Athens, Greece No Dancing at the Parthenon

So I finally got arrested for dancing.

Woke up this morning on a ferry boat to the sound of a guy yelling at me like I was a vagrant.

Looked around, saw an old Indian guy blowing snot out of his nose on the floor next to me. Realized I was a vagrant.

The ferry had come into port at Athens. Literally everyone but the Indian guy disembarked while I slept.

It was 5am. The sun was a long way from rising. I have no guidebook covering Greece – didn’t even know where to tell a cab driver to take me. I wandered the streets for an hour until the first coffee shop opened, then loitered there until it was early enough to get a hotel room without paying for the previous night.

Finding a taxi took half an hour. Turns out the bus drivers are on strike today. When I found a guy and he discovered I’m American, all he wanted to talk about was politics. When he found out I’m from Seattle, all he wanted to talk about was grunge music.

He took me to a reasonably cheap hotel near the Acropolis and I slept for six hours. Waking in the afternoon, I set out on foot for the Parthenon.


Talked to some ancient Greeks.

“Where you from?”
“America? Too big.”
“Okay. Um. How about Switzerland?”
“No. America is a big place. In what part do you live?”
“Oh. Seattle.”
“I see. Seattle is very different from Alabama.”
“Yes it is.”
“They still hanging blacks in Alabama.”
“Yeah, we stopped doing that in Seattle a while ago.”

Greeks don’t beat around the Bush. People often ask me if I have trouble traveling as an American. The answer is no. I generally get a positive response for stating my nationality – or at least the benefit of the doubt. But I haven’t spent much time in Europe. I’m learning the reception isn’t quite as warm these days.

At least they know the difference between a red state and a blue state.

I don’t like wearing messages on my clothing, but it might save me some trouble while I’m here if I state my political affiliations concisely across my chest.

One thing European attitudes remind me of is how narrow the spectrum for debate is back home. Even the fact that it’s a spectrum is irritating. As Jon Stewart points out, opinions can have a Y-axis.

We’re confined to arguing over stupid crap like gays in the military. If we were to let Europe in, we’d be arguing over gay orgies in the military – which is, to me, a more compelling point of contention.

Even the graffiti in Greece is achingly wishy-washy.


Continued walking up the hill. I seem to have a knack for finding the less trodden entrances to places like this.


Oh, look. An amphitheater.


Ancient amphitheaters are everywhere. How come they stick around so much longer than every other kind of structure?

…hey, you know what? I bet it’s the lack of roofs.

I’m starting to realize there’s a difference between having an interest in history and an interest in really old stuff. Rarely does the really old stuff tell us much about why its creators were important. We think it’s going to, but then we get there and it doesn’t. So we take pictures and we leave.

Img_3455 Img_3459

I’ll admit that as the dancing video goes, standing in front of the ancient stuff is largely obligatory. There are places like Angkor Wat and Abu Simbel that leave me truly astonished. They have a magical quality. But the Taj Mahal? Pyramids? Parthenon? To me, it’s just a pile of rocks that doesn’t say anything worth saying.

The sun goes behind some clouds, so I sit down on the bench, pull out my Sudoku book, and I wait for it to come out again. A short guy in a black leather jacket sits next to me. He pulls out a scratchy AM receiver and starts blasting some Greek talk radio, absolutely crushing my moment of serenity.

The sun begins to go down and a couple Japanese guys are taking pictures of each other. I ask one of them to hold the camera while I dance.

“10 seconds,” I explain.
“Okay. No problem.”

So I start to dance, and the guy in the leather jacket gets up from the bench and walks into the middle of the shot.

“What do you think you’re doing?” he asks.
“I’m dancing.”
“You can’t do that here. You must delete it.”
"You’re joking, right?"
"Delete the picture right now!"
“I’m not going to delete anything.”

The Japanese guy senses trouble. “10 seconds,” he says, hands me the camera and leaves.

“What you are doing is disrespectful.”
“I don’t think it’s disrespectful.”
“Give me the camera.”
“I’m not going to give you the camera.”
“Then take your things and come with me.”
“I’m not going anywhere with you.”
“Then I will call the police and you will go to jail.”
“Who are you? Show me some identification.”
“I will show you identification later. Come with me right now.”
“I’m not going anywhere until you show me identification.”

So the guy goes and he gets a security guard.

“Show me the video,” says the guard. I show him the video.

“You cannot do that here!”
“Why not?”
“It is against the rules.”
“What rules? Show me the sign that says No Dancing.”
“Remove the video.”
“Then come with me.”

The guy grabs me by the arm and starts pulling me down the step s. This is incredible, I think. How far are they willing to go with this? How far am I willing to go with this?

They take me to the front entrance and explain to the head guard, in Greek, what I was doing. The head guard pulls me down a path, around a corner, and behind a building, so no tourists can see.

“Listen to me. The Parthenon may mean nothing to you, but to us it is a HOLY RELIGIOUS SITE!”

Oh really? And when’s the last time you made sacrifice to Athena?

“Give me the camera.”
“I’m not giving you the camera.”
“Give me your passport.”
“I’m not giving you my passport.”
“Then you will spend the night in jail.”
“I’ve slept in worse places.”

I hold my hands out in front of me for cuffing.

He leads me inside to what can vaguely be described as an interrogation room. Maybe it’s just for lunch breaks, but in the moment it feels a lot like an interrogation room. He asks a couple more times for the camera. The response doesn’t change.

The guy in the leather jacket who started all this asks, “In your house, do you not have rules?”
“We don’t have any rules against dancing, no.”
“At your work. They do not have rules?”
“As far as I know, I’ve never worked anywhere that had a No Dancing policy.”
“Why do you do this?”
“I’m traveling. I do this everywhere I go.”
“And you do not think it is disrespectful?”
“I think it’s anything but disrespectful.”
“You are American, yes?”

Had to see that one coming.

A policeman walks in and asks what this is all about. They go through it all again. I’m led out the gates to a squad car. More discussion.

Another policeman asks, “What is it that you did?”
“I danced.”
“Show me.”

So I dance for the cop. He shakes his head. “You cannot do this here. Delete the film and you can leave.”


And into the car I go. We get to the police station. They take me up the elevator and sit me down with the guy in charge, presumably the precinct chief.

He asks me all the same questions. I give him all the same answers.

“Show me this video.”

I play the Parthenon clip. I also still have Ephesus and Troy on the camera, so I show him those too.

Again I’m asked, “Why do you do this?”
“It’s a memento.”
“A souvenir.”

He still doesn’t get it. A young female cop who speaks better English translates for him. I notice there are at least eight officers surrounding me, all very interested in what’s going on.

I suddenly want very badly to leave this place, and it strikes me that I can’t. I’m being held for questioning. The situation is new to me.

The chief starts yelling at the cop who brought me in. It’s all Greek to me, but the tone is clearly along the lines of “Why are you wasting my time with this shit?”

A little more yelling and the chief asks for my passport. This time, I give it up.

One of the cops sits down with me. I can see the sides of his mouth curving upward. “We’re going to let you go.” He winks at me discreetly. “We just need to take down your information.”

He has me write my name, my mother’s name, my father’s name, my passport number, my address, and the name of my hotel in Athens.

I get up to leave. The guy in the leather jacket, still standing by my side and clearly a little embarrassed, tries to justify himself to me. “In other countries, the policies are maybe more…elastic…but here, you must not do these things.”

The police chief asks one more time, “Will you delete this video?”
“I’m sorry. I can’t do that.”
“Okay. Get out of here.”

And that’s my story.

I’ve never had any experience with civil disobedience. I think of myself as a spineless wimp and I guess I imagined I’d fold pretty quickly, so it was nice to learn that I can withstand a little intimidation when the matter at hand is truly ridiculous enough.

I don’t know how I would’ve held up if there’d been anything serious at stake, like life or liberty. This was just about the pursuit of happiness, which trails a distant third.

I wasn’t even going to use it in the video. The lighting’s bad and it’s just not all that interesting. But if I’m willing to go to jail for a thing, I should probably get some use out of it, huh?

