Acropolis Renovations

The Old World is a reference to those parts of Earth known to Europeans before the voyages of Christopher Columbus; it includes Europe, Asia and Africa.

Moderators: Minimalist, MichelleH, JPeters

Post Reply
Minimalist
Forum Moderator
Posts: 15906
Joined: Mon Sep 26, 2005 1:09 pm
Location: Arizona

Acropolis Renovations

Post by Minimalist » Sat Sep 04, 2021 10:47 pm

I was there in about 10 years ago and I think the committee has a point.

https://www.brown.edu/news/2021-09-03/acropolis

In Athens, new Acropolis renovations threaten to erase ancient history, expert says

Archaeologists across the globe, including one scholar at Brown, believe recent renovations at the iconic Athens landmark are promoting the site’s classical past — and ignoring the rest of its history.
After closing for nearly five months in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Acropolis of Athens — one of the world’s most iconic ancient wonders — reopened to the public in March 2021. And when it did, it was practically unrecognizable to Yannis Hamilakis, a professor of archaeology and modern Greek studies at Brown University.

Hamilakis was astounded to see that crews had paved over much of the rocky summit to create wide paths of reinforced concrete. The Committee for the Conservation of the Acropolis Monuments — which advises the Acropolis Restoration Service, a special unit of the Greek Ministry of Culture and Sports — had deemed the work necessary to accommodate visitors with disabilities. The committee revealed in 2020 that it also has plans to reconstruct a Roman marble staircase on the site’s western slope.

This is a tough one because if you are going to invite tourists up to the Parthenon you have to deal with the fact that people can easily slip and fall.

When we were there I noted that there were no hand rails at all and the way up was basically one slab of limestone to another. Curiously all the Americans and Asians seemed to be wearing sneakers but I noted a lot of the European women wearing heels of one type or another. I saw plenty stopping along the climb to take their shoes off so they wouldn't break their necks because it does get to be a long way down after you've been climbing for a while.

BUT. They are changing the character of the site by doing it. Perhaps they might have tried installing handrails as a first step before getting reallly drastic about it but someone must have thought of that and they decided not to try a half-measure. One dead tourist falling off the rock would probably set tourism back quite a bit when it hit the paper.

Full disclosure. We were there on a hot day in the afternoon. There had been no rain. But I slipped while walking around the Parthenon wearing sneakers as the limestone seemed slick in places. I was lucky enough to be walking close enough to a low wall to reach out and stop myself from falling on my face but you can bet your ass that I was exceedingly careful on the way back down.
Something is wrong here. War, disease, death, destruction, hunger, filth, poverty, torture, crime, corruption, and the Ice Capades. Something is definitely wrong. This is not good work. If this is the best God can do, I am not impressed.

-- George Carlin

User avatar
circumspice
Posts: 1104
Joined: Sat Dec 19, 2009 7:10 pm

Re: Acropolis Renovations

Post by circumspice » Sun Sep 05, 2021 11:58 am

Surely they could have perhaps installed handrails & a lift for visitors who have physical limitations? Our local courthouse, a late 19th century 2 storey building, was not ADA compliant right on up to the year 2000. The powers that be had insisted that they didn't need to install an elevator when they could just carry a disabled person up the stairs... (The courtroom is on the 2nd floor) They felt that installing wheelchair ramps at 2 of the 4 exterior entrances was the limit of their obligation for ADA compliance. That attitude generated a local shitstorm. That cavalier way of thinking threatened the entire county with the loss of state & federal funds as long as they refused to comply. Of course, when confronted with the loss of funds, they begrudgingly complied & had a very small, claustrophobic elevator installed. Progress is sometimes painful.

My opinion about the issue of renovating the Acropolis is a bit equivocal. If they are seeking tourist dollars/euros, then they should probably make access easier & also address safety issues. If they want to keep it pristine for the sake of study & preservation, then they should offer an equivalent experience like the Lascaux ll replica. Aren't they already planning to do that anyway, with the marble sculptures that remain on the Parthenon?

