Rallying for the Altar of the 12 Gods

The issue regarding the unearthing of the Altar of the Twelve Gods has been getting less and less publicity lately, after it became evident that — for the time being at least — the government is offering no alternative solution than the one foreseen for the immediate future. Despite the fact that archaeologists believe the remnants located during works on the southbound tracks of the ISAP electric railway are part of the Altar of the Twelve Gods, a landmark monument marking the heart of the ancient city center, the major findings will be buried and it will be up to future generations to bring them back to light.

Not everyone is settling for the idea of an ?inevitable? burial, however. In fact, it seems that a broad front is currently in the making, uniting various citizen groups in opposition to the government?s move.

Polytheists appear to be leading the movement, something which could work against the cause. This does not belittle the motives of the polytheists, however, who have every right to protest for their own, respectable, reasons. Besides, polytheists participated in the first rally organized by the Citizens? Initiative for the Restoration of the Altar of the Twelve Gods, on Sunday, March 13, at the Ancient Agora.

Sunday?s gathering was the largest protest since Kathimerini revealed the existence of the major findings on February 12.

Speaking to a member of the initiative prior to the rally, it emerged that the movement came about through social media activity, including Facebook.

?First we created a page on Facebook, then people showed interest, so we thought we could get more organized. The page currently has some 3,500 members. There?s also a blog — — while Sunday?s rally is our first public outing,? said Christos Panopoulos. ?Our aim is to persuade the leadership of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism not to proceed with the burial of the findings, but to put across technically feasible solutions for their unearthing.?

On the international front, an online petition can be found at

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