2011 Archived News

Dialogues on the Acropolis

Author: SKAI Books

ENGLISH EDITION - Scholars and experts talk on the history, restoration and the Acropolis Museum

What is it that causes the monuments of the Acropolis of Athens to be considered world heritage? At the same time, why is it that Greeks regard these monuments as being theirs, regardless of whether or not they visit them regularly or whether they really know them? Why do they regard them as their very own, their "home", the trademark of Greece through the ages and of the present day?

To what do they owe their beauty, their harmony, their majesty, which not only causes whoever looks upon them for the first time to become rooted to the spot, but also daily renews the feeling of wonder and admiration in those who work there? How come, although now in ruins, they continue to embody values and spiritual achievement that make them symbols of the ultimate in European or more generally, Western thought, government and creation?

It is these and other questions that the 16 specialists attempt to answer during conversations with the journalist Aris Portosalte in the spring of 2009, just before the official opening of the new Acropolis museum. Archeologists, architects, civil and chemical engineers and a specialist marble stonemason, all dedicated to study and research of the Acropolis monuments, to saving them, to their conservation as well as their display, all approach the Acropolis phenomenon in a different way, each from the viewpoint of their particular speciality and field, interpreting the different manifestations, underlining and illuminating different facets, ultimately helping us to get to know it, become familiar with it.

Through their conversations unfold the terms, conditions, the cultural atmosphere of the creation of the monuments of the Acropolis, their uniqueness of architecture and sculpture, their subsequent historical adventures and fate, their special relationship with modern day Greece, and the efforts being made over the last 35 years to conserve and restore these monuments. Furthermore, for the first time, we witness the rationale behind the task of bringing forth and promoting the artistic and cultural values of Acropolis' "world" in the new museum.

Their words are direct, every day, and incorporate the varied scholarly or lay phraseology, that characterises the daily Greek language. They all express deep admiration for the Acropolis monuments, and an even deeper respect for their creators. Each one expresses the same emotions of euphoria and gratitude for their luck in being able to study them or work in their shadow.