YESSIRREE! Now for a limited time, you can rent the Acropolis in Athens for the social event of your choice: Soirees, your daughter’s graduation, a little pick-up game of hoops. For just 1,600 euros (whatever that is), you can rent the Acropolis, the Theatre of Dionysus, or the Olympic Stadium for your night out. How can they do this? VOLUME!
As the U.K. Daily Mail notes, Greece is so cash-strapped, they are seriously going to rent out some of their ancient sites. Don’t ask the archaeologists what they think of this. And considering the euro is about to tank, you might want to lock in your reservation now, then pay with euros that aren’t worth the paper they’re printed on.
I’ll use this as an excuse to post another excerpt from my historical fantasy, Virgin Unknown. Orestes and Pylades are entering the Parthenon (the name comes from the Greek word for virginity.)
The tall double doors swung outward, and Orestes could not see what made them open.
He and Pylades walked into the Temple of Virginity. They went past bowls of smoldering incense, wafting contrasting scents of juniper and coriander into the air. Orestes could tell from the motion of shadows cast on the floor that the double doors were now closing behind them. He didn’t look back because of the incredible sight before him, lit from lamps in wall sconces and sunlight coming through openings near the ceiling.
Usually, an image of an Olympian or some other immortal would be shorter than a person. Once in a while, an ambitious artisan would make one life-size. But this image of Athena surpassed any sculpture he had seen before: A statue more than five times the height of a man -- six, counting the top of her helm. The robes of the statue were made of gold, and through the cunning work of the artisan resembled the folds of a garment draped over a woman’s body. Even more cunning was the use of ivory to look like flesh for the exposed parts of the head, throat, and arms. One arm held a shield at her side. The other was outstretched.
This was a wonder that took Orestes’ breath away. “Never, never have I seen such a thing.”
A woman stepped out from behind the statue. She was wearing leather armor and had shorter hair than most women. “Hello, Orestes.” She moved like an athlete. “I am Pallas Athena.”