248 Responses to Athens, Greece No Dancing at the Parthenon

  1. Kasey

    How odd. We don’t mind making bundle loads of money from tourists trampling all over the place just don’t get your jig on!!! I think you’ve been punked Mr Harding.

  2. Stephan

    Really strange story there, Matt. Never seen any such behaviour, never been in Greece either though.

    It should become better as you progress north 😉

    PS: the fix for the “map javascript” is in your mailbox. Enjoy…

  3. Quinn of Vashon

    …..Greece has not changed in 25-30 years…
    although I was a long-haired nere-do-well up
    to no good according to authorities of the
    birthplace of civilization(according to THEM)
    …well done,Matt..standing up against
    intimidation/civil disobedience…and the Man
    ..keep doing what you are doing…keep moving!,Matt

  4. The surreal experiences of traveling. Gotta love it.

    “Rarely does the really old stuff tell us much about why its creators were important. We think it’s going to, but then we get there and it doesn’t. So we take pictures and we leave.”

    Well, I always turn to thoughts about how the things we build can outlast our short lives; and architecture does tell you a lot about the people that lived there once and what they thought was important. The differences and similarities are interesting, at least to me.

  5. spion

    thanks for being a typical American. makes the rest of us look really good.

    i lived in Europe for decades and hate your kind. the asshole American who thinks they can act like an idiot no matter whose house they visit.

    just great.

  6. Jit

    In response to Michiel — That’s a lousy point you make about Matt acting like an idiot. The guy has a thing that he “does”. Why should that bother anyone? You’re telling me we don’t have any Europeans in America making fools of themselves somewhere? The only difference is we don’t get the “holier-than-thou” attitude of idiots like yourself. Also, help me remember the last time somebody died by trampling at one of our sporting event here in the states. If you want to go off on a tirade about something, how about looking at moronic Europeans that think violence and death are a good way to demonstrate sportsmanship.

  7. Blue Patriot

    Spion’s comment makes the American in me want to come out and be offensive to him.
    What a fucking douchebag.
    Oops, that slipped out.
    Interesting how he tries to make a point about respect, and then he throws out the word ‘hate’ in the second sentence. Yep, that’s douchebaggery for ya.
    I think I’ll dance through Europe, too.
    In fact, depending on where you are, I think you’ll find many Europeans dancing right along with you.
    But those people definitely won’t be Spion, as he can’t dance. So sad.

  8. John

    Greece is the nation whic arrested some British plane spotters for looking at aircraft so this isn’t that surprising.

  9. Dimitri

    I am greek and I live in rochester NY lately, studying.

    I don’t believe you danced in front of the Parthenon! You are disrespectful and they should throw you in a greek jail along with other illegal immigrants!

    … actually… I don’t really care and I am little embarrashed about greek stupidity. If a guy wants to dance let him dance. In the early 20th century we had nude photos of a woman dancing inbetween the columns of the parthenon… I guess you are not hot enough!

    A disgusting lowlife semi-religious semi-proud greek with a jacket that has nothing to do with his miserable life spotted you. I hate these guys.

    On the other had… what would happen if I were to dance in front of any of US monuments? I am pretty sure it would not be allowed. Has anyone tried with success?

    And the rules and policies in the US are far more unreasonable sometimes. I was smoking a cigarette standing on a 3 feet stone fence outside of a bar (perfectly safe even if you are suicidal). And a security guy comes over and asks me to step down. It was NOT ALLOWED. I would not even bother asking why. I take it for lack of reason, common in NYS policies (other states are indeed more relaxed). Or I am ordering a drink with a 50 year old guy in a bar and he is asked to show ID. I have grey hair and people ID me.

    Apart from that, I apologize for greek lowlife stupidity.


  10. Mantari Damacy

    You used the wrong verb. That is what it all comes down to. You were “freedomizing” the Parthenon. Now who could object to that?

  11. I’m of two minds on this. Would you dance anywhere? Would you dance in Notre Dame? Would you dance at the Vietnam Memorial? Would you dance in Flanders Fields?

    I’m not arguing for or against the law–clearly that was an overreaction by the Greeks.

    I am arguing for being a respectful visitor. This is the question you should ask, and find an answer to before you indugle any, well, unorthodox behaviour:

    “Would a majority of locals consider my actions disrespectful?”

    If the answer is yes, and you proceed with your behaviour anyway, that doesn’t reflect very well on you, does it? And I’m afraid that, like it or not (and particularly when you’re American), when you travel, you’re also a representative of your country.

    I don’t know what the answer is in this case. I’ve been to the Parthenon, and (despite being there when it was largely empty, on Christmas eve), I was struck by the contemporary spirituality of the place. But, then, I’m not Greek, so I have no say in the matter.

  12. Ant

    This doesn’t quite match up to your story, but when visiting a museum in Greece I was told by a security guard — in no uncertain terms — that I wasn’t to have my photograph taken while mirroring the poses of the statues.

    Must be a ‘cultural’ thing I guess. Or maybe some people just lack a sense or humour…

  13. Josh

    Perhaps it’s because I’m a boorish American, but I don’t follow how the examples several people cites are offensive. Darren wrote, “Would you dance in Notre Dame? Would you dance at the Vietnam Memorial? Would you dance in Flanders Fields?”

    Sure, why not? That’s a lot less disrespectful than other things that have happened in those arenas.

    Of course, I don’t have much of a sense of pride about these things. Perhaps I need to be prouder. And be prepared to defend my honor against those that would accidentally besmirch it.

  14. Thirty five years ago I had to kneel at the entrance to every church I visited throughout Italy to ensure my skirt touched the floor. You can wear jeans or anything now. In defense of Matt, he mentioned he had no travel book. A travel book may have discussed the “rules” around the Parthenon and maybe he wouldn’t have danced. Any traveler should respect the customs of the country, but it helps if you know them ahead of time. My mini-skirts became hip huggers because I didn’t know the rules ahead of time. If Matt was considered disrespectful,I don’t believe it was done intentionally or knowingly. Guess he’s gonna have to keep a new log….dancing….no dancing…dancing…no dancing…

  15. fred

    I suspect you had a better feel of the situation actually being there, but is it possible that things could have turned out differently? What if the guy in the black jacket turned out to be a fascist punk with no compunction against smashing your camera and leaving you bleeding on the ground? What if the police chief turned out to be a sadist with power issues and a bad hangover?…

    Personally, I feel that some things are more worth standing up for than others. You want to abuse someone? I might be brave enough to get in your face. You have issues with my idea of fun? It may piss me off, but I don’t see it being worth the trouble.

  16. Josh: “That’s a lot less disrespectful than other things that have happened in those arenas.” Is that really your criteria for how you comport yourself outside your own country: “worse things have been done here, so I can do whatever I like”?

  17. Story of the week. Printing it, sticking it to my ceiling, and reading it again and again every night before I go to sleep.

    Thank you for making life awesome.

  18. Have just photoblogged the dancing, please let me know if you would like the image to be removed.
    Otherwise – good going! 😉

  19. Zesty Pete

    If you think dancing in front of the ancient ruins prompted a bad reaction, try touching one of them. You’ll be screamed at, if not tackled violently, within seconds by yet another angry citizen/security guard/policeman/small old woman wearing black. And I’m frankly amazed they didn’t call a priest in to rebuke you. There are priests everywhere in Athens, and they are consulted on everything. Watch the news in Greece and every story includes the opinion of at least one priest.

    In fact, next time, screw the Parthenon, try dancing in front of a Greek priest. Bet you really do get arrested then.

  20. Mantari Damacy

    Kevin Bacon called. He wants at least six degrees of separation between your footloose dancing and the Parthenon, you filthy ugly American!

  21. Rich

    OMG, this has been the best comment section ever!

    “Kevin Bacon called. He wants at least six degrees of separation between your footloose dancing and the Parthenon, you filthy ugly American!” LMFAO!!!


    You, spineless? You have Titanium balls the size of the world’s largest ball of yarn!
    This isn’t the first time either. I’ve read your other blog entries…

    As far as what you did being right or wrong I’m not going to comment. Someone mentioned dancing at the Vietnam Memorial… I don’t know how that would go over. I certainly don’t think you would have any police problems, but it would be considered inappropriate by many.

