Friday, January 15, 2016

The Institute's Winter/Spring Lecture Program; Challenges for a New State: Protecting its Diverse Cultural Heritage

Our diverse and interesting 2016 Winter / Spring Institute Lecture Program has been posted: We will send out posters for each lecture as they approach.

The Byzantine and Post-Byzantine monuments of Greece

The Hellenic monarchy constituted in 1834 faced many challenges, internal and external, during the course of the 19th century. While the Classical antiquities had inspired the philhellenes who had given assistance during the revolution and afterwards, the post-Imperial Roman cultural heritage had many fewer champions. The conscious use of the Classical past and the origins of democracy by successive Greek governments to entice the West into supporting Greek interests made the Byzantine and Post-Byzantine heritage an inconvenient truth. Thus, many of these monuments, especially in Athens, were destroyed, some to reveal “more significant” earlier monuments and some to build a modern city without unwanted relics.

Nevertheless, there were individuals in the Hellenic Archaeological Service who worked to document and to preserve this important component of the country’s rich cultural heritage. On Monday, January 18th at 18:30 at the Historical Archive of Antiquities and Restoration of the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sport at Psaromylingou 22 (on the cusp between the Kerameikos and Psyrri Districts) Ms. Archontoula Papoulakou (Αρχαιολόγος, Διεύθυνση Εθνικού Αρχείου Μνημείων) will give a lecture entitled, «Η Προστασία των μεσαιωνικών μνημείων στο νεοσύστατο ελληνικό κράτος τον 19ο αιώναμέσα από τα τεκμήρια του Ιστορικού Αρχείου των Αρχαιοτήτων και Αναστηλώσεων».

Using the documents in the Historical Archive Ms. Papoulakou will focus on two main themes: the “cleansing” of the Akropolis of the Byzantine and Post-Byzantine monuments and the steps taken to document, to preserve and to restore important Byzantine churches and monasteries, such as the churches in the older sections of Athens, the Daphni Monastery in Attika, and Hosias Loukas Monastery in Fokida. What constitutes a country’s “past” and what cultural monuments are considered “significant” are recurring and often contentious themes for debate among archaeologists, art historians, historians, city planners and government bureaucrats. The public is welcome to learn more about the cultural heritages of the city and country they live in!

The lecture is sponsored by the Syllogos Filon tou Istorikou Archeiou tis Archaiologikis Yperesias. The Syllogos Filon will cut their pita after the lecture. Maybe you will find the flouri in your piece and have good fortune for all of 2016???

Kali Xronia
David Rupp

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