The third literary competition titled The Parthenon Marbles: The history of a looting or the looting of history? was organised by the Hellenic Cultural Association NOSTOS, the Literary Association of Argentina, the Hellenic Literary Association of the Five Continents and the Diasporic Literature Spot under the aegis of the Greek Embassy in Argentina.
The competition received more than 350 submissions from writers around the world.
An award ceremony for the entries submitted in the Greek language took place last Friday, December 16th 2011, in the auditorium of the New Acropolis Museum.
The following were chosen as the top winning entries:
1st place winning entry in the Greek language:
CARYATID by Vaya Kapnia
Original Version:Ξένοι, ανάμεσα σε ξένουςΤη γλώσσα μας πια ξεμάθαμεΜα ούτε καταδεχόμαστε γλώσσα άλλωνΒουβοί στεκόμαστε απέναντι στον ΧρόνοΠου κάθε μέρα μας ξεχνάει και μας πονάει πιο πολύ?Translation:Strangers amongst strangersOur language now disgardedWe deign not accept another languageSilently we stand against timeThat with every passing day forgets and wounds us all the more
1st place winning entry in the English language
ODE TO THE PARTHENON by Dimitrios Trigonis
Orgiginal Version:As I walk throughyour sacred groundsOh Parthenon!I take a handful of broken,cold and lifeless pieces of your marble,I place them tightly on my chest,and these remnants from your brilliant glory,which are now spread here and thereon your holy ground,become flames that warm my soul.My heart is pounding as I hearwhispers of joy, happiness, pain, and griefcoming out of their lifeless gutsas if they are alive inside the palm of my handand want to speak.I close my eyes and hark at them.I hear them “talk” with pride and joyabout the golden age of Pericles,when the incomparable and unique sculptor,the great Fheidias sculpted you.Along with the great architects Iktinus and Kallikratustook the pure but lifeless marbleof Pentelis Mountain gave it soul and vivified it!They erected you, oh magnificent Parthenon,to illuminate the human race!You became the Ark of the spiritand the marbled Bible of the Arts!You became the divine aureole of Greece,the most glorious country of the ancient world,the cradle and the shield of western civilization!You became the Holy Temple of Pallas Athena,the gray-eyed maiden, the Goddess of Wisdom,protectress of the illustrious violet-crowned city of Athens,the beacon of letters, arts, culture and knowledge!You became the eternal shrine of beauty and “entity”!But between the joyful and proud whispersare mixed voices of pain and moaningbecause your pedestal of glory and honorwas covered by the dark-agesand their uncivilized people placed you in obscurity.And the moans became grief and tears,that burned the soul,for after the Renaissancethe “civilized” nations, in their disgrace,allowed you to be enslaved by the barbarians!But worst of all, and what makes the heart bleed, is thatduring the period of your slavery they mutilated you!The barbarians with gun-powder,and the “civilized barbarians”with theft and illegal dealing in antiquities!Even now at the present timein a theoretically free and civilized societyyour divine sculptures are imprisonedfar from your glorious sacred grounds,the land they belong to, your native country, Greece.Enough, People of the world stand up.Thunder out your outcry to the desecrators.Your marble’s fragments “talk” and “moan”for their stolen and captive sculptured brothers.it is time for them to return to their sacred place.To heal the woundsof your multi tormented landfrom the deeds of these desecratorsthat contaminated your honorable, bloodstained grounds,The bastion of freedom and civilization.Oh, Parthenonthrough the ages the barbariansenvied your beauty, they mutilated youand the blasphemous, the “civilized” impiousunceremoniously tried to dismantle you,But your marble’s fragments “speak”Oh Parthenon!You were, you are and you shall bethe golden, brilliant and gleaming sunto illuminate with your splendorthe whole world throughout the ages!
1st place winning entry in the Spanish language
LOS MÁRMOLES DE ELGIN, EL EXPOLIO DE GRECIA by María del Pilar Paz Mañoso
The above entries as well as other noted entries will be published in an anthology. For a more detailed list of all winning entries please click here.