flameThe Hellenic Society Prometheas

Τη γλώσσα μου έδωσαν Ελληνική

Το σπίτι φτωχικό στις αμμουδιές του Ομήρου.

Μονάχη έγνοια η γλώσσα μου στις αμμουδιές του Ομήρου.

www.Prometheas.org                                                  Οδυσσέας Ελύτης


December 2009

Prometheas Events

·        Friday, December 4, 2009 8:00 pm, at St. George Church. Greek Movie “ΟΛΑ ΘΑ ΠΑΝΕ ΚΑΛΑ”, comedy. New movie, in Greek with subtitles in English.  See attached flier.

Other Events


·        Wednesday, December 9, 2009, at 7:00 p.m.: “How Did the Greek Philosophers Prepare for the End of Life?” by Professor Patrick Lee Miller, Duquesne University. At the Embassy of Greece, 2217 Massachusetts Ave. NWWashington, DC 20007. FOR TICKETS - Call 202.363.4337 or e-mail classic.heritage@verizon.net

·        Thursday Dec 10, 2009, 6:30 – 8:00 pm: Movie “Daphnis and Chloe” at the Embassy of Greece: 2217 Massachusetts Ave. N.W. Washington DC. 20008. RSVP at: rsvpculture@greekembassy.org or at phone no.: 202-745-4444


Websites of the month

Interesting new Webpage by the Greek Ministry of Culture: www.parthenonfrieze.gr


Scientific American Dec. 2009: 50 years after Derek Price, "Decoding an Ancient Computer" by Tony Freeth



Mount Athos (National Geographic): http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2009/12/athos/draper-text

A few words and pictures about Prometheas

Ο Γίγαντας (Προμηθεας)
Τραγουδι: Νικος Ξυλουρης

Μουσικη: Γιαννης Μαρκοπουλος

Στίχοι: Κ.Χ Μύρη

Στα πίσω χρόνια τα παλιά απού φωτιά δεν είχε
ο κόσμος στις βαθιές σπηλιές τ'αλέτρι δεν κατείχε

Μα μιαν αυγή μια κυριακή μια επίσημον ημέρα
γεμίσανε τα φυσερά λυτρωτικόν αγέρα

Κατέβηκεν ο Γίγαντας μ'ένα δαδί στο χέρι
έριξε φώτα στις σπηλιές και χάρηκε τ'ασκέρι


Πηράν φωτιά τα σύδεντρα τα σίδερα ελυγίσαν
η γης οργώθηκε καλά και τα φυτά εκαρπήσαν

Πρωί πρωί τον πιάσανε τον γίγαντα και πάνε
στον Καύκασο εξημέρωνε τρία πουλιά περνάνε

Πουλιά μου διαβατάρικα τι βλέπετε στις στράτες
τι κουβαλάει ο Γίγαντας στις σιδερένιες πλάτες.


Μπροστά πηγαίνει ο Σίδερας με το σφυρί στο χέρι
ξοπίσω του ο Κλειδαράς της μοναξιάς του ταίρι

ο πιο σκυφτός ο πιο μικρός ο πιο κακός στο πλάι
αυτός κρατάει τα σύνεργα γελάει μα δεν μιλάει

Καρφώσανε το Γίγαντα στο βράχο του καυκάσου
τρία πουλάκια πέρασαν και του λεγαν στοχάσου!




Prometheas Statute, Downtown Tokyo, Japan

Picture taken in November 2009

Prometheas, Rockefeller Center, New York

Picture taken in March 2008

The President of The Hellenic Society Prometheas (picture taken in March 2008)

Did you know?

That many capital cities of the world (e.g., London, New York, Paris and Chicago) have “copies” of Hagia Sophia?  Examples:

·        St Sophia on Moscow road in London; the mosaic dome is an exact copy Hagia Sophia.

·        St. Anselm in South Bronx, NY

·        Hagia Sophia in Saint-Esprit of Paris

·        Sts. Constantine and Helen in Chicago (sold to the Nation of Islam in 1971 and converted into a Mosque by Louis Farrakhan in 1988)

To this list, we should add Frank Lloyd Wright’s Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church of Wauwatosa, Winsconsin, an architectural masterpiece influenced by Hagia Sophia.

