological digs at Ancient Messene! Excavation is degraded from a scientific process into a tourist attraction!” Thus reads a statement by the cultural committee of the leftist opposition SYRIZA party, exclamation points and all. Eight deputies have submitted a question on the issue to Greece’s minister of culture.

Does that mean to say that Professor Petros Themelis, a man who has devoted the past 27 years of his career – and life – to the archaeological excavations at Ancient Messene, has consented to turning the site into a tourist attraction? And what is the reasoning behind SYRIZA’s attack? Reading the question is enough to grasp the party’s total ignorance on the issue, the parochialism, the distortion of facts, the complete divorce from international practice, the demonization of change, the frustrating attachment to ideas that put the brakes on progress or at least on any attempt toward progress.

Excavation tourism is, first of all, an international practice. The program, which was prepared by Costa Navarino luxury resorts, would also benefit the Society for Messenian Archaeological Studies, which supports excavation work in the area. For decades now, volunteers of all ages and professions from many countries have informally augmented the work of archaeologists with love and affection. It seems however that doing so “informally” was acceptable, while getting “organized” support from a private investors is not. The first reaction came from the Employees Association of the Archaeological Service. It was then caught by by the Archaeological Society, which requested that the program be brought to a halt. And so it was. The effort was killed in the offing.

“I was surprised,” Themelis told Kathimerini in a laconic statement. “It was the most pioneering development in the archaeological community in recent decades because it engages citizens from around the world withn our country’s monuments. No matter how you choose to look at it, this could only yield benefit,” said Stavros Benos, the man behind Diazoma, a citizen group focused on promoting the country’s ancient theaters.

According to SYRIZA, it seems monuments are not connected to life nor the economy. If it is not the state, with its usual signatures, stamps and endless consultation, if it is not financed by ministries and run by state officials, then it must be a sell-out, an “exotic experience for tourists.”

Conservatism, allergies to anything that goes against the status quo, which treats cultural legacy as property of time and history, has no proposal for the future. It feeds on inertia, it reproduces ignorance as an achievement to be safeguarded, it invests in the fear of taking responsibility. And all that suggests everything but love for the monuments.

ekathimerini.com , Wednesday Jul 9, 2014 (10:10)  
The judiciary’s responsibility
Findings raise eyebrows
Countering Turkish swagger in the Eastern Mediterranean
Time is running out in Afghanistan
Cyprus court ruling opens way for bailout funds
The Cypriot supreme court ruled as unconstitutional Friday four bills on bank foreclosures whose passage by parliament prompted international lenders to halt payments on the country’s 10-bil...
Greek PM appoints new defense, development ministers [Update]
Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras named his development minister to the defence ministry portfolio on Friday to replace Dimitris Avramopoulos, who is set to become an EU Commissioner. Nik...
Inside News
Eurozone inflation up, unemployment steady, Eurostat reports
Eurozone inflation edged up to 0.4 percent from multi-year lows while unemployment was little changed, official data showed on Friday, providing only limited reassurance that a modest econom...
Greek retail sales rise for third month in a row
Greek retail sales by volume rose 7.4 percent in August compared to the same month last year, after a downwardly revised 4.7 percent increase in July, statistics service ELSTAT said on Frida...
Inside Business
BASKETBALL
Obradovic watches Greens thrash his Fenerbahce
The second homecoming of former Panathinaikos coach Zeljko Obradovic, now at Fenerbahce, was not as emotional as last year’s, but it was certainly was the night of an emphatic triumph for th...
SOCCER
Berg returns to add spice to Panathinaikos´s Cup win
The second round of games for the group stage of the Greek Cup produced plenty of interesting games and results in midweek, but it still lags the upset potential that the knock-out stages of...
Inside Sports
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Cyprus court ruling opens way for bailout funds
2. Greek PM appoints new defense, development ministers [Update]
3. PSI victims protest in Athens, Thessaloniki
4. Archaeologists find underground vault in Amphipolis tomb
5. Eurozone inflation up, unemployment steady, Eurostat reports
6. Nikos Dendias appointed defense minister
more news
Today
This Week
1. Man shot dead, woman injured in Vathis square attack
2. Cyprus’s Georgiades bets on economy for Irish-style bailout exit
3. Germany’s 10-year bonds decline before euro-area inflation data
4. Greek retail sales rise for third month in a row
5. Archaeologists find underground vault in Amphipolis tomb
6. New defense minister to be appointed without reshuffle
Today
This Week
1. Austria’s creative bookkeeping beats Greece on secret debts
2. End of reason, end of humanity
3. Clean bill of health for Greek banks from stress tests
4. Samaras pledges action after flash floods in Athens
5. Eurobank, National Bank restructurings eliminate capital gap
6. Athens flood damage assessed, compensation payments to begin
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.