Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Parthenon Animated Clip

Earlier this summer I posted about how the Elgin Marbles controversy has been reignited with the opening of the new Acropolis Museum. It seems like the flames keep getting fanned as the summer waxes on. Currently, the Acropolis Museum is showing screenings of a short animated clip by Costa Gavros. This clip shows the history of the Parthenon, which culminates with Lord Elgin's workers hacking metopes and pediment sculptures off of the facade. Excerpts of Lord Byron's poem "The Curse of Minerva" is read by a narrator at the end of the clip (Byron wrote this satiric poem in 1811, when Lord Elgin was still removing marbles off of the Parthenon).

You can bet that this screening is a not-so-subtle hint that the Acropolis Museum wants their sculptures back. You can watch the clip here:

I don't know if this clip has sparked much dialogue between the Greeks and Brits yet, but it has attracted attention and controversy. Recently, the Orthodox Church complained about the depictions of Christians destroying images in the film, and asked that 12 seconds of the film be removed. Later, it was decided that the film would remain unedited.

What do you think of the clip? I think fun to see a visual history of the Parthenon, even if the film agenda is biased.

It will be interesting to see if this Elgin Marbles debate ever ends. I don't think that either side is backing down or willing to reach a consensus as to where the statues should remain. It's a never-ending battle. It kind of reminds me of when Jack Sparrow and Barbossa are locked in an eternal sword fight at the end of Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. Each side keeps on attacking and jabbing, but no progress is made towards ending the fight.