I AM GREEK AND I WANT TO GO HOME
INDEPENDENT MOVEMENT FOR THE REPATRIATION OF LOOTED GREEK ANTIQUITIES
Web design skoumas © iamgreek.gr 2012
The arguments for and against the restitution of the Parthenon Reliefs (the Elgin Marbles) continue unabated. Should the reliefs be returned to their place of origin in Greece or remain at the British Museum. Ares Kalogeropoulos believes passionately that they should be repatriated and writes on his website the following –
In mid-August 2009 the photographer and composer Ares Kalogeropoulos visited the British Museum in the city of London in Great Britain. Entering and passing through countless Greek rooms in the museum he saw something that inspired awe in him but also caused him great pain. Awe at the infinite beauty of the Classical Greek works, and pain that these items were all so far from the mother earth that had given birth to them. Room 18, named by the British as the Parthenon Room was what made him take out his camera and start capturing evidence of the most heinous of cultural crimes to be perpetrated in recent history: the sacrilegious defilement of the greatest monument and symbol of world culture, and the illegal retention in a foreign place of 65% of the artefacts that had decorated it. Far from the sun and sky of Athens. Broken, humiliated and above all, HALF of the monument. Pieces of the Parthenon, which has stood there in Athens for thousands of years, now fixed and hanging without any meaning at all.
This photographic archive remained in his computer until the middle of February of 2012 when it came to light because of an internal desire of the artist to express himself by making known this cultural crime to the world.
The first photograph was uploaded to Ares Kalogeropoulos Facebook profile in February of 2012. This photo was followed by many others that were posted daily to the profile and were then broadcast by thousands of people at an impressive and stunningly increasing rate.
There was only one message and it was clear:
“I AM GREEK AND I WANT TO GO HOME”.
It may have started as a personal expression of the artist seeking justice by projecting such an historically important cultural problem but public support through postings and actions turned it into a movement.