Feb 11, 2011

Greek Goddesses: 1.Melina Merkouri

Personality personified. Everything she did, she did with passion, a distinctly Greek trait. Even when misguided, petty things slided off her like water slides off a swan's feathers. Her grace and natural elegance were juxtaposed to a certain je m'en fous attitude and her adherence to who she was.

To the manor born and a prominent actress of international fame, when she was participating in the socialist governemnt of A.Papandreou during the 1980s she was advised to tone down her appearence when going to give a talk in poorer districts of Athens. Melina, defiant and true to herself, refused to get out of the YSL saying "this is who I am, I would be an imposter to don a chinz to go and pretend I'm something I'm not".

Loved and despised like few people have been, she never let anyone indifferent. Isn't that the very essence of being interesting?

The Greeks will be eternally grateful to her for championing the cause of the Elgin Marbles; the missing parts of the sculptures of the Parthenon up on the Acropolis, which were smuggled off the country during the Turkish occupation and the upheaval of the National Revolution by Lord Elgin and were deposited in the British Museum where they remain to this day.

"I flirted down to the last minute of my life", she's quoted to say. The cigarette that was perennially hanging off her lips cut the thread of her life. It was well spent. Opa!


  1. Anonymous01:45

    The Elgin Marbles were NOT smuggled.

  2. Not?? When an occupational force "sells" them to a foreign power without the original country's consent, what is it? They had no authority to allow these to exit the country, Imagine: if the Nazis sold the Eiffel Tower or the Versailles artifacts to be brought out of the country without the approval of a legal and democratically accepted administration, what would it be? There's really no excuse, I'm afraid.
    Not to mention that getting antiquities out of their natural context ruins the whole experience of "knowing" them as a visitor: it becomes a sterile exercise in academics.

  3. I side with Lord Byron, Melina and the majority of the British people on this.


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