    Anyway, as a person you kick ass Matt. I know where your heart is and the world needs more people like you! :)

  22. fellowamercian

    i don’t care what you guys say, if i think it’s right, even if i’m not from around here, i’ll keep doing it! way to go.

  23. trevor

    I wonder if in fact what you ran up against wasn’t so much religious fervor as concentrated nationalism. The Greek government is involved in an ongoing legal and political battle with the British government over the “Elgin” or Parthenon Marbles, stone reliefs that were rescued from destruction and taken to England in 1806 by the British ambassador, Thomas Bruce, 7th Earl of Elgin. Since then, the British Museum has steadfastly refused to give them back, and the whole issue has become a focus point for Greek national pride. The sight of an American doing a jig in front of it might tweak some people. I still think the guy in the leather jacket was an a-hole.

    Oh and to spion: I’ve lived in Europe for lengthy amounts of time as well, and the people that really bug me are the holier-than-thou Americans convinced that living in Europe makes them morally superior, or that Americans have a lock on ugly tourist behavior. Do I need to provide a list of Europeans behaving badly in America? Ozzy Osbourne pissed on the Alamo in the 80’s and the Texans still forgave him.

  24. d3m0dis

    yeah, i know that for u dancing in some place that need respect dosen’t mean anything, just think… is it possible to dance in a church? yeah why not? and if is the funeral of your parents? still right dancing?maybe there is a limit to things? probably, and u just passed over it, slowly i understand why people hate americans..not all, just the methality of practical people and no ethics.

  25. Rin

    Part of me can’t get over that /dancing/ offends people. It’s not like you’re mooning or flipping off the Parthenon. You’re dancing. Holy lack of perspective people…

    ‘You appear to be expressing merriment, please leave.’

  26. i think the partenon has become a local folk religious symbol over the centuries even if it was a government building at one point. What you are probably seeing is some folks who grew up giving this building high significance privately…it is not the opinion of the government or its propoganda at play here… it is simply the locals not wanting you to do that and will try their best to get revenge for your “disrespecting” their symbol. to the government, it is but a ruins and a landmark.

  27. usted comento el alt1040 o alt1040 uso su comentario. en alt1040 no tenemos derecho de replica, es la democracia blogera de este extranjero de sshhhhttttttt
    eduardo arcos nuestra comida
    te molesto el estomago pobre WWEeeeeyyy. largate a comer mierddaaa a tu pais, y para de hablar mal de mexicanos y de mexico. o de personas que tratan de salir adelate sin pedirte nada tu estar Hablando mal de todos los mexicanos. esto si es una amenaza cuidate por que si la comida de guatos no te mato la banda….si te va a dar un susto …..
    disculpe la replica pero ya estamos cansados de este maldito que solo habla mal de mexico y de los mexicanos y no estamos de acuerdo con muchas personas que le dan la palmada solo por tener enlaces de alt1040 a sus blog sin trafico GRacias

  28. What an interesting thread. I want to explain but it’s going to be really hard.

    Please note that English is not my native language and that I’m doing the best I can to explain. If you don’t understand it’s all your error because you can’t speak proper Dutch.

    Of course a guest should act like one. It’s to bad you didn’t know that. Very common in the us, but not my point. People have crazy habits all over the world, why should you be any different? (humm, that’s not my point either)

    You say you only see a pile of rocks. And that it means nothing to you. Now ask yourself to what extend you’ve tried to find out what it means? I think you are unaware that you could learn this?

    Notice how they didn’t fail to explain their views in your language. You just didn’t know there was anything to feel about it. The meaning of the Parthenon rock pile is in peoples heads. I’m sure your skull isn’t to thick to understand that. I just know you can get your head all the way around this. :)

    Now, do you seriously think anyone could explain about what is dear to him to a charlatan? It successfully prevented you from getting an answer to the question you didn’t know existed.

    But you didn’t leave it to that, in stead they should learn from you how it’s one big pile of nothing. They should accept your ignorant view about their monument before you even try to understand theirs. Now that means you didn’t show the least interest in the actual thing you was visiting. Which obviously made it a waist of your visit. You just wouldn’t find out behaving that way.

    In stead of adding some color to the canvas of your life you try to remove it from others. I’m sorry to say it makes you the pile of rocks.

    I even understand that you just wanted to dance. It was funny but it wasn’t worth insulting anyone. Why do you think the Japanese guy walked away the moment you got disrespectful?

    If you look at the amount of text here, you can understand why they just let you go. It’s almost impossible to explain. And very unlikely that you understand. Then again this reply is all that you gained from the trip.(haha) And yes I know I’ve waisted my time buy hey,

    I probably suck to much at this language of yours, or it’s the language it self I don’t know. At least I tried right?

    Look how you even complain about getting attention for being an American. We all speak English because we want to know what people think. Americans on the other hand don’t show the least of interest in what anyone thinks. Respect is pretty foreign. At least this should explain why US-europeans are better people as Euroamericans. *ads pun*

    To put it quantum mechanically, try to observe something without disturbing it or you wont get to see it.

  29. Mantari Damacy

    I have no idea what the lunatic about just said. But I have this urge that tells me that my lack of understanding it is somehow connected to my lack of understanding the Parthenon. I just know it!

  30. Gareth

    “I’ll admit that as the dancing video goes, standing in front of the ancient stuff is largely obligatory. There are places like Angkor Wat and Abu Simbel that leave me truly astonished. They have a magical quality. But the Taj Mahal? Pyramids? Parthenon? To me, it’s just a pile of rocks that doesn’t say anything worth saying.”

    This seems like a pretty rash comment Matt? I wonder whether it simply reflects the fact that the Taj Mahal, Pyramids and Parthenon are so well known (mainstream tourist attractions?) whereas perhaps places like Angkor Wat and Abu Simbel are a little more obscure, less well known (part of the alternative tourist trail?).

    So I guess what I am trying to say is: maybe you get that “magical” feeling from things that are wholly new experiences based on their novelty? Maybe this is even the essence of the joy of travel? and perhaps it has been removed from some great sites by their commercialism and common place in PC desktop wallpapers? I dunno…

    But I do think that there is a danger in trying to be a “cool” traveller who only enjoys the alternative/different/less frequently visited parts of the world. Are you missing out on some of the magic of the unfortunately well trodden but equally astonishing sites? And where do you go once all the alternative routes become mainstream?

  31. I’m a Greek living in Greece. Your experience sounds very interesting and very odd. I think I’m going to investigate as to why dancing in front of the Parthenon is illegal. Probably someone being an idiot trying to make his day less dull. I wouldn’t have a problem with it. I might have a problem if it was, let’s say, in front of the tomb of the “Unknown Soldier.” A monument for those Greeks who have died defending our country. But then again, you probably wouldn’t be able to get too close as it’s guarded by Tsoliades (those armed guards in dresses).

  32. Stavros

    Hey Matt…it is Stavros. I am Greek and i am a little bit embarassed of what happened to you.
    You know, we are proud of our history which goes back to times when other countries had not yet been discovered(:-)) but what the policemen did to you was totally inacceptable.
    Due to the fact that you dance like a chimpanzee(which i like it very much) the leather guy thought that you are being disrespectful to the monument.Probably if you could be more polite and explain them that you are doing this all over the world bla bla bla you wouldn’t get in the police station in the first place.
    Waiting for your new video…
    (IF You could just email me you wouldn’t have to stay in a hotel)
    by by

  33. Brenna

    Maybe you should have turned in the leather jacket guy for disrespectfully playing loud Greek radio at the Parthenon. To me that is worse than dancing. Dancing at least is a celebration.

    Good for you for sticking to your guns. Must have been crapping your pants the whole time, but you definately have balls.

  34. Joe

    I would have implicated the leather-jacket nazi, pointed out that he had the stereo, started dancing first, you just joined in at his request, and that he went telling tales when you rejected his sexual advances.

  35. Dear Matt,

    Although you are probably enjoying the amount of confusion that you have caused amongst your readers with your actions in front of the Parthenon, it is very sad for me to say that people like you are the “new face” of America.

    Disrespectful, ignorant, arrogant, stupid.