Books of the month

·        “Thucydides: The reinvention of history” by Donald Kagan

·        Byzantium: The surprising life of a medieval empire” by Judith Herrin

·        Byzantium Redescovered” by J.B. Bullen, Phaidon Publishing

·        “Hagia Sophia, 1850-1950: Holy Wisdom Modern Monument” by Robert S. Nelson, University of Chicago Press


News Articles

November 20, 2009

Saints at a Cultural Crossroads


At monasteries on Mount Athos in northern Greece, you wake in the night to the sound of Greek Orthodox monks chanting Byzantine prayers. It’s an unforgettable sound, distant and unearthly, but also inside you, like a buzz in the blood.

The painter Domenikos Theotokopoulos, better known as El Greco, almost certainly heard it growing up far to the south on the island of Crete. You can hear it today when you visit “The Origins of El Greco: Icon Painting in Venetian Crete,” a lustrous exhibition at the Onassis Cultural Center in Midtown Manhattan.

With its extraordinary ensemble of almost 50 religious images, most of them painted on Crete — seven by El Greco and some of the rest by artists whose names are not known — the show is essentially a dual-purpose visual essay. On the one hand it roughs out the texture of a specific, cosmopolitan, East-meets-West island culture. On the other it tells the story of a great artist who emerged from that culture, lived outside it and lastingly belonged to it.

At the time of El Greco’s birth, in 1541, Crete had been a preserve of Byzantine tradition for a hundred years, since the fall of Constantinople to the Turks in 1453, and a colonial possession of Venice for more than three centuries. Most of the population was Greek Orthodox, but economic power was in the hands of a Roman Catholic minority. Local artists necessarily catered to both, turning out Byzantine-style icons for one, late Gothic devotional paintings for the other and, increasingly, synthesizing the two modes.

The show opens with an example of Byzantine art in something like a pure form: a large 14th-century image (unsigned, as many of these paintings are) of Christ Pantokrator, or All Powerful, modeled after an older icon preserved in the Vatopedi monastery on Mount Athos. It’s a classic of its kind, an egg tempera painting on a wood panel of a bust-length male figure, dressed in royal purple, against a gilded ground.

The figure is half-abstract. The bearded face, set on a brawny neck, is a dainty oval topped by a turban of pulled-back hair. The nose is thin, a long droplet of flesh; the mouth, with its coral-pink lips, is minute, unsuited for eating or speaking. The eyes — large, shadowed and radiating fine stress lines — are the central feature. They look impassively at or past us, as we look into them. In the context of a church or monastery, a two-way connection between icon and worshiper is assumed.

No doubt for some viewers, the much-reproduced Pantokrator image more or less defines icons as a genre: conservative and limited in variety. But the show, organized by Anastasia Drandaki, curator of the Byzantine collection at the Benaki Museum in Athens, demonstrates otherwise.

The Virgin, for example, appears in several guises: as a nursing mother, as the mourner of an adult child, as a corpse shrouded in ultramarine and about to be beamed up to heaven. Saints come in many picturesque forms and types. In a sparkling little panel, two spun-gold soldier-saints, wearing chain-mail miniskirts, do their martial thing: one skewers a dragon, the other pins the emperor Julian the Apostate like a bug to the ground.

A depiction of the death of St. Sabas is set in a craggy landscape dotted with hermits’ caves and painted in a Tuscan, or maybe Persian, palette of pink, orange and bread-crust brown. Aged and infirm monks — one riding a lion, another hunched in a litter, a third crawling on the ground — approach the saint’s prone body. Their faces are painstakingly detailed; his is gone entirely, worn away by the kisses of worshipers over the centuries.

By the time this picture was done in the second half of the 15th century, painting in Crete had moved far beyond categories like Byzantine and Gothic. Artists had absorbed Renaissance naturalism and were pushing toward Mannerism, inventing, stealing and collaging motifs as they went. In a “Pieta,” on loan from the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, the figures of Jesus, Mary and St. John are straight-up Giovanni Bellini plunked down on a plain gold ground. Is the painting Cretan or Venetian? Your call.

