Oil painting on canvas (linen) 70 x 60 cm.
DEMOCRACY RESTORED IN … ATHENS.
The statue of Leonidas at Thermopylae, although – admittedly – having little to do with Athens, rises up above the city, and personifies democracy.Lees meer
“Ancient times” have fascinated me since secondary school, especially the Greeks and the Romans. After Rome in 1973, Athens became the destination of my summer holiday trip in 1974. I went together with my friend Jan Brans, my travel companion from the year before. During our stay in Delphi we met two like-minded girls, named Tine and Anne, who had perched on the same “Delphi Camping”.
I have never seen them after that eventful journey, by the way.
Just as we were settling in and going around Delphi, with its magnificent excavation site, the political troubles of the early 70s in Greece started.
Somewhat later it became clear that the Greek colonels had supported the coup against Archbishop Makarios on Cyprus in order to force annexation (enosis, “connection”) of the island. The Turkish government responded with the threat of war, which caused an overall mobilization in Greece.
As a result, we found ourselves in a situation without any money, food or gasoline… and yet it was an interesting and exciting experience. The political solution came on the day that the exiled former prime minister Konstantinos Karamanlis returned from Paris. His return sparked great excitement and a huge folk festival unfolded around the Acropolis (Plaka) and…. we were there (of course!), eye-witnessing it all.
Even after a few days, back on the road again, there was much talk about the events within our travelling group, until it was time… time to go our separate ways.