    It would be nice if you tried to do what you did somewhere else… say in Turkey. The police over there would have probably given you “the midnight express” if you now what I mean…

    Funny thing is I read about this post in a web standards/css related blog and that is terrifying…

    And sad.

  36. iamfromgreece

    In a civilized country like Greece certain things have to be respected. I understand that you can’t understand this since you are from a country that has only 100-200 years of history.

    Hope you don’t tell your president that we support terrorism and he bombs down the Parthenon.

    However, you are welcome to come to Greece again.Don’t take what i wrote to harsh i didn’t mean it that way. Just think about this : The fact that you cant understand a few things in Greece because its different in your country doesn’t mean that things in your country are ok and the way the Greeks thing is wrong… maybe you are wrong

  37. parthenon

    Well… what can i say. You american people are so stupid.. but how can i blame you.. your history starts 500 years ago.. it’s like saying yesterday.. so how is it possible to respect history. anyway i really don’t blame you. i feel pity for you. i wonder what would happen if you do the same in Iraq in front of a local sight.. 200 milion useless people less on this planet would make it lighter and a better place to live..


  38. Zangetsu

    Dude, you are talking about police there and the policy etc etc, and you say in America there are no such things.. but as I have seen in videos on the internet, there is SO much racism, AND MANY OTHER THINGS.

    “We’re confined to arguing over stupid crap like gays in the military. If we were to let Europe in, we’d be arguing over gay orgies in the military”

    I think you have something in mind in order to prove it ah? he-he

    A pile of rocks? When Greeks built these structures other civilizations hadn’t even discovered fire.. rofl. As for the amphitheaters etc.. you know the word “maintenance” ?

    If you had had a guide, he would have explained to you. Or could have tried to read some texts that are in some specific places in order to make people understand what they see.

    I’m not going to analyse your whole entry anyway.. I agree that in Greece there are some idiots but same goes with the other countries(more and more).

    Oh and you say that you told “souvenir” to a police-man and he didn’t understand.. It’s weird because for these things in Greece we use the same word, souvenir =)

    Yes, I am from Greece. I am not even an adult but that’s the way I see things.

    That’s all folks =)

    PS: graffiti in public places -> by dorks
    PS2: Joe? He’s your hero? WTF ..

  39. Zangetsu

    Oh and forgot to tell you, yes it’s disrespectful to dance in places like these. I don’t know what you do at your country but I would never do “funny-dances”(as I guess you did) in a site like this.

  40. ulisse

    hmmm…nobody asks people like you to visit greece or any other country.You can stay home and dance in front of your own ancient monuments…I forgot…you can go to saudi arabia. People there, are more friendly to americans like you…but if you go against their rules you risk a bit more…Try that, and then write about your experience (if you still have hands)…

  41. Trekos of the Z...

    A perfect example of a person who visits a foreign country and does not educate them selves about local customs, specific behaviours and has absolutely no respect for the land they visit.
    Greeks have a word for it (dont ehy have a word for everything ?). It’s called “paideia” and in your case, it means something between “good manners, play it by the ear and don’t make a fool out of your self on a place you know nothing about and most of all, behave your self in public”

  42. Trekos of the Z...

    A perfect example of a person who visits a foreign country and does not educate them selves about local customs, specific behaviours and has absolutely no respect for the land they visit.
    Greeks have a word for it (dont they have a word for everything ?). It’s called “paideia” and in your case, it means something between “good manners, play it by the ear and don’t make a fool out of your self on a place you know nothing about and most of all, behave your self in public”

  43. Mojo

    I think it’s really sad that a whole lot of people have decided to take out their hatred for Americans on this site. Especially because it’s obvious that these people have probably only read this one post and don’t even have a clue what Matt is about. Have you even seen the dancing video?
    I’m sorry that there are Americans that have pissed you off but that does not mean you can assume we’re all disrespectful monkeys that don’t understand customs and manners.
    Many of the Greeks have been quick to point out that Matt didn’t bother to do his research and if he had he’d understand why his arrest was justified. What they have NOT pointed out is WHY NO DANCING AT THE PARTHENON? What if he had had his picture taken making a funny face? Would this also be arrest worthy? What if he’d had a picture taken laughing? Matt was expressing joy about the fact that he was lucky enough to be at the Parthenon in his way.
    If you want to continue bashing Americans, fine, do so where it might actually mean something. If you’d like to explain why what he did is so wrong in the eyes of Greeks, then please do so here…I’m sure many people would be happy to know.

  44. Zangetsu

    @Mojo: I can understand that his dance was “funny” from the pics that he has in the header. He was expressing his joy? ROFL! I can’t see anywhere in his entry saying something good about Parthenon.

  45. Dimitris

    Why don’t you upload what you call a dance in front o Parthenon, to let us see if what you’re really doing was disrespectful or not? I’m very curious to see why all these people find your dance disrespectful …

    It’s so ironic from Americans that voted Bush for president for 2nd time after the Iraq, to call Greeks regressives.

    And yes there is hatred for American not only in Europe but from all over the world, because of your politicians and military activities.

    Matt, Why don’t you go in Iraq to take a dance there at some monuments, or saudi arabia, iran, north korea, servia, chile or , Russia etc and then let us know (if you survive) for the result…

  46. Dimitris

    I just saw you small video clip (8mb) and i have to say:
    You’re really suck at dancing… it’s like a monkey dance. Don’t you see how all the people around you in your video, watching you and try to understand if you have escape from a psychiatric institution or you’re just a fool?
    I must admin your dance is not for sending you in jail, but it’s sure for a lot of tomatos in your face man! LOL…
    Stupid people doing stupid things! I also see you’ve dance in Russia, but i think there was no authorities around…

  47. Stelios

    Some things has to do with sense of humour. If you think that it’s funny dancing that way in front of a memorial then, believe me, the problem is yours and maybe you have to think better what’s funny and what’s for… 8-years old kids! But that’s your problem.

    I think they shouldn’t arrest you. Because your behavior is not desrespectful for Parthenon but for yourself! But people in Greece are not so open-minded and that’s why they thought that your problem is disrespectful for Parthenon.

  48. vinikey

    They don’t allow you to dance to Parthenon?
    Bomb Greece!
    They don’t allow you to dance to Eiffel tower?
    Bomb France!
    They don’t allow you to dance to Roman Colosseum?
    Bomb Italy!
    Lets bomb all the world!
    We are from USA!

  49. larry

    Oh Americans!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I like the American people!! yes i do!! even though i am not from america i like them!! they are a different way of the human mankind they are on theirs planet the planet “US” they don’t know anything about any other “planet” they even don’t know their own history and the only think that makes them care about is the dead soldiers who died in a war that they stared yes. The middle American people don’t know anything about Parthenon or the pyramids or the any other ancient monument the sentence “when Greeks learn other people about philosophy American were jumping from tree to tree” is the best to describe you behavior? I don’t blame you that you are an idiot. Everybody know what kind of people you are and the prove of that is that you vote for president again “the man who we don’t speak of”…

    Ps2. I will be happy if osama stand in from of the white house with a nuke on his head
    Ps3.but I will be very sad to learn that the aliens between you (mean the people from other countries) will be dead to

  50. seems-america-hasnt-got-an-idiot-monopoly

    Some people need to get a sense of humour, and read what Matt wrote – he’s not a Bush supporter, and even if he was, he should still have the freedom to do a brief silly dance at the Parthenon – I’ve seen many European tourists do much worse in the USA.
    This does sound like our friend in the leather jacket had a chip on his shoulder, or had a bad day.
    The Parthenon may be a sacred site to some, but AFAIK it is not a graveyard so the whole ‘disrespect’ thing is being vastly exagerrated.

    To give some perspective, pigeons and other creatures are shitting on these beautiful & sacred monuments every day :)

    regards, Rob
    (Another European Green Day fan with a different viewpoint 😉

  51. LARRY

    sence of humor ehhhhhhh?
    ok i will dance then in frond of the dead soldiers of vietnam memorial or the monuments of the “ground zero”!!! and then i will piss
    Just for fun.
    What do you say MATT? and the other supporters of you?