In Crete, an art-star system, long in place in Italy, came into vogue. Many early pictures went unsigned, but as painting grew more cross-culturally idiosyncratic, names appeared. Artists like Angelos, Andreas Pavias and Nikoloas Tzafouris enjoyed considerable celebrity, as did the home-grown Mannerist Georgios Klontzas, whose fantastically seething miniaturist cosmologies are among the show’s highlights. By 1584, Michael Damaskenos, who was a big deal in Venice, had returned to Crete to be a big deal there, perfecting a Byzantine-Renaissance synthesis that sold like hot cakes and spawned countless imitators.

Where was Domenikos Theotokopoulos in all of this? He was in the cosmopolitan thick of things. Until around 1567, when he was in his mid-20s, he stayed in Crete and thrived. Not much of his output from that period survives, but a few things do, and they are fascinating documents of an ambitious career on the move.

A small, beat-up “Dormition of the Virgin,” which some scholars take to be his earliest known work, is standard-issue Byzantine, with foreign intrusions. Italianate angels parachute into the scene; a fancy gold candlestick with figures of female nudes sits indecorously front and center in what is, after all, a funeral.

The painting dates to sometime before 1567, when El Greco left — permanently, it turned out — for Venice. He may have spent time with Titian there. He certainly looked hard at the master’s painting and at Tintoretto’s, and then at Michelangelo’s and Parmigianino’s when he got to Rome in 1570. Bits of all of them stew around in a murky painting of the “Adoration of the Shepherds” that most likely belongs to the Roman stay.

He moved on to Spain with great hopes: King Philip II was a big fan. But then, for some reason, he wasn’t. What happened? Most likely the artist’s peculiar style — Mannerist extravagance laced with island-art gumbo — didn’t fly after all at court, where suavity usually tends to be rewarded. So he ended up working for churches, the institutions that had hired him in the first place in Crete. And the icon painter in him gradually resurfaced.

We see it in the very last painting in the show, a 1603 oil study for a “Coronation of the Virgin” commissioned by the Hospital of Charity in the town of Illescas. The composition has an iconlike symmetry. The figures, in their expressive abstraction, are as much Byzantine as Mannerist. And the picture scintillates with light, illusionistically painted rather than reflected from gold. Even cherubs tumbling around like kittens can distract from the picture’s nuclear focus: this is an image meant to promote, as music can, time-suspending, space-vivifying contemplation.

Exactly this psycho-sensual dynamic lies at the heart of how icons, as spiritual utensils, function. I wish the exhibition made something of this; had taken, as its third theme, the reality of these objects, not just as historical artifacts illustrating the progress of a culture or a famous career, but also as living and interactive energy sources, designed to embody and radiate charisma.

But that’s a major subject. It needs a full-dress show of its own. Maybe some day we’ll get it. In the meantime this one has some of the most enwrapping and enrapturing art in town, framed by alert scholarship, a lambent environment (the installation design is by Daniel Kershaw), and a score of Byzantine music, arranged and performed by the Greek ensemble En Chordais, that will soak into your system and stay there. Miraculously, admission to all of this is free.

“The Origins of El Greco: Icon Painting in Venetian Crete” remains at the Onassis Cultural Center, 645 Fifth Avenue, near 52nd Street, through Feb. 27; (212) 486-4448, onassisusa.org.

Copyright 2009 The New York Times Company


Hμερομηνία :  02-11-09

Συνέδριο στο Σικάγο για την ελληνική γλώσσα

Το 9o Διεθνές Συνέδριο Ελληνικής Γλωσσολογίας με θέμα: «Διαχρονική πορεία της ελληνικής γλώσσας, προσεγγίσεις στη μελέτη και ανάλυσή της», πραγματοποιήθηκε στο Πανεπιστήμιο του Σικάγου από τις 29 έως τις 31 Οκτωβρίου 2009, υπό την αιγίδα της «Διεθνούς Εταιρείας Ελληνικής Γλωσσολογίας» (International Society for Greek Linguistics) και της «Μεσοδυτικής Επιτροπής για τη Σύγχρονη Ελληνική Γλωσσολογία» (Midwest Committee for Modern Greek Linguistics).

