Disparaging comments went to press practically before the Greek government spokesman had even reached the end of his declaration that the country’s ancient monuments would be used in future for commercial purposes. The Acropolis is thus to become a stage for advertisements and action movies; the Athens’ Agora, birthplace of parliamentary democracy, a playground for fashion shows and 007 stunts; and the Kerameikos, the nearly three-thousand-year-old cemetery, will become the backdrop for commercials featured perfumed sex maniacs touching themselves in their sleep. That’s more or less the future for Greece’s ancient cultural heritage in the looming shadow of the European financial crisis, as cultural pessimists paint it.

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