Greece’s Central Archaeological Council (KAS), which has oversight over all of the country’s ancient sites, has rejected a request by international fashion house Gucci to hold a runway show on the Acropolis this summer.

“The unique cultural character of the Acropolis monuments is inconsistent with this sort of event,” KAS said in a statement reminding their status as world heritage monuments.

But back in 1928 a Greek photographer, Elli Sougioultzoglou-Seraidari known by the nickname Nelly, photographed the famous dancer of Opera Comique Mona Paeva dancing nude on the Parthenon!

Nelly stated that the "nude photography" was not planned, the original plan was for the model to pose "dressed" in ancient Greek garments so as to refer to ancient Greece. The archaeological site was closed to the public, the photographer and the model began preparations and the model, Paeva, at the suggestion of the site officials, used the guardhouse as her dressing room. While changing clothes, Nelly saw her. Then she decided to photograph her naked ....

The door was ajar, and as the sun shone in and filled the small space with light, and Nelly first saw the foreign dancer naked. It seemed to her that Paeva embodied the spirit of the ancient marbles! "Could you pose completely naked?" she asked. Paeva accepted! Nelly ran and asked the officials if she could photograph the model in the nude. The answer was affirmative, under one condition: "The photos are not to be published."

The model posed for Nelly's lens, dancing and holding an olive branch. The artistic results were excellent and the photographer, as a gesture to thank Paeva, gave her some of the photos she had taken. The following year, her avant-garde pictures of nude Mona Paeva on the Parthenon were published in the French magazine Illustration de Paris.

The news arrived in Greece and caused a scandal in the city of Athens. The conservative society considered it an insult and condemned Nelly. The Athenian press aired similar opinions, accusing the artist of desecration of the site ....

Despite the reactions and comments the photographer was not intimidated and proceeded once again in photographing the Acropolis, using as her model the Hungarian dancer Nikolska. Ally Nelly, in alliance with the director of the Acropolis, which, despite the outcry, gave her the go ahead. To mitigate the reactions, she this time used tunics to dress Nikolska ....

Just a few years later, in 1936, Greece made a progressive leap and presented the nude photos with the dancers in a Greek tourism exhibition in Paris. The reviews were jubilant! Both the "naked" photography and Nelly made history!

Are the latest concerns a lot of fuss about nothing? Just a thought ...

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