Σύμφωνα με σχετική ανακοίνωση της οργανωτικής επιτροπής, η ελληνική γλώσσα, μία από τις αρχαιότερες γλώσσες με αδιάλειπτη ιστορική παρουσία περίπου από τον 14ο αιώνα πΧ μέχρι σήμερα, αποτελεί πάντοτε ένα ζωτικό εργαστήριο για τη μελέτη της γλωσσικής αλλαγής. Το πρόσφατο ενδιαφέρον σε άλλες πτυχές της γλωσσικής ανάλυσης, εξετάζοντας την γλώσσα ως ένα συγχρονικό σύστημα αλληλοσχετιζόμενων στοιχείων ήχου, μορφής και νοήματος στο πλαίσιο της ανθρώπινης αλληλεπίδρασης και επικοινωνίας, άνοιξε νέες διαστάσεις στη μελέτη της ελληνικής γλώσσας.

Στη συνέχεια, επισημαίνεται ότι από κάθε άποψη, η συμβολή της γλωσσολογικής εξέτασης της ελληνικής γλώσσας υπήρξε σημαντική στη γενική γνώση της λειτουργίας της γλώσσας.

Το Διεθνές Συνέδριο Ελληνικής Γλωσσολογίας διοργανώνεται κάθε δύο χρόνια από το 1993 και φέτος, είναι η πρώτη φορά που πραγματοποιείται στη Βόρεια Αμερική και ήταν μια θαυμάσια ευκαιρία για να παρουσιασθούν εργασίες στην ελληνική γλώσσα από μελετητές αμερικανών ιδρυμάτων, καθώς και συναδέλφων από την Ευρώπη και άλλες περιοχές, όπως τονίζεται.

Το πρόγραμμα του περιλάμβανε την παρουσίαση εκατό διατριβών, καθώς και συνεδρίες εισηγήσεων διακεκριμένων ακαδημαϊκών, καλύπτοντας θέματα Εφαρμοσμένης Γλωσσολογίας, Υπολογιστικής Γλωσσολογίας (computational), Γλωσσολογίας Σωμάτων Κειμένων, Συνομιλιακή Ανάλυση, Διαλεκτολογία, Ιστορική Γλωσσολογία, Περιγραφή Γλώσσας, Μορφολογία, Νευρογλωσσολογία, Φωνητική, Φωνολογία, Πραγματολογία, Ψυχογλωσσολογία, Σημασιολογία, Κοινωνιογλωσσολογία, και Συντακτικό.

Ιδιαίτερη έμφαση δόθηκε στη διδασκαλία της ελληνικής ως δεύτερης γλώσσας.

Την οργανωτική επιτροπή απάρτιζαν οι πανεπιστημιακοί Αναστασία Γιαννακίδου, Μπράϊαν Τζόζεφ (Brian Joseph), Τζέισον Μέρτσαντ (Jason Merchant), Πιέτρο Μπορτόουν (Pietro Bortone) και Μαρίνα Τερκουράφη. Στο πλαίσιο του συνεδρίου, διοργανώθηκαν κοινωνικές και πολιτιστικές εκδηλώσεις στο Ινστιτούτο Εγγύς Ανατολής του Πανεπιστημίου του Σικάγου (Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago) και στο Ελληνικό Μουσείο του Σικάγου (Hellenic Museum of Chicago).

www.kathimerini.grμε πληροφορίες από ΑΠΕ – ΜΠΕ


Babylonian Dreams

Saturday, March 21, 2009

The elite attack on ancient Greek achievement is made manifest in London, Paris, and Berlin.


The August heat made Berlin feel like Baghdad. Inside the Pergamon Museum, and constructed specially for the travelling Babylon show, were narrow winding ways impenetrable to air conditioning. In packed discomfort hundreds of us were slowly inching past glass cases of cuneiform tablets—little panels of baked brick that seem to have been Mesopotamia’s main industrial product. One of them told of Babylon’s creation epic. Another contained a magical spell. The biggest invariably declaimed the power of kings. Craning our heads we tried hard to read the labels and tried just as hard to be impressed.

