The Macedonian tomb of Agios Athanasios. (4th century B.C)
Usually, I try not to mention here much of the politics that surround archaeology in Greece, but it is pretty strange how the tomb of Amphipolis, and the Antikythera expedition have gained so much prominence in foreign media. Not of course that these two cases are of little historical importance, but in the past there has been a multitude of fascinating discoveries-especially regarding ancient painting-that have hardly gained any traction both abroad and here.
Combined with the fact that a number of archaeological sites and museums, pivotal to the cultural and financial life of small towns and less “tourist” cities, have been receiving no funding during the crisis, and the infiltration of these public spaces by private interests who in the past have damaged the sites during restoration works, or have received public funding that was never spent on the site, it’s evident how government policies still use archaeological achievements for cheap sensationalism meant to titillate nationalistic sentiments.
Government policies have been actively refraining from investing on creating a stronger market abroad on products of intellect regarding Greece’s rich heritage by actual Greek scientists, scholars and artists. And all this just to please private interests, which would rather regurgitate foreign models of monetizing cultural values that not only don’t work, but also treat the wokforce bringing to light this buried world in a condescending and patronizing manner.
The museum of Nicopolis, which I had presented here, closed down for the public recently because a portion of the personnel was laid off. Important museums and sites all over Greece have been remaining closed or unrenovated from time to time and even now because of political spite rather than an actual lack of funds or personnel. This policy damages the cultural growth of these regions and exposes them once more to the dangers of looting after a monumental effort on the part of the archaeologists to turn the citizens of these areas against cultural robbery.