The Greek community of Melbourne’s headquarter building got a bit of a classical facelift with the unveiling of a replica of a piece from the Parthenon Marbles.
The location of The Greek Centre is in a high rise in Melbourne’s central business district, home to the city’s official Greek community organizations and a hub of Greek cultural life and activity.
Hundreds of people joined political leaders from various parties, as well as popular Greek Australian actress Mary Coustas, during the unveiling ceremony, who was outspoken in her support for the real marbles’ return to Greece from the UK where they are currently on display.
“Britain is conveniently ignoring the screams from the world,” Coustas told those gathered, while encouraging people to “keep the dream alive and keep applying pressure.”
Numerous political leaders from the State of Victoria used the unveiling as an opportunity to voice their support for Greek efforts to repatriate the Parthenon Marbles to Greece from their current home at the British Museum.
“We demand and continue to demand the restoration of the injustice done by Lord Elgin two centuries earlier. This is not just my personal opinion but a standing demand of the Victoria government and all the parties that are part of it and will not change until this injustice has been restored,” Victoria State premier Daniel Andrews said.
Not everyone was happy about the placement of the marble replicas, on the headquarters of the The Greek Centre, headquarters of Melbourne’s vibrant Greek community.
The Greek News Network website blasted the location of the monument, citing its location “above a burger joint” as embarrassing.
Melbourne resident Kostas Karamarkos welcomed the addition of this symbol of Greece’s cultural heritage but asked on a Facebook post, “Why is it though, that the cultural heritage of the Greeks, as well as the home and property of the oldest and largest Greek Australian organisation is defined mostly by the sign of a commercial tenant, prominently displayed on both Lonsdale St and Russell St?”
Featured photo from this post by Kostas Karamarkos, via Facebook with permission
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