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Museums of oblivion

  • Yannis Hamilakis (a1)

The relationship between antiquity, archaeology and national imagination in Greece, the sacralisation of the Classical past, and the recasting of the Western Hellenism into an indigenous Hellenism have been extensively studied in the last 15 years or so (see e.g. Hamilakis 2007, 2009). In fact, Greece has proved a rich source of insights for other cases of nation-state heritage politics. The new Acropolis Museum project was bound to be shaped by the poetics of nationhood right from the start, given that its prime referent is the most sacred object of the Hellenic national imagination, the Acropolis of Athens. This site is at the same time, however, an object of veneration within the Western imagination (you only have to look at the UNESCO logo), a pilgrimage destination for millions of global tourists, with all its revenue implications, and an endlessly reproduced and modified global icon (in both senses of the word).

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N.G.W. Curtis 2006. Universal Museums, museum objects, and repatriation: the tangled stories of things. Museum Management and Curatorship 21:117–28.

M. Lending 2009. Negotiating absence: Bernard Tschumi's new Acropolis Museum in Athens. Journal of Architecture 14(5): 567–89.

C. Sandis 2008. Two tales of one city: cultural understanding and the Parthenon sculptures. Museum Management and Curatorship 23(1): 521.

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  • ISSN: 0003-598X
  • EISSN: 1745-1744
  • URL: /core/journals/antiquity
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