A video of lurid sex scenes shot at the Acropolis in the midst of visitors has caused furore in Greece with authorities investigating the incident.
The Ministry of Culture has launched an investigation following the online release of a short film showing two men having sex at the ancient Acropolis in Athens.
The 36-minute film entitled “Xeparthenon” – a wordplay using Parthenon meaning “deflowering” in Greek – was first shown at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in mid-December but came to the attention of the authorities in early January.
The film shows two gay men with their faces covered having sex at the Acropolis archaeological site while it is open to the public and full of tourists.
The other participants of the film have made a circle around the protagonists for cover, pretending they take photographs of the monument. Visitors to the archaeological site can be seen walking close by.
The video is accompanied by a long written statement by the makers issued on December 23 in which the Parthenon is characterized as being a symbol of nationalism and carrier of heteronormal messages.
No permission from the Ministry of Culture
While passers-by during the shooting or the viewer of the film might think that the making of the film had permission from the authorities, the Ministry of Culture has stated that what happened was without its consent.
“The archeological site of the Acropolis is not suitable for any kind of activism or other activity which would cause offense and displays disrespect for the monument,” was the ministry’s statement.
The ministry has also launched an investigation as to whether the film with the sex scenes on the Acropolis took place with the site employees – who are Ministry of Culture employees – being aware of the shooting.
According to Article 10/Law 3028/2002, “Any action on a monument site, which may directly or indirectly cause destruction, damage, pollution or alteration of its form, is prohibited.”
Under the particular article, any activity on a monument site must have explicit permission from the Ministry of Culture.
The makers’ message
In the long statement that followed the making of the controversial film with the sex scenes on the Acropolis, the makers describe it as an act of political activism.
Starting with “We did it because we liked to”, the makers explain that they are LGBTQ+ activists who chose the Acropolis for its symbolism:
“Some of us are subject to physical and verbal violence for our choices and expressions of sexuality…
“We will live our love and sexuality as we wish and we will defend the existence in public, but also the coexistence, of all sexualities that do not violate the self-disposition of our bodies…
“The choice of the Parthenon is not accidental. It works for many as a symbol of nationalism, commercialization, mass culture and puritanism.”
“Shameful” says head of the Greek Actors’ Association
Spyros Bibilas, president of the Greek Actors Association, said that the short film with the sex scenes on the Acropolis was sent to him anonymously and described it as “shameful.”
“No one can use the Sacred Rock of the Acropolis for so-called activist actions and revolutionary acts, which are in fact both stupid and immoral,” he said on Antenna television..
“You can not do anything you want in the name of activism. In fact, I don’t consider this to be activism… As a Greek, I feel ashamed.”