Zdjêcia

Photographer's Note

The Parthenon is the most important and characteristic monument of the ancient Greek civilization and still remains its international symbol. It was dedicated to Athena Parthenos, the patron goddess of Athens. It was built between 447 and 438 B.C. and its sculptural decoration was completed in 432 B.C. The construction of the monument was initiated by Perikles, the supervisor of the whole work was Pheidias, the famous Athenian sculptor, while Iktinos and Kallikrates were the architects of the building. The temple is built in the Doric order and almost exclusively of Pentelic marble. It is peripteral, with eight columns on each of the narrow sides and seventeen columns on each of the long ones. The central part of the temple, called the cella, sheltered the famous chryselephantine cult statue of Athena, made by Pheidias.
The sculptural decoration of the Parthenon is a unique combination of the Doric metopes and triglyphs on the entablature, and the Ionic frieze on the walls of the cella. The metopes depict the Gigantomachy on the east side, the Amazonomachy on the west, the Centauromachy on the south, and scenes from the Trojan War on the north.
The relief frieze depicts the Procession of the Panathenaea, the most formal religious festival of ancient Athens. The scene runs along all the four sides of the building and includes the figures of gods, beasts and of some 360 humans.
The two pediments of the temple are decorated with mythological scenes: the east, above the building's main entrance, shows the birth of Athena, and the west, the fight between Athena and Poseidon for the name of the city of Athens. The Parthenon retained its religious character in the following centuries and was converted into a Byzantine church, a Latin church and a Muslim mosque.
The Turks used the Parthenon as a powder magazine when the Venetians, under Admiral Morosini, sieged the Acropolis in 1687. One of the Venetian bombs fell on the Parthenon and caused a tremendous explosion that destroyed a great part of the monument which had been preserved in a good condition until then.
The disaster was completed in the beginning of the 19th century, when the British ambassador Lord Elgin, stole the greatest part of the sculptural decoration of the monument (frieze, metopes, pediments), transferred them to England and sold them to the British Museum, where they are still exhibited, being one of the most significant collections of the museum.
There is a plethora of reasons that the Parthenon sculptures will be returned to Athens. They all stem from one truth, that the Parthenon sculptures are part of the Parthenon. The reunification of the Parthenon sculptures, and of other pieces of the buildings and temples of the Athenian Acropolis, in one, complete exhibit is a request of the international community. Athens is where these treasures originate from, the city where the actual Acropolis complex was built 2,500 years ago and the place where it continues to stand today.Keeping the Parthenon Marbles and other parts of the Athenian Acropolis thousands of miles apart is simply wrong. Bringing these magnificent pieces of art together in a meaningful set is the obvious move to settle this major cultural issue, which has been pending for years and undermining the globality of the cultural community.

Photo Information
Viewed: 7225
Points: 223
Discussions
  • None
Additional Photos by Thomas Zeglis (syd1946) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2966 W: 62 N: 4910] (18663)
View More Pictures
explore TREKEARTH