ALL SIDES OF THE PARTHENON
Photography by Peter Costas Yalanis
Sponsored by The American Committee For The Reunification of the Parthenon Sculptures, Inc.
WHAT YOU MIGHT CONSIDER BEFORE PURCHASING A PARTHENON PHOTO
The "Parthenon Portfolio," a dedicated body of more than 700 photographs, was commissioned by the American Committee for the Reunification of the Parthenon Sculptures
and taken with the authorization and permission of the Greek Ministry of Culture
by Peter C. Yalanis and “Dogs Up A Tree Photos, LLC.” The best and most representative images were used to create "All Sides of the Parthenon, A Touring Exhibition,"
which is currently traveling to museums, cultural centers and universities around the country.
Each photo, whether film or digital, panoramic or regular format, has not been seen or offered before. Taken from heights of 60 feet and more, standing on original 2,500 year old weathered marble, or wooden planks straddling metal refurbishing scaffolding, or from the marble landing where the enclosed circular stone staircase built in 1205 A.D. exits atop and behind the Western Pediment, these perspectives are unprecedented. They are not only beautiful photos of the Parthenon and Athens…they are unique.
Your purchase of any one of these photos becomes your aesthetic visual statement in support of the international actions being taken by "The ACRPS"
. A portion of each purchase goes directly to the 501 (c) 3 corporation’s present efforts to reunify the Parthenon Sculptures (aka The Elgin Marbles) from the British Museum in London to the new Acropolis Museum in Athens.
Additional photos will be added to this site frequently. Thank you for your commitment to and support of the "American Committee For The Reunification Of The Parthenon Sculptures"
and "All Sides of the Parthenon."
ABOUT THE ARTIST
I am a first generation Greek-American. Both my parents came to America through Ellis Island in the early 1900’s. In 1988, I visited Greece for the first time and was deeply, profoundly and indelibly moved by my roots. It proved to be much more than just experiencing some of my parents most loved and cherished recollections. I realized that it had always been the music in my soul.
In 1990, I returned as a photographer. In 1992, with the cooperation of the Greek Ministry of Tourism in New York City, my company, Dogs Up A Tree Photos, LLC, exchanged images for travel and I photographed as much beauty as possible of more than 20 of Greece’s most visited destinations.
In October, 2005, I attended a lecture in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, given by Attorney Michael J. Reppas, II, president of "The American Committee for the Reunification of the Parthenon Sculptures" http://www.parthenonsculpturesusa.org. For more than 90 minutes, I listened intently as he passionately described, how, from 1801-1810, Thomas Bruce, the Seventh Earl of Elgin, forcibly removed from the Parthenon, the collection known as the “Elgin Marbles,” presently on display in London’s British Museum. The collection is comprised of more than 247 feet of the original 524 feet of the Parthenon Frieze, 32 metopes, numerous pediment statuary and additional pieces of sculpture and statuary forcibly removed from other buildings at the Acropolis. Mr. Reppas’ presentation was so compelling that I wanted to know more and began thinking about how I might be able help him, the American Committee and the cause of repatriation.
Attorney Reppas and I spoke several times after his lecture. Those early conversations and exchanges of ideas were sparks that ignited an all-consuming bonfire that’s still burning. Having previously worked with the Greek government, I asked him about the possibility of doing a photo shoot from within the Parthenon. His response was a simple “yes, I think we can do that.” In typical great fashion, Attorney Reppas secured the approvals from the Greek Ministry of Culture and the Acropolis Museum for “Dogs Up A Tree Photos, LLC” to photograph from within the Parthenon (an amazing accomplishment since the Greek government had banned tourists from entering the Parthenon during the late 1970’s).
The week of May 8-15, 2007, completely changed the focus and perspective of my personal and professional life. It was one of the warmest Athenian Springs on record, reaching well into the 80’s each day. Early each morning, with all kinds of camera gear, we gradually ascended the steep Acropolis hillside and entered the Propylaia gateway to reach the 2,500 year old majestic remains of the Parthenon. We would unpack our cases filled with cameras, film, tripods, light meters, lenses and a laptop, and prepare for the day’s shoot. Each evening, we would pack up that gear and walk back down the same path. Every day, incredible perspectives inspired countless images, film and digital, as the sun’s movement across the Acropolis changed the light with every passing minute. We snapped shutters, ran video and, captured in a mere fraction of a second, unprecedented stills from wooden planks that straddled the framework of 60’ tall metal scaffolding. And also from high atop the Parthenon’s original marble itself! Each evening, we patiently waited for the magnificent sunset behind the western colonnade, anticipating the warmest shadows of gold-tinged hues against the distressed ancient columns of Pentelic marble.
It would have been an honor to simply be able to photograph from just the Parthenon’s floor. It would have been an extraordinary honor to ascend the stone circular staircase that was once a church bell tower, then a mosque’s minaret, and emerge from the tiny enclosure behind the western pediment. But, with accessible scaffolding, it was an extreme honor and unparalleled thrill to be able to climb to the very top of the Parthenon’s northeast corner, the North Colonnade and as high as the Western pediment. It opened up and allowed us absolutely incredible and unique perspectives that combined the past and present in synchronicity! It far exceeded our greatest hopes and expectations.
I will always remember that very first day when we entered the temple. We walked slowly and deliberately up the weathered stairs of the Parthenon’s eastern (original) entrance, onto the ancient marble floor, smoothed by centuries of footsteps of Athens greatest citizens, politicians, philosophers, architects, sculptors, artisans, workers, physicians, mathematicians and soldiers. I still get chills when I recall and visualize those first breathtaking moments.
When we completed that incredible week, the portfolio contained nearly a thousand images. What do I hope that you will get from these photos? Simply stated, a different perspective. Somewhere within these images lives the spirit of all Athenians whose ideals inspired the “Golden Age of Greece.” I hope that you too will see with a new eye, their profound history as well as the living legacy that they created for the ancient and modern world.
Peter Costas Yalanis
Dogs Up A Tree Photography, LLC
7850 NW 146th Street, Suite 501
Hialeah, Florida 33016-1516