People have a habit of 'loving' a special site to its death & destruction.

Something that I found odd about an article decrying the renovations that took place at the Acropolis was that they said that the powers that be were cherry picking their own image of an historical ideal... Some nonsense about picking a classical era white heritage type theme... The last time I checked, the Greeks of the Classical period were... um... white...
"Damn with faint praise, assent with civil leer, and, without sneering, teach the rest to sneer." ~ Alexander Pope

Minimalist
Forum Moderator
Posts: 15906
Joined: Mon Sep 26, 2005 1:09 pm
Location: Arizona

Re: Acropolis Renovations

Post by Minimalist » Sun Sep 05, 2021 2:52 pm

I don't know if they have similar laws in Greece to the ADA or if it is an EU requirement but it would not surprise me.


I missed - or glossed over that last bit. It does sound like a little PC attitude which is amusing because the Classical Greeks considered anyone who wasn't Greek to be a barbarian.
Something is wrong here. War, disease, death, destruction, hunger, filth, poverty, torture, crime, corruption, and the Ice Capades. Something is definitely wrong. This is not good work. If this is the best God can do, I am not impressed.

-- George Carlin

User avatar
circumspice
Posts: 1104
Joined: Sat Dec 19, 2009 7:10 pm

Re: Acropolis Renovations

Post by circumspice » Sun Sep 05, 2021 6:40 pm

I see the current “preservation” plans of the Acropolis, and the decision to evoke one historical period at the expense of others, as a celebration of whiteness: a celebration not of the fifth century B.C. but of the 18th and 19th century white Eurocentric modernity, which chose the fifth century as its key ancestral legacy.




I'm not into breast-beating, hair tearing, horsehair shirt wearing, white guilt... It's exacerbating racial tentions, rather than ameliorating them. We can't make reparations to the people who deserve reparations but we can educate & move on. Break the cycle of hate. Bring in an era of true equality. Then try to remember that humanity's last remaining whipping boys are... females. True equality extends to ALL humanity. Excluding 1/2 of the human population is absurd. Until you've walked a mile in our stiletto heels or flip-flops, you can't truly understand how it feels to be devalued simply because of your gender.
"Damn with faint praise, assent with civil leer, and, without sneering, teach the rest to sneer." ~ Alexander Pope

Minimalist
Forum Moderator
Posts: 15906
Joined: Mon Sep 26, 2005 1:09 pm
Location: Arizona

Re: Acropolis Renovations

Post by Minimalist » Sun Sep 05, 2021 7:26 pm

Been following what is going on in Texas?
Something is wrong here. War, disease, death, destruction, hunger, filth, poverty, torture, crime, corruption, and the Ice Capades. Something is definitely wrong. This is not good work. If this is the best God can do, I am not impressed.

-- George Carlin

User avatar
circumspice
Posts: 1104
Joined: Sat Dec 19, 2009 7:10 pm

Re: Acropolis Renovations

Post by circumspice » Mon Sep 06, 2021 3:10 am

Yeah. Nothing new here. This has been an ongoing hot-button issue for decades. I expect that it will be challenged in appelate courts shortly.

See what I mean about gender inequality?

And the reversal of Roe v Wade in Texas is really only a minor blip. Look at nations like China & India, where they selectively abort female foeti. Sure, they have laws banning such activities, yet it's never enforced. The gender gap between males & females is increasing rather than decreasing. Males outnumber females in those nations because males are the preferred gender of child. Another problematic issue in India is the casual attitude about the rape of females of all ages, often ending with the murder of the female victim. Look in Afghanistan... It's effectively illegal to educate a female of any age.