Being impressed by Mesopotamia was the point. For too long had Hellenism been uncritically exalted in the West. Now it was time for the glory that was Greece and the grandeur that was Rome to stand aside so that we could gaze upon the je ne sais quoi that was Mesopotamia. But what exactly was Babylon? Imperial majesty? Architectural folly? A voluptuary paradise? Oriental despotism incarnate? To try to answer these questions the combined museological might of the British Museum, the Musée du Louvre, and the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin had assembled a display of things Babylonian under the title Babylon: Myth and Reality. Early in 2008, the exhibition had begun its travels in Paris; it was in Berlin at the time of my visit; and it was in London until last Sunday.

It was inevitable for the German organizers to put the show in Berlin’s Pergamon Museum because that is where Babylon’s Ishtar Gate—a permanent installation completed about 1930—was already on display. A towering reconstruction in polychrome glazed bricks nearly 15 meters high and 16 meters wide, its walls ornamented with tiers of bulls and dragons and surmounted by crenellated ramparts, it forms the gateway of a fortress where visitors and supplicants prostrated themselves at the king’s feet.

But if the existing Ishtar Gate made the choice of the Pergamon Museum inevitable, it was also a risky and perhaps even self-defeating decision. For as its name suggests, the main display at this establishment on Berlin’s “Museum Island” is one of Hellenism’s most astonishing artefacts, the Pergamon Altar, with over 100 yards of sculptured friezes as eye-catching as anything from the Parthenon. This is a decidedly hard act to follow: once seen never forgotten. And the altar and its frieze is the first thing visitors did see. Only after this marvel did they move along to find what Mesopotamia had to offer.

Is it conceivable that whole decades of research reveal no Persian literary endeavors to compare with the achievements of the Greeks?

Of course there were other items of interest from Babylon besides the gate. There were rigid busts thought to show this king or that. The seven-foot-high black basalt stone on which Hammurabi’s Code was written around 1750 BC is a useful reminder of the historic place of law in civilized society. A third stone, about 24 inches by 20 inches dating from Nebuchadnezzar’s reign (605562 BC) and containing four columns of early cuneiform script, is described in the catalogue as “a masterpiece of archaizing Babylonian epigraphy”—and no doubt it is.

But what is inscribed? What royal ruminations are here set down that might claim our attention, diverting it from things Greek? We were told it "memorializes Nebuchadnezzar’s building operations in stone. After quoting his royal titles and describing his personal piety, it describes the decorating of the chapels of Marduk, Zarpanitu, and Nabu, the reconstruction of the processional boat of Marduk, the rebuilding of the Akitu house, the restoration of the Babylon temples," and so on. Peggy Lee’s disenchanted question has no doubt been overworked, yet it was difficult to emerge from those claustrophobic museum corridors without gasping “Is that all there is?” What literary evidence is there from antiquity of a polity and a culture meriting as much attention as ancient Greece?

One wonders about the motives behind the exhibition itself. Topically, they plainly had to do with current events in Iraq and at the Baghdad Museum—a concluding chapter in the British Museum’s English-language catalogue says as much. But they also go deeper than that. For much of the past 30 years admirers of classical Greece have been on the defensive, while easternizing admirers of Mesopotamia—which includes the Assyrians, the 6th century BC Babylon of Nebuchadnezzar, and the Persians who took over under Cyrus in 539 BC—have been on the attack. Darius and Co. have been talked up; Pericles and Herodotus and Co. have been talked down.

That distinguished and venerable classicist Peter Green apologised for having been too keen for freedom in his 1970 book Xerxes at Salamis. Revising it in 1996 under the new title The Greco-Persian Wars, he regretted embracing so enthusiastically “the fundamental Herodotean concept of freedom-under-law (eleutheria, isonomia) making its great and impassioned stand against Oriental Despotism.” What he called “the insistent lessons of multiculturalism” had forced all classical scholars “to take a long hard look at Greek ‘anti-barbarian’ propaganda, beginning with Aeschylus’s Persians and the whole thrust of Herodotus’s Histories.”