  52. Bessy

    Hey Dude,

    Three years ago a jazz festival was held in Central Park, New York. Me and my friends went at one of the concerts to have a good time. Everybody was sitting on the ground enjoying the music and I myself was enjoying it so much that I stood up to start dancing. Several police officers came round and ordered me to sit down…..during a concert! They did the same thing with other people that wanted to get up to dance. So, instead of having a good time, we were pretty much forced to go through this amazing concert…sitting on the grass!!!! I don’t know about Greece and dancing in front of the Acropolis….but come on…Central Park?? A simple park??? During a concert??? Where there is music anyway??? Just thought you would be interested to know about this incident. IT is quite possible that the Greek security guards really had nothing else to do…so they found you to keep them interested and busy for a bit! What kind of dancing did you do anyway??

  53. The Critic

    It’s not the dancing per se. It’ just that they thought the little jig was played out 15 countries ago.

    Or they just thought it sucked.

    Maybe learn a new trick, like juggling or something.

  54. JJ

    Obviously an arguement of perspective. Sad to say Ive read every single comment so far….On one side theres the American hating European. On the other hand is the “I will BOMB j00” American. well actually there are sympathizers in between…but thats not my point.

    What im trying to say here is that NO there shouldnt be a No Dancing rule when it comes to Ancient monuments. If a European came and danced infront of the Vietnam memorial and I had a relative who died in that war…i wouldnt really give a crap..nor would i give a overreact if did his jig at my parent’s funeral (most likely id be staring at him with a WTF look on my face). But then again there is the occasional. Its just dancing! Nothing disrespectful about it! If any one of you guys can show symbolysim of how it was disrespectful ill be glad to give up my left nut sack so to speak. Yes mimicking sculptures in a museum is mocking the artist’s creation. But Dancing…..well dancing infront of the Parthenon is just that. DANCING!

    as for all you American Bashers! STOP HATING! Im not American but our countries arent all that perfect either so stop acting like you are more sophisticated than the American monkeys who cant make fire yet. You arent exactly a bunch of Platos now are you …so shut it vinikey and larry. Pissing on the Parthenon is TOTALLY IRRELEVANT to dancing infront of it.

    I agree that there is a certain degree to respect but theres also a certain degree to overreacting. They could have just said “Please stop that you are offending me.” or they could just chop your feet off.

    Take care of you legs Matt =)

  55. This discussion is fantastic!Humans discovering other…humans! I’m a dancer and I love dancing in public spaces :-) I wanted to to do it in front of the greek parliament because of the Tsoliades but I never found the time. I’m greek, I lived in Germany, USA, and France and travelled a lot. We’re all a little bit idiots especially when we lack the codes to communicate. I also disagree with the US foreign policies and ECOLOGY…but I have met wonderful people there and some of my favourite intellectuals are americans! Ken Wilber is one of them and he talks about the evolution of human consciousness. Google around : he “dances” your brains out! 😉 The same nationalistic philosophy of the leather jacket guy governs most of the world’s citizens right now : we have work to do! Being sensible to each other is a life time task…Keep dancing ( with emapthy). Warmest greetings from the Matrix!

  56. S G

    wow. really funny story.

    I am Greek and almost 99% sure that no law exists about dancing in the Parthenon (how the heck is it a religious site for the leather-jacket Rambo? Was the guy a Zeus and Athena worshipper? Possible, but highly unlikely).

    I think you were a victim of damn uneducated policemen. i mean sure, an American dancing on the Parthenon could be offending to some people. A bit like an American eating burgers in a church :-) (cliche, but has happened)

    But there is a huge difference between something being offending and being illegal!! That’s a basic democratic principle dammit! Its good that you stood up for your rights and it would be even better to report these policemen to a higher authority. Else they think they can keep bothering people at their discretion…

  57. Chloe in Sydney

    Yes well you do know that Greeks are retarted and backwards. You know it was a fluke they won the European Football cup, proof is in the pudding as they did not make it to the World Cup..ha ha ha… perhaps they are jealous you american’s made it…probably their ego is still bruised when their greek geek team came to play the aussies (in late May) in a friendly leading into the world cup, they were just a warm up for us..naturally the aussies won : ) Greeks are very sensitive and take their religion and culture too over seriously, even today they defend the niacin creed factions!! My guess is that they geeks are mad and sad that although the rest of the world has moved into the 21st century & developed culture further, when they have remained in the archaic past holding onto something not relevant today, that is why they are still a 2nd world country, not 1st. ..anyway Your story is hilarious and can’t wait for your next adventure..if and when eh! Go Socceroos !!

  58. I ve been reading the post and was amazed to see the amount of comments…till I found out half of them were from offended greeks.
    That explains it
    (greeks ahve an opinion about everything)

    I am myself half Greek and living in greece.
    Yes, most people are lacking a sence of humour and take themselves too seriously.
    The “if” rules.
    “If you dont do this I will do that”

    There s a lot of confusion between fear and respect, caring and prying, who they were 2000 years ago and who we are now.

    On the other hand, i agree with what the dutch guy said.And the fact there s a priest everywhere 😛

    Funny thing, as i was growing up, my generation loved the americans, the american music..The new generation feels differently.
    Not that i agree with Us politics, but I see the irrelevance of writing about it in a post about some guys misfortune.

    Im sorry, not for the power craving leather jacket ass who started this…but for the others who came in here filled with hurt pride and started mentioning iraq, iran, like if you were personnaly responsible for your country s politic actions.

    Xalaroste re.

  59. stella

    Hi Matt,

    great thread but even more interesting comments to find here… My timing is not exactly perfect though (since the original post dates back more than a month), sorry!

    As a Greek I wasn’t really surprised to read your story, because I know how people working for the public sector (i.e. guards at historical sites, police officers in your case) can be in Greece: too bored to work, believing that they have authority in their hands (not generalising here, just talking about some people unfortunately standing out). I think all of us have had a hard time once in a while with some of them – the difference is that we are Greek and we know how to defend ourselves in a situation like that, or at least are able to call a friend to support us. This is what I find most disturbing about your experience, that you had to go through all this alone – makes you feel really unwelcome in a country, and these people should be ashamed of that.

    Just to add my voice to most of the other Greeks who posted their comments on this page, of course I would NOT find it offending in any way seeing you dancing in front of the Parthenon or any other monument. Actually, I’m not really sure why I should be more offended by anything done in front of a greek memorial and not an italian or chinese one, for instance. However, I do aggree that one has to follow certain unwritten rules when visiting any country and moreover places regarded to be holy in a religious or cultural sense – yes, there is cultural sacredness as well. In this case though it does NOT apply to you dancing in front of the Parthenon, I really can’t justify it. Maybe anyone from the Greeks above calling you a disrespectful American idiot could enlighten the rest of us? :-) (although they would probably call me bad names :-O)

    Apropos, I watched your video twice and I really enjoyed it!

    Sorry for taking up so much space, cheers

    P.S. I got really pissed when I started reading Chloe’s post, but when I realised that with “niacine creed” she refers to the nicene creed (for a moment there I got really confused) I couldn’t stop laughing! :-PPP Well how can you possibly respond to a person ending her message with the words “Go Socceroos!”??!! [Chloe, if your above post is an ironic one (and I do hope it is), I apologise, good work]
    P.S.2: Thanks Lili for adding a voice of reason :-)

  60. It’s amazing how many people will go out of there way to control other people’s actions in other countries.

    If you feel joy in the place you’re in and feel like dancing (not to say that was why you were dancing in this place particularly), then you should have the right.

  61. Charles Lloyd, San Jose, CA

    I’d really like to see this elided video! Next time see if you can get the cops to take pictures of you dancing with them in front of the police station. They should be so lucky to get into one of your shots. I hope these cops/guards get to see the 2006 video and realize how stupid they were — if they had realized you were an internet celebrity, I’ll guarantee your treatment would have been different.

  62. Good morrow,

    A friend of mine has just passed me the link for your article, I must admit I remain stunned. These people have no respect for the most important of Greek qualities that is Hospitality.

