My photos from Parthenon and Acropolis are old. They are taken with a not very good camera, and the film I used was black and white. Thinking of the white marble I don’t mind that much that I didn’t use coloured film.
But the marble wasn’t always white…
I know that the Greeks painted their buildings and statues, but that knowledge doesn’t seem to change my perception. Ian Jenkins, curator at British Museum, calls it a collective amnesia.“We don’t want to know it,” he says. “We want to believe that ancient sculpture was white and pure.” He believes that instead of paying attention to how the Greeks really lived, we’re judging them according to our own aesthetic standards – for example the idea that it would be abhorrent to cover up beautifully carved quality marble with coloured paint. He thinks the delusion stems from the Renaissance – when artists producing sculptures inspired by those of ancient Greece left them white to dissociate them from the previous Gothic style.
Still it can be almost shocking to see restaurations attempts!