Polis: Column Eike Becker Immobilienwirtschaft 06/2019

Polis: Column Eike Becker Immobilienwirtschaft 06/2019

About 2500 years ago Athens with its frail democracy was able to celebrate a surprising victory over the powerful Persian empire. To thank Athena, their tutelary goddess, and to praise themselves the Athens citizens used the subsequent peaceful decades to erect a combination of bank and sanctuary - the Parthenon. They did this so cleverly and well and harmonically that for millennia it was the legendary benchmark and model for uncounted generations of architects all over the world. If it is true that before the Big Bang the entire energy of the universe was balled up in a single point, this place is virtually the Big Bang of occidental culture. Even if our current understanding idealises it - the construction of the Acropolis constituted democracy, i.e. the idea of the community in the Polis, of the ethical claim of the acting persons, of the ideal city with the agora as central place where the citizens meet and together make political decisions is still a model providing the basis for our identity. In contrast to the place’s significance the works to restore it advance only slowly. For 50 years already the rusty scaffoldings cover the Propylaea and the Parthenon. The few new stones with their shining white surface show markedly against their historic surroundings. Still parts of columns, abaci and echini are lying about and constitute a puzzle no one seems to be willing to play with. Certainly men who had a long and honourable life sit together in the Acropolis research institute and discuss about each single stone - of a building that was erected two and a half thousand years ago within a period of eight years.

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