    You had no reason NOT to dance, and I don’t really understand their actions. If I were there I would keep the camera for you and defend you. That’s appauling. I know that things like that make Greeks look bad, but we are not like that. It is our “Enforcement Agents” that believe that they are the King of the Hill…

    Anyway, I hope you are having a good time.
    I’ve left you my email I will be in Athens for the next 2 days and then in THessaloniki
    if you need any help dont hesitate to message me.


  63. Crazy Coconut

    I reckon you did the right thing. It’s the kinda thing I would wanna do but not do and then regret it later. Anyways, yeah, you have balls. “Titanium balls the size of the world’s largest ball of yarn” actually. Everybody has a right to dance… and if they don’t they should put up a sign saying ‘you don’t have a right to dance’ or a list of rules that states that dancing or other such things aren’t allowed. But yes. I totally support what you did because it was standing up for what you thought was right. You didn’t let yourself get pushed around. And noooo, I’m not American, Slovakian in fact. I reckon for your next dancing video (if there is another. ooooh.) you should come and dance here. Big nice castle on a hill that I’m preeetty sure you can dance in front of. Anyways, looking forward to another installment of the dancing Matt,

  64. nikos

    you simply should have gone to thessaloniki and instead of athens… thessaloniki is a much hippier/happier place

  65. Mike

    When I was in Greece, I made the mistake of striking a pose in front of the Parthenon. The crazy leather jacket wearing Greeks proceeded to blow whistles and yell at me.

  66. chris

    actually there is a law (eu-cultural comittion law)

    u r not allowed to pose in front of cultural marks(statues in museums, the parthenon etc.)
    its also illegal using cultural places for commercial use. (the parthenon for example was asked for a pepsi advertise lots of times but pepsi didnt get licence for it)

    try taking a picture with you dancing inside the louvre see what happens

  67. As a Greek, I am begging you to post the “Acropolis dance” and, if you have it on tape, the discussion with the guards too. Please! Greek bloggers could cause those guys a lot of trouble, but having the video too would make your and our point much stronger.

    If you would like to contact me on this, please do so (however, I will be on a trip till the end of the week too…).

    Panayotis Vryonis,

  68. As the US President I advise all smart Americans to be cautious when dancing abroad. We cannot be sure whether certain terrorizers might destroy our strategery.

  69. WOW!!!!!!

    Panagioti, Lili, Dimitri, how eager you are to pull down your pants!!!! And apologise for… greek stupidity!!!!!!!!!

    That was the most interesting part of the whole issue for me. Matt, mate, I suppose that after all it was not a negative experience. Look how many yes-men (and yes-women, for that reason) you have attracted here to soothe your… suffering, pal…

    That said, I’ve not seen the video and I can’t possibly have an opinion on the issue. But I can say that I find the “apologies” quite disaproprionate, rather ridiculous. After all, everybody was formal with you, and they finally stepped back and let you go away with your video, whatever it was depicting. Isn’t that so?


  70. WOW!!!!!!

    Panagioti, Lili, Dimitri, how eager you are to pull down your pants!!!! And apologise for… greek stupidity!!!!!!!!!

    That was the most interesting part of the whole issue for me. Matt, mate, I suppose that after all it was not a negative experience. Look how many yes-men (and yes-women, for that reason) you have attracted here to soothe your… suffering, pal…

    That said, I’ve not seen the video and I can’t possibly have an opinion on the issue. But I can say that I find the “apologies” quite disaproprionate, rather ridiculous. After all, everybody was formal with you, and they finally stepped back and let you go away with your video, whatever it was depicting. Isn’t that so?


  71. Sorry about the duplicate comment! Forgot to mention I like very much your photo of the …ancient greeks and your general attitude. YOur dancing… I suppose it sucks… One can’t possibly be perfect in everything!!!!!


  72. pc

    Separate temporary and contested (Upwards of 60 million Americans disagreed with Bush enough in 2004 to vote against him; current polls put that number at more like 200 million, or about 2/3 of our population.) politics from a general discussion about intercultural communication and respect?

    But then we’d all have to stop stereotyping and start listening to real people with different points of view.

    That’ll be the day.

    “eisai malakas” is correct on one thing: This world doesn’t lack for assholes, American or otherwise.

    For example, I especially loved the “Middle Americans” comment awhile back. What does that mean? The hundreds of nationalities and ethnic groups that coinhabit a section of continent as large as most of Europe?

    Let’s see less slinging and more thinking.

  73. Anonymous

    I would not expect anything better and cleverer from an American!
    It is obvious you know nothing about history, culture, relegion. How could you know that ancient Greeks never made sucrifices to honour Athena or any other god. But what am I saying? I bet you know shit about your country’s history. OPEN A BOOK, you loser!

  74. thanos

    When I read your story at the Parthenon , I was disappointed and I felt the need to honestly ask you sorry in behalf of me and all the Greeks that think the same way as me ( and I believe they are a lot) Athens has change a lot the past few years but some low educated security guys with a low esteem complex abuse their authority ( if ever they have one ) Ok for us Greeks Parthenon is the cradle of our ancient civilization -u can understand that- but don’t exaggerate its not that u try to do a graffiti at the columns . Anyway there far more beautiful monuments and place in Athens an generally in Greece to dance in front of . Next time u going to visit us drop me an e-mail and maybe I could show u an inside look of Athens .

  75. just a greek guy

    Parthenon is a holy site allright, but Greek cops are the best lol.

    You have quite a style of dancing and traveling dude. Quite a lot of money too, i guess.
    But don’t compare the Anciet Greek society with ..that! It’s not fair for those man that gave their little something to the world.
    Athens is not Ancient Athens and the security man that have arrested you isn’t Socrates.

  76. Vivian

    I don’t get you Mat. Are you making a living out of dancing in front of these places, monuments that are full of beauty and history? Or do you have a lot of money and a lot of bordom to spend? Do you ever understand where you are and what these places are to mankind? Do you realy like to make a full of yourself like that? What do you want to prove with this behaviour?

  77. Lol… I think Vivian of the “July 07, 2006 at 7:27 AM comment” either needs to read your “About me” page or she utterly need to get laid =)

    I think you have become my personal hero from now on… even thou you haven’t done anything productive with your life for society… but still, I crack up with your little incidents here and there… and well, that is good enough, besides telling the cops what you told them has be be one of my favorites 😉

    Hope you keep enjoying life the way we all wish we could.

  78. joseph Ball

    Im new to your journals having discovered them only two weeks ago. Seems I have two trips around the world to read about! I assure you your time was not wasted writing it because many of us envy the experience and are planning our own escapes learning from your experiences…Thank you for your efforts and determination to stay the NERD you are!….kidding…my best to Melissa

    Joe and Kathy Ball
    Mililani , HI

  79. @mayro gato
    Your a rude idiot in Greek, youre a rude idiot in english.
    dropping my pants?
    who do you think you re talking to?
    some cousin of yours?

    I bet you re the cop in leather jacket.

  80. FAQU

    Q: What did Greece do for “Culture” the last 2000 years ?

    A: Not much.

    Q: What does Pallas Athena, the Godess of the Philosophers (!) think, when she looks down from the Olymp and sees a guy traveling the whole world alone and risking to be smacked up by some unintelligent (!) “security officer” for a 10 sec. videoclip ?

    A: Herakles.

    Q: What is the difference between a German, who never read Nietzsche and a Greece, who never read Platon ?

    A: The German: “I am the Nation of Poets and Thinkers (“Land der Dichter und Denker”)”
    The Greece: “I am the nation of western culture’s origin.”

    Q: Where does homosexuality come from ?

    A: Lesbos, Sappho, Platon, etc.

    P.P.S. I’ve got about 50 fragments of ancient pottery, that I found in the dust over at Olympos, Akropolis, Troja and Delphi. I collected them when I was twelve. They were everywhere in the sand! Is this how you take care of your great ancient monuments ? Let tourists kick them with their feet ?

    I like pople, who dance. Dance is an expression of joy. Our host dances, because he “made it” to these places. So, he feels well. But it seems to me, that a lot of people from Greece do not understand what JOY is.

    Too bad you have been at Hungary already. I would have invited you and given you a strict sightseeing offer. 😉 Here, where I live, there is a backpack tourist hotel in the neighbourhood.

