Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Global Greek Issues: Presenting Costas Gavras' Masterpiece - The Parthenon! There Are No Excuses Anymore! Bring Home the Parthenon Marbles!!!

Photo Source: Alexis Mantheakis

One of our Global Greeks, renowned film producer Costas Gavras, producer of 'Z' and 'Missing' produced the magnificent video which we have embedded below for the Cultural Olympiad of Athens, 2003 - 2004. It eloquently depicts the history of the Parthenon and it's trial and tribulations through the centuries. During the video you can hear the following excerpt from 'The Curse of Minerva' written by Lord Byron in 1811 being recited.



Byron passionately opposed Lord Elgin's removal of the Parthenon marbles from Greece and denounced it at every opportunity.He wrote this poem, The Curse of Minerva, castigating Elgin's shameful actions in removing the friezes and metopes so integral to the Parthenon.


"Mortal!" -- 'twas thus she spake -- "that blush of shame

Proclaims thee Briton, once a noble name;

First of the mighty, foremost of the free,

Now honour'd less by all, and least by me;

Chief of thy foes shall Pallas still be found.

Seek'st thou the cause of loathing? --look around.

Lo! here, despite of war and wasting fire,

I saw successive tyrannies expire.

'Scaped from the ravage of the Turk and Goth,

Thy country sends a spoiler worse than both.

Survey this vacant, violated fane;

Recount the relics torn that yet remain:

These Cecrops placed, this Pericles adorn'd,

That Adrian rear'd when drooping Science mourn'd.

What more I owe let gratitude attest--

Know, Alaric and Elgin did the rest.

That all may learn from whence the plunderer came,

The insulted wall sustains his hated name:

For Elgin's fame thus grateful Pallas pleads,

Below, his name--above, behold his deeds!

Be ever hailed with equal honour here

The Gothic monarch and the Pictish peer:

arms gave the first his right, the last had none,

But basely stole what less barbarians won.

So when the lion quits his fell repast,

Next prowls the wolf, the filthy jackal last;

Some calm spectator, as he takes his view,

In silent indignation mix'd with grief,

Admires the plunder, but abhors the thief.


In 1812, Lord Byron went on to write 'Childe Harold's Pilgrimage, with the same reproach and recrimination for such an ignoble deed on the part of his countryman!

Cold is the heart, fair Greece, that looks on thee,
Nor feels as lovers o’er the dust they loved;
Dull is the eye that will not weep to see
Thy walls defaced, thy mouldering shrines removed
By British hands, which it had best behov’d
To guard those relics ne’er to be restored.
Curst be the hour when their isle they roved,
And once again thy hapless bosom gored,
And snatch’d thy shrinking Gods to northern climes abhorr’d!


We at Global Greek World are grateful that Greece has had such wonderful friends, truly great men and women, and that Philhellenes such as Lord Byron were outspoken critics of Elgin's actions and condemned these actions so vehemently!

We continue to consider Elgin's action criminal and those of the British Museum, which like an ostrich hiding it's head in the sand determined to ignore the international wave of protests, self-centred at the very least! To the British Government, the only body with any real power to do something about it - we reiterate:

There are no excuses anymore!

Bring the Parthenon Marbles home!!


Related articles:

Pilgrimage for the Return of the Parthenon Marbles

In Memory of Global Greeks Melina Mercouri and Jules Dassin

Global Greek Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou on the Parthenon Marbles

We thank Global Greek writer, Alexis Mantheakis, for allowing the use of his oh so evocative photo of the British Museum. Alexis recently launched a new initiative for the Repatriation of the Parthenon Marbles , gathering more than 100,000 members on Facebook! To read about this Campaign Click here

Monday, September 7, 2009

Wonderful Nana Mouskouri - The Most Global of our Global Greeks!!!



This post is a tribute to the most globally acclaimed of our Global Greek performers, UNESCO Ambassador, Nana Mouskouri, and simply features some of our favourite videos of her songs available on You Tube.
Wonderful foot tapping melodies, a few duets with some of our other Global Greeks, all aimed at getting you out of your chair and eager to start dancing, !!! OPA!!! ENJOY!
With George Chakiris - From West Side Story

An incredible video with Harry Belafonte and Danny Kaye... Opa Ni Na Nai - Siko Horepse Koukli Mou (ΣΗΚΟ ΧΟΡΕΨΕ ΚΟΥΚΛΙ ΜΟΥ) - Thanks to Litsa F -Australia!


