Sunday March 29, 2015 Search
Weather | Athens
14o C
09o 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)  
Let´s change the subject
Too little, too late?
Time to get moving
The same old story
Disabled convicts to be freed early
A bill allowing prisoners with serious disabilities to be released early is due to be submitted to Parliament next week despite objections from some opposition parties. The would-be legislat...
Greek energy minister starts two-day visit to Russia on Monday
Energy Minister Panayiotis Lafazanis is due to meet his Russian counterpart Alexander Novak and the chief executive of energy giant Gazprom, Alexey Miller, in Moscow on Monday. Lafazanis’s m...
Inside News
Fitch downgrades Greece amid bailout uncertainty
Ratings agency Fitch has downgraded Greeces sovereign rating amid growing uncertainty over the new government's pledge to overhaul reforms needed to restart bailout loan payments and avoid d...
Bank accounts continue to bleed
Pressures on Greek bank deposits have continued in March, with sector officials estimating that households and enterprises have withdrawn a net 3 billion euros in the first weeks of this mon...
Inside Business
BASKETBALL
Greens live dangerously in Istanbul
Panathinaikos played with fire in Istanbul, but still managed to beat Galatasaray 86-84 on Friday and climb to the third sport of its group two games before the end of the Euroleague top-16....
SOCCER
Greek federation backs injured Holebas
The Greek soccer federation on Friday insisted that international defender Jose Holebas had been dropped from team training in Austria because of injury and not for any other reason. Media r...
Inside Sports
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Disabled convicts to be freed early
2. Greek energy minister starts two-day visit to Russia on Monday
3. Opposition tells Tsipras to get control of his party
4. Vitsentzos Kornaros passenger ferry finally on its way
5. Foreign laborer dies after falling from 3rd floor of Iraklio building
6. A 5.3 Richter quake rattles area between Crete and Kasos
more news
Today
This Week
1. Fitch downgrades Greece amid bailout uncertainty
2. Opposition tells Tsipras to get control of his party
3. Let's change the subject
4. Greek energy minister starts two-day visit to Russia on Monday
5. Too little, too late?
6. Disabled convicts to be freed early
Today
This Week
1. Next Monday is D-Day for state funds
2. PM faces Merkel amid race to detail reforms
3. Some more equal than others
4. Greece to present reforms by Monday, says gov't spokesman [Update]
5. Looking at the Chinese model
6. Greece optimistic on deal with euro area next week
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2015, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.