  81. Henk Giertank

    Hope to go this year to tacky Las Vegas & dance and sniff some Olden World culture !!, dance in front of the Eiffel tower at the casino blabla whatevve !!

    Henk from The Netherlands !!!

    (love ya Matt, I’m gay by the way !)

  82. stella

    come on, takis is right, I remember reading his post on greek law, which I’m not familiar with to be honest, concerning monuments etc – and now it’s disappeared?? as long as the content was definitely not insulting (something that could be said for a number of comments here…), there’s no reason for it to be removed. takis just provided legal information (a good move since nobody here is talking facts, including myself) which might actually be useful; and if the info was incorrect or whatever, one should argue on it & not simply delete it…. just a pity, could’ve become an interesting conversation, cause now it’s just people throwing out opinions like mad

  83. J.O.

    You broke my heart and you made me cry
    You said that I couldn’t dance
    But now I’m back to let you know
    That I can really make romance
    –lyrics by Lou Reed

  84. JP


    I agree with those who say you were disrespectful for dancing in front of the parthenon. When you travel you should respect the ancient customs of the place you are visiting. The next time you visit Greece, do not act like the typical boorish American, but instead follow the lead of the civilised Greeks.

    Bugger an 8 year old boy instead.

  85. Stefanos

    Hey, Im a greek , and just wanna make sure you dont judge the Greeks by a couple of assholes you met on your way. The problem with a touristy place is that some shitty people are out to get you (I went to Prague recently, was constantly dogged by idiots trying to sell me stuff etc). But ignore that and you can see the great side of the place. As for JPs comment… hehehehe :)

  86. Faqu
    Its greek, not greece.
    Greece is the country

    sapho was a person from Lesbos
    Plato was a philosopher who didnt believe in carnal love(thats sex), so stop mixing everything in the same bag you come out as an idiot

    there is no way you have pieces of pottery from Troja ( i suppose its Troy) cause this city has disappeared thousands of years ago and its not supposed to be in Greece but in Turkey.
    Also, its punishable by law to export such things and I doubt in all these years pottery was laying there for some 12 year old to collect them.

    send me a piece will ya?I need a couple of thousand euros

    (guys, google your facts before you shoot your ignorance-or lies- to the wind, they are not farts you know?)

    was there really a post about a law and it was deleted? Not cool Mat, in that case. Not cool.

  87. joe

    I don t give a shit on Greece people and their history. They are just too proud of themself because The Great Alexander is gay.

    Matt, i m proud of you, and of what you did. By watching the video, we realize that the world is so beautiful. Beautiful because of his diversity. So, we need to be tolerant, not arrogant like Greece peole.

  88. Patti Rabun

    In response to all Europeans who think Americans are rude:
    We used to live on Balboa Island in Newport Beach, a very touristy area. We rented a little apartment above a garage. I can’t think of how many times Europeans (speaking languages other than English) pulled branches off our trees, threw trash alongside our home and urinated in our alley.
    I may be wrong, but I believe most American tourists would never think of doing any of those things. Dancing in front of a church or “holy/revered site” would only make most of us smile.

  89. tam

    Patti that is too true. I grew up overseas and I know a lot of americans can indeed, be rude when travelling. matt is not one. Europeans are often the rudest travellers in the world. Greeks and Germans top the list, but drunken swedes are no fun either. The reason Europe adores to bash us, indeed the reason they are OBSESSED with doing so, is it is much, MUCH easier to bash others than look within. Europe sucks these days, they are losing their identities, cost is out of control, theres nowhere to live because they have no space left, and the slums are getting ever bigger around their cities. Feel sorry for them though-its only going to get much worse. Laugh at their america bashing, for its all they have.

  90. =]

    “Those goddamn rash, disrespectful Americans, we wouldn’t do that on their historical sites. Oh wait, they’re only 500 years old, they have no history like us lololol!”

    No, I wasn’t quoting anyone, I was generalizing their outlook. And by ‘them’ I mean foreigners bashing Americans. Honestly, he danced. Who gives a shit? Hell, anyone care to dance in my yard? Have at it. Dance in front of the Statue of Liberty? Feel free. Dance on my grandmother’s grave? Couldn’t stop you. Maybe we have a few more freedoms we may take for granted over here, but honestly, so what if he doesn’t like the Parthenon? In my honest opinion, to any of you ‘holier-than-thou’ jackasses out there, we’re a tad more civilized due to our freedom. It’s called free thinking. It’s called free will. It’s called living. Sure there need to be restrictions, but being arrested for dancing? Get over it, communists.

  91. Karissa

    I’m so sad that I missed seeing you. I was at the Parthenon about a week after you were there. I knew Greece had some restrictions at their temples but I never thought No Dancing was one of them. A couple people from my group had a whistle blown at them for sitting on some of the ancient stones. I thought that was a bit of overreacting.

  92. chemota

    this is funny…hahaha

    No matt, you did wrong. you have to learn and respect the rules whereever you go. i should have deleted it the usa are even more strict than in europe.

    have fun

  93. Nick

    Of course Greeks have an opinion about everything. All people do, but most do not have the guts to express theirs in public (except Californians and New Yorkers). Greece is, in effect, a US state. Or vice-versa!

  94. Jerry

    Duh! The Parthenon is not a Hollywood studio or something Hollywood-like you take a guided tour at by default. Try dancing or shooting a video there (a Hollywood studio)! People are given the priviledge to walk on the actual site, 2500 years old and still standing, see the Parthenon up close rather than gaze it from afar. I think that visits to the Acropolis and other such world value monuments should cost 100 USD or more per head so that people like Matt stay out or have (because they paid 100 or more, that is the American way, no free lunches) a tad more respect of the world value of precious ancient works of marvel (the same applies to other ancient monuments in Greece and the rest of the world). The Acropolis is not the Grand Canyon, dude! Grow up! Greek police was very nice to you. Try something similar in a Southern US State! Have you toured the 50 states of YOUR country? Just do it!

  95. nic

    for your info…….
    Permit the cultureless to find their identity. Permit mutants (we’re all mutants) to take the piss. Permit bill gates to patent the 1’s and 0’s, wg’saf. Permit a dance at ground zero and the white house, wg’saf. Permit a dance at the alamo, wg’saf. Permit the dancers of humanity to dance as they desire and permit companies that pay to ride on the back of mutants for their 15mins of fame. Permit the english to call themselves Europeans when it suits, haha! Permit the americans to protect their petro dollars in the arabia’s, for better or worse, wg’saf. Permit the english to sell drugs to the world (started with the opium wars, poor maggy thatcher had to give back hong kong). Democracy means all welcome, that includes the english and their descendants; white americans (muderers of indigenous peoples), white canadians (muderers of indigenous peoples), white australians (convicts and muderers of indigenous peoples), white new zealanders (muderers of indigenous peoples). Murderous, abnoxious and destructive to humanity as they are, they are permitted to breath, eat, defecate, dance, rule (all rulers rise and fall), procreate (more mutations) and die. Since industrialism (england), the so called intelligencia of the universe still cannot figure out the construction methods of the pyramids, hehe! Those educated would realise that all words are Greek or Latin. Permit a dance in space, the moon, mars or any other planet, wg’saf. Permit me, an australian born Greek ( a wog to the english convicts, oooops! australians) to have my democratic right to free speech and post my first blog.

  96. nic

    for your info lili…….
    re: Posted by: lili | August 27, 2006 at 10:15 AM
    turkey didn’t exist. turkish people are mongoloid mutants.
    Constantinople = istanbul
    Greece was up until recently under turkish occupation for 450 years so most modern day short dark Greeks wearing leather jackets are of turkish origin.
    lili, are you turkish?

  97. Turkish

    Just to give add some flavour to this wonderful conversation and the word has finaly came to the Turks;
    Did you know that Parthenon was still fairly intact until the Greek militia fighting against the Ottoman’s blew it up at the end of the 19th century (it was being used as an arsenal). :)
    So there goes the Sanctity and the bombing and everything else…
    Come on guys he’s just dancing, good or bad in his own way and as far as I know of greeks are mainly Christian Orthodox for 1800 years.
    I think in a way Greek need to feel attached to their origin of Ancient Greece so they visit archeological sites as holy places. I can understand that but expecting everybody to feel that way is a little bit too much.
    FOR NIC:
    Istanbul was Constantinople but you may call any thing you like.
    Mongoloid Mutants? Pls Inform the Leather Jacket Man what you think about his origin and inform me about his reaction. If you think you can’t find him, just face a mirror that will do….