The Oxford University Press author of the 2003 The Greek Wars, George Cawkwell, told us in a short preface that he was proud to be part of a scholarly movement that aims “to rid ourselves of a Hellenocentric view of the Persian world.” Much of the first three pages of his introduction then proceeded to ridicule and discredit Herodotus, who showed “an astounding misapprehension” concerning the Persians, whose stories were sometimes delightful but were certainly absurd, and who, he wrote, “had no real understanding of the Persian Empire.”

But if Herodotus didn’t get it right, who exactly did? Obviously, some nameless Persian equivalent to Herodotus might have had “a real understanding of the Persian Empire,” but who was he and where is his narrative? What book by which contemporary Persian historian provides an alternative account of Achaemenid manners and customs, institutions and political thought, imperial policy and administration and ideals?

For much of the past 30 years admirers of classical Greece have been on the defensive, while easternizing admirers of Mesopotamia have been on the attack.

The courts of Cyrus the Great, Darius the Great, not to mention Xerxes, King of Kings, employed armies of chroniclers recording royal achievements and military victories. Is it conceivable that whole decades of the recent research invoked by Peter Green and Tom Holland (author of the 2005 book Persian Fire) reveal no Persian literary endeavors to compare with the achievements of the Greeks?

Alas, that seems to be the case. Even the Oxford don so jeeringly hostile to Herodotus admits that though the evidence of past Persian glories “is ample and various, one thing is lacking. Apart from the Behistun Inscription which gives an account of the opening of the reign of Darius I, there are no literary accounts of Achaemenid history other than those written by Greeks.” Moreover, he admits, such literacy as existed in the Persian Empire was largely Greek; and such writing as took place was mainly done by Greeks.

Escaping out through the monumental Ishtar Gate into the rest of the Pergamon Museum, one was glad to be again surrounded by Hellenistic sculptures. It was like taking off from a barren desert airstrip and landing in Paris. Human faces. Faces of human scale alive with familiar emotions. In the remarkable Telephos Frieze there were youthful and elegant figures clothed in drapery, arranged with all the delicacy of civilized feeling and all the art that gifted sculptors can bestow. Gods like men and men like gods. Exploring in the nearby Graeco-Roman collection one found, instead of the heartless faces of despots, the marble statue of a young girl playing knucklebones.

Roger Sandall is a Sydney-based writer and the author of The Culture Cult. You can find more of his essays and commentary at http://www.rogersandall.com.

Image by Rictor Norton & David Allen.

Article published in The Journal of the American Enterprise Institute


Take Me Back to Constantinople

How Byzantium, not Rome, can help preserve Pax Americana.



Europe's Most Idyllic Places To Live

Parmy Olson, 09.03.09, 06:00 PM EDT

If you want to be in your own unspoiled world, move to one of these picturesque spots (Patmos).



Η ζωή του Jimmy the Greek στο ESPN




Φθινόπωρο στην περιοχή Ουάσιγκτον

            Ξανά φθινόπωρο στην πολιτεία του Μέρυλαντ, την πολιτεία των δέντρων και των λουλουδιών. Μόλις πάψει να ανθίζει το τελευταίο λουλούδι του φθινoπώρου, εδώ αρχίζει η μαγεία αλλαγής του χρώματος των φύλλων. Από τις μεγαλουπόλεις, όπως η Νέα Υόρκη, οργανώνονται εκδρομές αυτή την εποχή, για να θαυμάσουν οι κάτοικοι στην εξοχή το μυστήριο αλλαγής του χρώματος των φύλλων. Άλλο να το βλέπεις σ’ ένα μεμονωμένο δέντρο ή σε κάποια σειρά στους δρόμους, κι άλλο μέσα σ’ ένα δάσος. Εδώ, στην πολιτεία του Μέρυλαντ, δε χρειάζεται να ταξιδέψεις για να χαρείς αυτή την πολυχρωμία. Λόγω της αφθονίας των δέντρων την βλέπεις παντού, στους δρόμους, στα πάρκα, στον κήπο σου. Κοιτάζοντας από το παράθυρό μου χαίρομαι αυτή την πανδαισία χρωμάτων με όλες τις αποχρώσεις του κίτρινου, του κόκκινου, του μαβιού, του καφετί και όποιου χρώματος μπορείς να φανταστείς. Όλα δουλεμένα από το χέρι της φύσης στην καλύτερη ώρα της. Ενώ εδώ κι εκεί, μέσα σ’αυτόν τον αποχαιρετιστήριο χαλασμό της εποχής, ξεπετάγονται κάποιες αειαθλείς φλόγες πράσινου, όπως τα κυπαρίσσια του Βαν Γκογκ, για να τονίσουν πεισματικά πως παρ’ όλη την πανδαισία της αλλαγής, κάτι δεν αλλάζει.