Her magnificent Athena (ΑΘΗΝΑ)



Ximeroni ( ΞΗΜΕΡΩΝΕΙ) - Never on Sunday Medley with Demis Roussos



With Demis Roussos - To Yelekaki


and last but not least a beautiful ballad with Julio Inglesias - La Paloma




Our write up on Nana will come later...but in the meantime you may like to see how one of our Greek-Somethings, Greek New Zealander Sophia Economou writing in her New Zealanders in Greece blog, describes Nana's last concert under the Parthenon at the Herodus Atticus Theatre in July of 2008...
How does one describe a feeling? It’s hard unless you are a poet! Well, I would have loved to have been one on Wednesday 23 July as we sat in the ancient Herodes Atticus theatre or the Herodeion as we call it, waiting for Nana Mouskouri to start what was to be her final concert after 50 years of enchanting audiences all over the world.

There, below a gleaming Parthenon set against a brilliant blue sky which slowly acquired dusky hews we watched thousands of people streaming into this magnificent ancient theatre to take their places. It was a wonderful sight - people of all ages happily assembling to pay tribute to one of
Greece's best known ambassadors. The younger generation of singers and artists like Maria Farandouri, Nikos Aliagas and Sakis Rouvas were also there to pay tribute to this great lady.

Just after
9 pm it was time for the concert to start and the screens which had been set up above the stage came to life, projecting scenes from Nana's life - pictures from childhood on, with people she loved and who loved her. Symbolic in a way because it was in the outdoor cinema where her father worked as a projectionist, as she told us later, close by in the suburb of Koukaki, that she began dreaming...dreams that would take her around the world and into millions of homes and hearts over the years ahead. One of those homes was ours...
As Nana's voice filled the theatre, memories came flooding back...

Memories of our Mt Victoria home, loving memories of the whole family, Mum, Dad, my sister Pagona and myself, with some of the usual visitors to our house sitting in front of the television to watch her BBC show every week as she sang and danced with her many and varied guests, from George Chakiris to Shari Lewis, Julio Inglesias and Marinella!
Our father adored her and had every disc he could get hold of in his record collection, and my sister and I inherited that adoration. Somehow we managed to pass it on to my 8 year old daughter, so here we all were with our good friend Maria, also from Wellington, sitting in this magnificent ancient theatre below a now illuminated Parthenon waiting for the concert to begin. (July is a month of sad memories in our household... it is the month that our father left this world, so we decided that our 'memorial service' to him and our mother this year would be to go to Nana's farewell concert.)
Those weekly 'concerts' in our living room were in both our thoughts as we sat and listened to this amazing lady give her last performance...
Read more at New Zealanders in Greece.


Thursday, September 3, 2009

The Global Greek Spirit - Determined and Optimistic in Adversity


At a time when devastating fires have destroyed half of Attica's beautiful green and leafy forests, including the ones that were so painstakingly afforested earlier in 2009; at a time when Greece's political system, leaders and politicians have fallen way short of people's expectations because of their lack of vision and unwillingness to fight the monster of corruption which has set Greece so far back in many ways, we decided that we will put the pettiness and the 'miseria' behind us and think positive!

This video is a tribute to the triumph of the Global Greek Spirit, Athanato Elliniko Pnevma - immortal, generous and optimistic.

This is the spirit which fights on, refusing to yield to adversity and always brings out the best in the Hellenic people wherever they may be - a people which survived many hardships and wars, incredibly difficult moments in it's history but has lasted for thousands of years!



The concert was given by the Youth Choir of St Panteleimon's Church in Kalamaria, Thessaloniki during the 25th March Celebrations, and is conducted by Father Theodore Tzambatzidis. We don't know the name of the young girl singing so beautifully undaunted by the fact that she is reading her music in Braille, but we thank them all from the bottom of our hearts for such an optimistic and positive reinforcement of our wonderful Global Greek Spirit!

Zito to Athanato Elliniko Pnevma!

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