Didn't I say that females are humanity's last whipping boys? Why do men hate women so much? I'm baffled.
"Damn with faint praise, assent with civil leer, and, without sneering, teach the rest to sneer." ~ Alexander Pope

Minimalist
Forum Moderator
Posts: 15906
Joined: Mon Sep 26, 2005 1:09 pm
Location: Arizona

Re: Acropolis Renovations

Post by Minimalist » Mon Sep 06, 2021 7:56 am

In most cases it is religious based. "Women" were the cause of all men's problems. Didn't you know that?
Something is wrong here. War, disease, death, destruction, hunger, filth, poverty, torture, crime, corruption, and the Ice Capades. Something is definitely wrong. This is not good work. If this is the best God can do, I am not impressed.

-- George Carlin

User avatar
circumspice
Posts: 1104
Joined: Sat Dec 19, 2009 7:10 pm

Re: Acropolis Renovations

Post by circumspice » Mon Sep 06, 2021 4:11 pm

I'd agree if we were talking about the Judeo/Christian family of religions. However, the main examples I mentioned are far eastern religions. What's their excuse for hating females? An extreme example that I knew personally: A woman that I had worked with overseas... She was born & raised in the US. Her heritage was Sub-Saharan African. Because she was born female, her father was pissed. He'd wanted his eldest child to be male. So... he refused to allow her to be named. Because she was born in the US, she was awarded a 'temporary' name on her hospital bracelet & hospital birth certificate... that name was... Female (surname)... So, her name was Female. For real. She pronounced her name: fem-olly. True story. He was blaming her for his disappointment regarding her gender at birth. Which is ironic since the male determines the gender of the child at conception. I'm still baffled... There is no universal religious tradition that blames females for all of mankind's woes.
"Damn with faint praise, assent with civil leer, and, without sneering, teach the rest to sneer." ~ Alexander Pope

Simon21
Posts: 620
Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2014 4:40 am

Re: Acropolis Renovations

Post by Simon21 » Wed Sep 08, 2021 3:38 am

Well its easy to be pompous on these attitudes. The UK puffs it's chest and boasts of its attempts to raise the status of females in Afghanistan. At the same time it is revealed that so few rape cases are pursued by the UK courts that rape has become virtually legal and you were more likely to get arrested for littering. In Australia they estimate 1 woman a week is killed in domestic violence. A year ago a deranged father waited for his wife and three children to get into their car, then doused them with fuel and burnt them alive - this on a Brisbane street in full daylight in front of viewers. And both the UK and Australia are at peace, have the latest technologies, paid police forces. Yet people who point out these horrors are often called "feminazis", "commies" (though KM's own conduct hardly makes him a feminist icon), woke, blah de blah.

In the case of Afghanistan the issue is somewhat complex. Yes women's rights have been rescinded, no they shouldn't be. But what is the use of rights in a civil war? What rights did the women who died in Kundaz hospital have when it was blown up by gunships? Or when the Taliban sprayed gunfire in another? One afghan woman stated she and indeed her family would like the right to step out of her house without fear of stepping on a landmine.

However the fact that one such abuse exists does not mean one closes one's eye to others. The amount of bitter racism still around is hideous and it isn't an issue of perceived personal slight. It costs lives. One only shudders to think what was going on before portable phone cameras. There has been an announcement that the bizzare assassination of Malcolm X is to be reinvestigated - and the tendency of black leaders in the US to end up shot is an odd coincidence. In OZ they adopted a more subtle approach. Suspects would be thrown into chokey, and then - , mysteriously since they were supposed to be watched every 20 minutes, hang themselves. The NT police were filmed with blackface and ropes around their - necks celebrating one such event.

There is apparently a thing called Critical Race Theory. It has some interesting ides, fairly academic, but a real contribution to intellectual study of the past. The mass hysteria which has attended this defies belief. And the irony is, particularly in the US, though Oz is catching up, is that getting schoolchildren to learn any theory at all about anything would be a miracle.

Simon21
Posts: 620
Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2014 4:40 am

Re: Acropolis Renovations

Post by Simon21 » Wed Sep 08, 2021 3:44 am

Full disclosure! I too came a cropper on the Acropolis - nearly broke my fxxx ankle. The marble was like soap. When I was led off hobbling about I gave Pericles et al a serve I can tell you.