            Ακόμα ένα φθινόπωρο λοιπόν στην πολιτεία του Μέρυλαντ, που εξελίσσεται με πολλές βροχές και συννεφιές, τόσο κυριολεκτικές οι δεύτερες όσο και συμβολικές, για τον Πρόεδρο Ομπάμα και για τους κυβερνώντες που κι αυτοί κατοιεδρεύουν εδώ.




                                    Μια επίσκεψη στο καινούριο Μουσείο της Ακρόπολης  

            Περισσότερο από ένα εκατομμύριο επισκέπτες έχει δεχτεί το καινούριο Μουσείο της Ακρόπολης, ανάμεσά τους και τον υποφαινόμενο στην τελευταία μου επίσκεψη στην Αθήνα. Και, φυσικά, δεν πρόκειται τόσο για τα εκθέματα, αυτά μας ήταν γνωστά από προηγούμενες επισκέψεις στο παλιό μουσείο, επάνω στην Ακρόπολη, ούτε και αυτά υπερέχουν εκείνων του Αρχαιολογικού, εκτός από κάποιες μοναδικές εξαιρέσεις, όπως οι Καρυάτιδες, “Ο νέος του Κριτία” (Κριτίου Παις) κ.ά.: η μοναδικότητα αυτού του μουσείου είναι το ίδιο το οικοδόμημα, τόσο σαν σύλληψη κατά νου όσο και στην εκτέλεση της ιδέας. Αυτή έγινε με τα πιο σύγχρονα υλικά ενώ πρότυπο είναι ο ίδιος ο ναός της Παρθένου Αθηνάς, τον οποίο θαυμάζει ο επισκέπτης μέσα από την σύγχρονη μεταμόρφωσή του. Όσο για τα εκθέματα, αυτά βρήκαν την άνεση του χώρου που τους έλλειπε στο σχεδόν υπόγειο παλιό οικοδόμημα επάνω στον λόφο, μαζί με την φυσική θέση που γι’ αυτά επέλεξαν ο Ικτίνος, ο Καλλικράτης, ο Μνησικλής και ο Φειδίας πριν διόμισυ χιλιάδες χρόνια. Το αποκορύφωμα στην τελειότητα της εφαρμογής και εκτέλεσης της ιδέας του νέου Μουσείου, τα αισθάνεται ο επισκεπτης στον τρίτο όροφο,  ο οποίος αποτελεί την πλήρη σύγχρονη αναπαράσταση του ναού, ατενίζοντος το πρωτότυπο ακριβώς απέναντι.

            Το νέο μουσείο είναι τόσο υποβλητικά ευχάριστο, ώστε μπορεί εύκολα να περάσει κανείς αρκετές ώρες, ή ολόκληρη την ημέρα εκεί. Σ’ αυτό βοηθάει και ο χώρος του εστιατορίου με θέα τον Παρθενώνα, όπου μπορείς να ξεκουραστείς πίνοντας έναν καφέ ή γευματίζοντας.  Αντίθετα από την ακρίβεια της Αθήνας, ένας καφέ εσπρέσο εδώ στοιχίζει μόνο ενάμισυ ευρώ, κι ένα κρύο πιάτο ή σάντουϊτς από τέσσερα έως εφτά ευρώ. Τιμές πολύ λογικές.