Saturday, January 8, 2022

Sex Makes Headlines in the Greek News



In browsing through Friday morning’s news stories on what’s happening in Greece, I found the usual number of now traditional daily reports on Covid’s continuing grip on the country, and Turkey’s relentless efforts to undermine Greece. In many ways, America faces the same threats, although a more accurate description of those relentlessly seeking to undermine the United States should be spelled “turkeys.”


But then I fell upon an AP story in Ekathimerini (Athens' paper of record) bearing the headline, “Ministry orders investigation over movie with sex scene at Acropolis.”  


My first thought was, perhaps it’s an historical piece; a modernized telling of one the many Greek gods’ proclivities for random coupling with any number of willing and unwilling targets of their lust.


Or perhaps a fantasized version of statues trapped for millennia naked in stone­–so close but yet so far from one another–unexpectedly coming to life and doing what comes naturally.


Then again, perhaps it’s meant to present a series of vignettes depicting scenes of (fictionalized?) Greek life found on all manner of jewelry, pottery, trinkets, postcards, urns, towels, t-shirts, refrigerator magnets, and other tourist paraphernalia hawked broadly in a plethora of tourist shops across Greece.


But then I read the story.


Whether or not it’s an ‘art film’ I leave for you to judge, as well as whether it offends your “community standards,” though I’m guessing it’s not much different from what’s already out there on cable TV and the Internet.  I do agree, though, that more discretion should have been used in its production and appropriate permission obtained from the Culture Ministry­.  


TV Shows Containing the Most Sex Scenes
Still, it was a thought-provoking diversion from pandemic statistics and Turkish saber-rattling to be reading about sex at the Acropolis.  Perhaps next week they’ll run a story about sex on the beach of a Greek island?  Nah, who’d believe such a thing.


Here’s the Ekathimerini article as it appears in its Culture section:


The Culture Ministry launched an investigation Friday following the online release of a short film showing two men having sex at the ancient Acropolis in Athens.

The 36-minute movie, titled “Departhenon,” was released on December 21 but came to the attention of authorities this week.

The Culture Ministry said it did not give permission for the Acropolis film shoot.

“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,” the ministry said in a statement.

The movie contains several explicit scenes involving male and female actors whose faces are not shown. The scene at the Acropolis shows two men having sex while standing in a circle formed by other actors. Visitors to the ancient site can be seen walking close by.

The makers of the film, who remained anonymous, described it as “artwork that is also a political action.”

Spyros Bibilas, the president of the Greek Actors’ Association, described the movie as shameful.

“You can’t do everything in the name of activism. In fact, I don’t consider this to be activism,” he told TV network Antenna. “As a Greek, I feel ashamed.” [AP]



  1. "Political action," hmm? I never thought about politics when I was looking for some action, but c'est la vie, and vive la difference, and all that.

    Thanks, Jeff, for staying "on top" of all these hot issues.

  2. It's rough work, EvKa, but someone's got to do it.

  3. Hmmm. Did any of the passers-bye take any notice or report it? If not, the whole thing was probably photoshopped anyway...

    1. Frankly, Michael, it likely wasn't photoshopped. According to the source of all knowledge (Wikipedia public sex is on the rise, with the British even giving it the slang name of "dogging." Wikipedia reports the first reported episode as occurring in ancient Greece, though not to be outdone, according to New York magazine, "public sex occurs frequently in New York City."

    2. If the passers by took no notice, they may well have been British... Victoria Wood used to do a lovely skit about a couple who were having sex on a train. 'Everyone else in the same carriage, being British, said nothing until they finished and lit post-coital cigarettes. Then one lady leaned over and said, "Excuse me, I think you'll find this is a No Smoking compartment..."'

    3. Ah, Zoë, another example of the fabled British stiff upper lip in action! Ya gotta love it.

  4. In Dick Cavett‘s first interview with the young Luciano Pavarotti, Cavett asked if the store read tenor, famous for hitting high C with perfect clarity, if he refrained from lovemaking before a performance. Pavarotti laughed. He said that it was a superstition and that some tenors refrained and others arranged for an opportunity in the dressing room just before going onto the stage. He said, “People like to talk about sex, and they will use any excuse. That’s why there’s so much to talk about us tenors and hitting high C.” This is the only reason I can think of why any of the things above have been in the news. Just more of the same. And now we’re doing it too!

    1. Frankly, Sis, I'm surprised Cavett didn't quip a comparison to those performers who rely upon a tuning fork and those who don't.

    2. So, to paraphrase a well-used aphorism, "Those who can do, do. Those who can't, talk about it." ??? :-)

  5. The gods of Olympus are wondering what all the fuss is about. Aphrodite says, "Yes, yes, yes!" Dionysus says "Pass the wine".