Metro Weekly

Gay sex scene filmed at Acropolis sparks outrage in Greece

Short film "Departhenon" depicts two men having sex near the Parthenon to protest "heteronormal and nationalistic values"

Acropolis, Athens, Greece, Parthenon
The Acropolis in Athens, Greece — Photo by Constantinos Kollias on Unsplash

A short film featuring a gay sex scene filmed at the Acropolis in Athens has sparked outrage in Greece.

The 36-minute film, Departhenon, was released in December and quickly went viral over a scene featuring explicit gay sex at the Acropolis, a Unesco World Heritage site and historical and cultural icon in Greece.

In the film, two men are depicted partially undressed and having sex while surrounded by several people, shielding them from the view of tourists and others who can be heard moving around the Acropolis.

The film’s anonymous producers claim the film is an “artwork that is also a political action” and say they chose to film at the Acropolis because it is “a space which is aggressively charged with heteronormal and nationalistic values,” the Independent reports.

But Departhenon‘s sex scene has instead inspired nationwide backlash, with the president of Greece’s Actor’s Association calling the film shameful.

“No one can use the Sacred Rock of the Acropolis for so-called activist actions and revolutionary acts, which are in fact both stupid and immoral,” Spyros Bibilas said during a recent TV interview.

“You can’t do everything in the name of activism. In fact, I don’t consider this to be activism,” he continued. “As A Greek, I feel ashamed.”

Greece’s Culture Ministry slammed the decision to shoot at the Acropolis, saying it had not granted permission to producers to film in the vicinity of the Parthenon, the Acropolis’ most iconic structure, which was built between 447 and 432 BC.

“The archaeological site is not suitable for any kind of activism or other activity which would cause offence and displays disrespect for the monument,” officials said in a statement.

The ministry has launched an investigation and said it is working to “find as soon as possible those responsible for this illegal shoot.”

Acropolis, parthenon, greece, athens
The Parthenon at the Acropolis in Athens, Greece — Photo by Yang Yang on Unsplash

The ministry is also investigating Acropolis workers to determine if anyone aided the filmmakers in staging the scene.

In a statement, Departhenon‘s producers defended the decision to shoot at the Acropolis.

“Some of us are subject to physical and verbal violence for our choices and expressions of sexuality… we will live our love and sexuality as we wish and we will defend the existence in public, but also the coexistence, of all sexualities that do not violate the self-disposition of our bodies,” they said.

“The choice of the Parthenon is not accidental. It works for many as a symbol of nationalism, commercialization, mass culture and puritanism.”

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