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New Acropolis Musem aggravates the Church

24 July 2009 / 14:07:56  GRReporter
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The Greek Orthodox Church has reportedly become angry with administration of the new Acropolis Museum. The grudge is caused by a 13-minute documentary, projected in one of the halls of the museum, which shows, using digital animation, a group of priests in robes destroying sculptures of the Parthenon in the VIII century AD. Interestingly enough, creator of the documentary is the world-famous Greek director Kostas Gavras. The film itself dates back to 2004 and has been shown in front of a big audience at the New York Cultural Olympics, organized during the summer Olympic games of 2004.


The film is devoted to the legendary Athenian chief Pericles and his urban plans. It’s precisely the period under Pericles when the Parthenon has been built on the hill of the Acropolis. The director spends too much time unfolding the temple’s decorations, and only briefly describes the events in the 25 centurial history since it was first built. The first disaster to befall the temple was a big fire in 267 B.C. Next is the early Christian period, which damages a number of the ancient Greek cultural monuments, including the Parthenon which is turned into a church. Other historic events are also visited by Gavras – during the fourth Crusade, the Parthenon is converted into a Roman church. Also in 1458, when the Turks conquer Athens, it is turned into a Muslim mosque. The marble structures, which lord Elgin takes to Britain are also mentioned.


 As a final point, the creator of the film claims that in many churches and monasteries in Athos and the rest of the country, one can see columns and other architectural elements and statues belonging to religious temples of the ancient Greeks, which have been subsequently replaced by Christian churches. The practice of demolishing ancient Greek religious monuments, and building churches in their places was rather popular in the early centuries of Christianity.


The Holy Synod of the Greek Orthodox Church has officially requested for the film projection to be cancelled.

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