Two Greek students decided to show their Greek heritage by photographing themselves with Greek flags in front of artifacts from Greek antiquity at the British Museum in London and the Louvre Museum in Paris. The students, Alexandros Kazakos and Maria Arvaniti are from Vartholomew, Ilias; they are university students who wanted to protest against the looting and pillaging of artifacts from Greece and traveled to London and Paris to get their message across.
“The reason we were led to do this was because as young people we saw the situation in Greece and the indifference that the state was showing regarding such matters,” says Kazakos. “We felt that we, the young people, should play an active role (in the return of these artifacts) even if it is in this way. We hope that through our example we will sensitize other young people to seek our national heritage, a part of which is scattered far away from our country. It is the duty of Greeks, especially those of the younger generation.”
Kazakos says that the feelings that the two young people felt at the two museums made them feel pride and shame at the same time regarding Greece’s past and what it has become. “We believe in Mahatma Ghandi’s saying, ‘Be the change you want to see in the world’,” says Kazakos.