The Acropolis Museum
by: Katina Vaselopulos
No matter where we come from, all of us carry Hellenism . . . in the words we utter, in the sciences we study and practice, in the visual arts we enjoy or create, in the government we elect, in the architecture that embellishes the world, in the philosophy and ideals we embrace. As I take you along this tour, step by step, I believe you will feel a connection to the Acropolis Museum as well. I know I can instill some of the same feelings we felt on the magical day we journeyed through this space.
The view through the glass walls takes our breath away, especially from the last floor which is almost at the same level as the Parthenon itself. Then, the realization hits: the Parthenon, stripped and plundered, still stands erect after two and a half thousand years. In this room, the replica sculptures of its metopes, friezes, and pediments are assembled among just a few originals, while the majority of them are held at the British Museum in London. Dimitris, my grandson, and I get ready to take a photograph of the Parthenon through the pane walls. Before we even lift our cameras to our eyes, we are very politely stopped. Disappointed and embarrassed, we apologize and continue our walk.
As we leave the museum, my heart is filled both with elation and sadness. A lump gathers in my throat and tears can no longer be contained. I am sad for what is broken and violated, for what has been taken. A silent scream and a plea go out to the world: “Bring back home what belongs to this land, so that the world will enjoy and be inspired by the Whole.”
The enjoyment of what we saw was immense. Yet, it was clear, there is a very strong desire – a need – for the restoration of what has been “taken away.” To be polite, it is necessary to bring the missing pieces back to their home. This is no longer an ethnic demand but a universal concern, and sooner or later, I believe, this idea will mature and the Parthenon sculptures will return to where they belong. Only then the Parthenon will be complete and truly appreciated.
Katina Vaselopulos' book, Sailing toward Ithaca, is the reflection and account of one specific year in the life of the author, filled with stories, poems and essays, prayers and exercises touching on topics such as nurturing a healthy body and soul, Greek food and culture, overcoming hurdles and conquering challenges, the benefits of optimism, compassion, faith and prayer, gratitude and generosity, reverence for life, love and friendship, Life and Death.
Sailing toward Ithaca is a journey of empowerment to which the reader is invited to travel along…to follow through the days and the months, the changes of the seasons and one’s own life, to discover the beauty and the joy of living in the moment yet sowing the seeds of a better future, connecting with self and others, with nature and God, enriching and transforming life for him/her self and others for a better world.
This book’s essays encourage and inspire the reader to a better relationship with self – body and soul –others, and God to enrich and transform thus their daily lives.