Costa-Gavras’s Parthenon

I made a post a few months ago entitled The Destructive Power of the Parthenon (see also my brief review of Anthony Kaldellis’ book about on the Christian Parthenon).  It has become one of my most frequently viewed posts.  I was prompted by the controversy over Costa-Gavras’s short film for the New Acropolis Museum in Athens.  The controversy stems from the depiction of black glad Christian’s defacing the Parthenon sculptures in (apparently) A.D. 438.  As I said in my previous post, I have my doubts about the historical and archaeological veracity of this claim – or at least the systematic extent of damage inflicted by iconoclastic Christians – but I’ll leave the archaeological arguments to folks like Troels Myrup who specialize in the phenomenon.

I’ll refrain for analyzing the film further (taking a colleague’s advice: it’s just a cartoon!), except to say that the only depiction of figures in the film are folks being destructive to the building (namely Christian Athenians and Lord Elgin).  It seems like a missed opportunity not to have shown early archaeologists to whose vision we owe so much of our current view of the Acropolis and its temple.

  1. November 27, 2009 at 7:19 pm

    The saddest thing is that Manolis Korres and Charalambos Bouras were scientific advisers. If I were a classicist, I would have objected to not seeing the clutter of dedications that would have surrounded the monument. I agree, one cannot really be serious by such a fundamentally postmodern document (just as one cannot really be serious about the postmodern Acropolis Museum). Seeking for truth or criticism would mean being duped. Oh, and see how the youtube video is linked to a “call for action.”

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