The cranes are back

If the job of transporting the ancient monuments from the Acropolis to the new museum is really an undertaking of such world-shattering importance as the rhetoric of politicians, technocrats and the media would have us believe, then we will have to invent new words to do proper justice to a description of the Parthenon monuments themselves. Of course, we all are inspired by the desire to make our mark, even if only in a brief historical footnote, but our concern to describe the movements of machines in words that are better suited to describing the things of the spirit shows that our understanding of the phrase «all things in moderation» has ended up on one of the country’s many scrap heaps, several of which are to be found right next to the archaeological sites that we love so much and are so keen to protect. Yes, a state has every right to be proud of successfully carrying out a difficult project, but one that is well within the capability of technology. However, the modern Greek state would have every right to boast if it had shown itself as capable in the many other cases in which its relationship with its ancient past has been challenged. When Ancient Olympia was suddenly threatened by fire, when the site of the Battle of Marathon was turned into a rowing venue and then abandoned after the Olympic Games, when Ancient Dodoni was threatened by the Egnatia Highway, when the previous culture minister advised archaeologists at semiofficial meetings to be more «open-minded,» giving engineers and property developers the green light to build even inside archaeological sites such as Knossos – where was the concerted action then?