Cheap spectacle, government flop

If nothing else, the Greek public has learned everything it needed to know about Faberge eggs and the royal habit of exchanging them as gifts. People have discovered the tastes of Greece’s former royal family, their aesthetic preferences, and household items. They also know of the fierce protests by Culture Minister Giorgos Voulgarakis to the London-based Christie’s auction house for organizing the sale of items «which are part of the history of the modern Greek state.» His message was a strong one indeed. «From now on, no more joking about Greece. Our cultural heritage is our business and we will keep a close eye on it.» But the recipients of the threat responded with a Mona Lisa-like smile that was nevertheless British in style and arrogance. They talked about surprise and confusion. And then came the triumphant results of the auction. No one seemed bothered about the Greek protests. No one hesitated. Prices skyrocketed. Once the fuss is over, we’ll be left with a taste of cheap television spectacle and government flop.

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