September 15: Democracy Day

“Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, in his declaration on the International Day of Democracy reminds us that ‘Civil Society is the oxygen of democracy, as it acts as a catalyst for social progress and economic growth. It plays a critical role in keeping Government accountable, and helps represent the diverse interests of the population, including its most vulnerable groups’.

Yet that recognised symbol of UNESCO, the Parthenon, created by one of the first Democracies of the world, the city state of Athens, still remains incomplete 200 odd years after it was plundered and almost completely destroyed by vandals and the greater part of its unique 160-metre-long sculptured frieze remains decimated and much of it dispersed throughout the so-called civilised world — the supposed upholders of Democracy.

Hasn’t the time come yet for those so-called democracies to listen to the plea of the Hellenic people and restore all the looted sculptures of the Parthenon to Athens? Ever since I first walked on the Acropolis as a teenager in 1953, I have lived hoping to see this happen. Democrats of Europe and of the world it is time to do your duty!”

Alexander M. Benakis
An Anglo-Hellene and a Democrat.

London, 15 September 2015

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