January 2017: The Central Archaeological Council (KAS) has turned down a request from Gucci to hold a fashion show in front of the Parthenon, the most famous monument of the Acropolis of Athens.
Gucci’s proposal for the fashion show included the setting up of a runway in front of the Parthenon, on the “Sacred Way”; seats for an audience of 300 selected guests, among them Hollywood stars and fashion editors; a huge tent next to Erechtheion for the models to change clothes and have their hair and make-up done and a place available for a music accompaniment.
However, and despite the fact that Gucci was prepared to pay a sum rumored to be around $2 million, the Directorate for Antiquities that oversees the archaeological site of the Acropolis was reluctant about the idea from the very first moment, and KAS unanimously voted against it. They announced that: “The particular cultural character of the Acropolis monuments is inconsistent with this event, as these are unique monuments, world heritage symbols and Unesco World Heritage sites.” KAS also pointed out that, according to the law, the Parthenon is not a leasable asset.
I do agree, although perhaps KAS could have done with the cash, but I was amused to see the following picture in the paper today:
December 1951: Eight models in Christian Dior evening gowns photographed before the Erechtheion Temple of the Acropolis of Athens by Jean-Pierre Pedrazzini for French magazine Paris Match. A moment when fashion climbed upon the sacred rock, at a nostalgic time when Greece, emerging from war and struggle, was ready to forge its way forwards. A very different time from now.