Minimalist
Forum Moderator
Posts: 15906
Joined: Mon Sep 26, 2005 1:09 pm
Location: Arizona

Re: Acropolis Renovations

Post by Minimalist » Thu Sep 09, 2021 9:54 am

Religion gets a lot of credit for shit it never did, Circ. Instead, it incorporated the existing culture and gave it the imprimatur of whatever god they are pushing to say it just fine with him. Religitards did not become bullshitters only in modern times!

If you check out the history of dowries or bride price if you will, you 'll see that women were treated as property to be virtually bought and sold at the discretion of their families. In one form or another the idea existed everywhere. The practice has ended in the West although a vestige of it lives on in the doctrine that "the bride's family pays for the wedding." Dowries are mentioned in Hammurabi's Code which far pre-dates any of this Judeo-Xtian nonsense so this was a concept they borrowed and endorsed. Marriages were also seen as alliances between families with the bride being, in effect, the sacrifice.

I've seen anthropological suggestions that all of this resulted from the transformation of human society from Hunter/Gatherer to Agriculture and the subsequent growth of patriarchal systems where sons were prized more highly than daughters. But the origins are lost in the fog of pre-history so who the hell knows.
Something is wrong here. War, disease, death, destruction, hunger, filth, poverty, torture, crime, corruption, and the Ice Capades. Something is definitely wrong. This is not good work. If this is the best God can do, I am not impressed.

-- George Carlin

Minimalist
Forum Moderator
Posts: 15906
Joined: Mon Sep 26, 2005 1:09 pm
Location: Arizona

Re: Acropolis Renovations

Post by Minimalist » Thu Sep 09, 2021 10:00 am

That was quite a surprise, Simon. I wasn't the only one of our group who slipped up there. One woman went down and caught herself on her knees and hands. She's lucky she didn't break anything.

I did chuckle at the line which said that they planned to reconstruct a "Roman marble staircase." That will solve the problem, boys!
Something is wrong here. War, disease, death, destruction, hunger, filth, poverty, torture, crime, corruption, and the Ice Capades. Something is definitely wrong. This is not good work. If this is the best God can do, I am not impressed.

-- George Carlin

User avatar
circumspice
Posts: 1104
Joined: Sat Dec 19, 2009 7:10 pm

Re: Acropolis Renovations

Post by circumspice » Fri Sep 10, 2021 6:01 pm

I still say that it probably goes deeper than religion Min. India & China have pantheons of gods that are both male & female. Same for Greece & Rome. Some of those female gods are highly regarded. (Side note: female Christian saints draw a parallel with female pagan gods) Here's something that has bothered me since I first heard it... this crude truism: "Never trust anything that can bleed without injury & suffer no ill effects"... What? So now we're being held accountable for a biological function? Like it's somehow an intrinsically evil part of female biology? I still wonder why males hold females in contempt. Sometimes the contempt is merely offhand or knee-jerk & sometimes it is active & virulent. I don't 'get' it. You are on the outside, looking in. You don't experience the full effect. We can tell you about it. You might even really listen. But you will never truly understand it if you don't experience it. Like I said before, it's baffling. Why do you (males) hate us (females)? Why do you want to pound us into submission, make us less than human? It makes no sense.
"Damn with faint praise, assent with civil leer, and, without sneering, teach the rest to sneer." ~ Alexander Pope

Minimalist
Forum Moderator
Posts: 15906
Joined: Mon Sep 26, 2005 1:09 pm
Location: Arizona

Re: Acropolis Renovations

Post by Minimalist » Sat Sep 11, 2021 11:48 am

So now we're being held accountable for a biological function?
That is one of the main points of the Garden of Eden myth. Women fucked up so they have to be punished. Easy to write after the fact!

But most mythology has that kind of etiological basis on one level or another.
Something is wrong here. War, disease, death, destruction, hunger, filth, poverty, torture, crime, corruption, and the Ice Capades. Something is definitely wrong. This is not good work. If this is the best God can do, I am not impressed.

-- George Carlin

Post Reply