Lena Mendoni for Melina Mercouri: “No one could raise the issue of the Parthenon Sculptors like her”

On the subject of the return of the Parthenon sculptors to Greece, the Minister of Culture spoke in the A Program of Greek radio. “Everyone poses, we raise the issue, each in his own way. But no one reaches this tragic, with the theatrical and ancient meaning of the term, the tragic way, as she put it. Who could, another Minister of Culture say, I want my marbles back, the monument is what he asks for, you ripped it out. It’s the way she said things,” Lina Mendoni said about Melina Mercouri. Today 30 years are completed from the day of her death and the Minister of Culture said: “Melina is a myth. It was a charismatic personality, which really radiated, drew the world. She made her conversationalist feel that she has distinguished him for very important reasons. She had this endless gift of communication, the endless ability to actually live her own myth and him to promote it. And you felt like you were walking into another bullet. That was her terrifying ability, when she looked at you, when she addressed you.” I knew her, I didn’t know her about her acquaintance with Melina, Lena Mendoni mentioned that she was then 22 years old and never worked with her. “I saw her several times. I can tell you I knew her, I didn’t know her. But I think that everyone who really had the chance to work with her, those we met under certain circumstances, cannot forget either her look, her voice, or the way she surrounded her conversationalist. This woman, who was an actress, too many times gave me the impression as many times as I saw her playing, that she was a role, but without it meaning attention here, without it meaning that it was fake what she did, it wasn’t fake, it wasn’t fake. Not at all.” What we owe her Melina Mercouri defined a lot of things in culture policy, noted Mrs Mendoni, who continued and continued all governments and adopted them. “Take the case of the Parthenon Sculptors. In 1982 she placed an issue that Greece had in its thematic outwards almost since the creation of the new Greek state. A few years later, in 1830, Greece began to claim, to seek the return of the sculptors. But it was Melina who established it, systemized it, internationalized it. Since then, since 1982, another with more emphasis, another less, today at least the government of Kyriakos Mitsotakis and himself, has been dealing in a very systematic and methodical way with this issue, but everyone has taken this course. The first, which raised the issue of the development of the cultural development of the region, was Melina, when she created the institutions with the most characteristic of the institution of DIPETHE. It is the Cultural Capital that has so far united, united the peoples of the city, the states of Europe. It is one of the main institutions of the European Union and this is then created. It’s a lot. The unification of the archaeological sites of Athens. We are now talking about the unification of archaeological sites not only in Athens, but in many cities of Greek territory, in cities that have developed in the same position as those of antiquity. This idea of the unification of archaeological sites for Athens, especially, was then started by Melina. There is therefore too much to start with,” the minister said. We form conditions for the return of Sculptors – I cannot set a horizon On the issue of fulfilling the request for the return of the sculptors, Mrs Mendonis pointed out in principle that the Greek request for the return of the Parthenon sculptures and their reunion at the Acropolis Museum is far from Greek limits. “It is ours, it is a national, our request but now the alliance with civil society around the world is huge. International public opinion is the one who asks to see this unique monument united. The monument itself is what requires the union of all its parts. They were the architectural members of the monument itself integral pieces. It’s like they cut into a man’s arm, his leg. This has happened. Where we are. The government, the Ministry of Culture under the Prime Minister, gives a continuous, methodical and systematic battle, a struggle to strengthen the Greek request and let me say that what has been done in the last four years on this issue may be the most that has ever been done throughout the two hundred years or since 1982 when Melina raised the issue of return and reunification. It takes a lot of work. I can’t set a horizon. I think no one can set a horizon. Such agreements and such moves require a certain model. Of course we shape conditions, but it would be extremely superficial to say that yes, then or after all these years or tomorrow. We move methodically, systematically, silently and our goal is to reach this unique moment.”