  98. Turkish

    Sorry nic haven’t read the post before that you don’t have any chance to find LJM so stick with the second suggestion…

  99. nic


    Monday 23rd February 2004

    Dear Sir,

    Parthenon Marbles and other Grecian artefacts.
    With the discovery of five new pieces of evidence regarding the above, I believe the police should now consider the Parthenon or so called Elgin Marbles as stolen property. Similarly other relics brought from Greece and offered for sale to Parliament by Thomas Bruce, 7th Earl of Elgin (hereinafter Elgin), but not accepted, should be considered likewise. The five new pieces of evidence are:

    1. The Parthenon and other so called Elgin Marbles were probably obtained illegally.
    2. Elgin lied to the Select Committee of Parliament, which purchased the Marbles.
    3. Elgin had no authority to dismantle structures or desecrate graves.
    4. Elgin used a bogus anonymous Memorandum written by himself or his Chaplin/ Occasional Private Secretary, Dr Philip Hunt, (hereinafter Hunt) to support his petition of Parliament.
    5. Elgin or his staff bribed Turkish occupation officials to allow the theft of artefacts.

    In light of this new evidence I would ask Fife Constabulary to consider the following:

    A complaint against the occupants of Broomhall House, Charlestown, Fife.
    Greek stelae, or grave markers and other items not bought by the British Government in 1816 are reported by the press to be currently housed in Broomhall House, Broomhall Estate, by Charlestown, Fife. This address is the home of the descendants of Thomas Bruce, 7th Earl of Elgin. I would respectfully ask the Chief Constable of Fife Constabulary to investigate a Prima Facie case of possession of stolen goods by the occupants of Broomhall House, there being no statute of limitation for such matters in Scotland.

    A complaint against the owners of the British Museum London.
    As fraud negates all statutory provisions or court regulations regarding time limitations there is a Prima Facie case that the British Museum in London is housing property stolen from Greece at a time when that country was under illegal foreign occupation. This stolen property which includes the Parthenon frieze was bought by Parliament for the nation from Thomas Bruce 7th Earl of Elgin for £35,000.00 in 1816. I would respectfully ask the Chief Constable of Fife Constabulary to investigate this matter or pass this information on to their colleagues in London for action.

    Background and new information.

    1. The Parthenon and other so called Elgin Marbles were probably obtained illegally:

    Professor David Rudenstine, an expert on Constitutional Law and Head of the Cardozo Faculty of Law at Yeshiva University New York has recently researched the above. In his research Professor Rudenstine has proved beyond a reasonable doubt that the widely held belief that an 1801 Ottoman authorisation document, which allowed Elgin’s party to remove marbles from the Parthenon walls was accurately translated for the Select Committee, is wrong (1).

    It is well known that at least two so called firmans were granted to Elgin’s party, one in 1800 gave permission to Elgin’s artists to model and draw the Parthenon, and the second, or new firman granted in 1801 allowed the artists to model, draw, excavate and remove stones from the rubble in the Parthenon.

    In his close examination of the documentary evidence available Prof. Rudenstine found that at no time was an Ottoman document or Firman produced to Parliament as evidence of the legitimacy of the removal of the marbles from the Parthenon walls. Whatever the Select Committee of Parliament examined in 1816, it was not the second 1801 Ottoman firman, but was instead either: a/ an Italian letter purported to be a translation of an Ottoman document, or: b/ an inaccurate and misleading English translation of the Italian letter.

    Professor Rudenstine proved that the Italian letter was not signed and had other deficiencies that were not translated accurately to the English letter, which was enhanced to present it as something that it was not. All of this was to Elgin’s benefit. It is a matter of fact that the Select Committee were wrong to consider the English letter translation as being an accurate established documentary link to the Ottoman document.

    Although Professor Rudenstine stops short of labelling the actions of Elgin’s party (in unauthorised removal), and the Select Committee (in accepting flawed authority for removal) illegal, he casts doubt on the propriety of both of these actions. Professor Rudenstine gives some credence to the evidence of Elgin and Hunt. I am able to go further than the Professor as I am now in possession of evidence that the only two witnesses to speak of the documents to the Select Committee, Elgin and Hunt, were individually or jointly party to misrepresenting other documents to that Committee and in consequence all of their evidence must be viewed as untrue.

    If I am correct it must follow that the legitimacy of the Elgin marbles held by the British Museum is at best questionable and probably illegal. In a similar way that documents accepted by the British Museum as legitimate provenance for the art collection of Dr Arthur Feldmann were questionable and led back to German officials in occupied Czechoslovakia Circa: 1939-45. The art collection of Dr Feldmann was nevertheless bought by the British Museum despite having a murky provenance.

    In 2000 the “Commission for Looted Art in Europe” sought restitution for Dr Feldmann’s artworks and the British Museum conceded that the Commission had a “compelling claim”. Ways forward are currently being negotiated between the parties which include the possibility of a referral to the “Spoilation Advisory Panel” (2).

    Other than the passage of time there is little difference between the questionable actions of the British Museum in buying unsubstantiated artefacts looted from occupied countries in these two cases (Elgin & Feldmann).

    Footnotes Section 1
    1. See David Rudenstine “A Tale of Three Documents” generally PDF Pages 9-39
    2. See “Commission for Looted Art in Europe” Press Release. PDF Pages 42-43

    2. Elgin lied to the Select Committee of Parliament that purchased the marbles.
    Professor Rudenstine has established that Elgin lied to Parliament by stating that he (Elgin) personally travelled to Athens with the second firman. This revelation by the Professor is substantiated by correspondence from Hunt to Richard William Hamilton stating that he (Hunt) was leaving for Athens within days with a new firman. It is known from Hunt’s correspondence to Elgin that Hunt took the letters allowing Elgin’s party to dig, (the so called second firman) to the Voivode, or governor of Athens in July 1801.

    Elgin however stated in his evidence to Parliament (3) in 1816 that the second firman was addressed by the Porte to the local authorities in Athens “to whom I delivered it”.

    In addition to the overwhelming case made by Prof. Rudenstine that Elgin lied to Parliament in stating that he took the second firman personally to Athens, are two further references which contradict Elgin’s statement to the Select Committee.

    The first being that it is a matter of record from the letters of the Countess of Elgin (hereinafter Mary Nisbet), that Elgin did not set out for Athens to see the effect of the new firman which Pisani obtained in 1801, or as she put it (4) : “a whole year later, Lord Elgin was at last able to visit the scene of the operations himself”,. Mary Nisbet then goes on in the same letter to her mother dated 10th April 1802 to say regarding their departure for Greece (5) : “We sailed from Constantinople monday evening the 28th of March,” and later in the same letter states (6): “It was between 8 and 9 O’clock when we arrived in Athens” (3rd April 1802).
    The second piece of evidence indicating that it was Hunt as opposed to Elgin who took the second firman to Athens is that Hunt stated in his evidence to Parliament in answer to a question regarding permission to pull down a house (7) : “No; I am confident no such permission was in the fermaun I took to Athens, though it contained general permission to excavate near the temples”.

    This evidence from Hunt, who was the last witness to testify to the Committee, together with the letters of Mary Nisbet (8) and Hunt (to Hamilton and Elgin) flatly contradict Elgin’s testimony to the Select Committee.

    Footnotes Section 2
    3. See “Report From The Select Committee”. PDF Page177.
    4. See “Letters of Mary Nisbet of Dirleton” . PDF Page 264
    5. See “Letters of Mary Nisbet of Dirleton”. PDF Page 265
    6. See “Letters of Mary Nisbet of Dirleton”. PDF Page 266
    7. See “Report From The Select Committee” PDF Page 220
    8. See “Letters of Mary Nisbet of Dirleton” generally PDF Pages 238-283

    3. Elgin had no authority to dismantle structures or desecrate graves.
    Professor Rudenstine’s revelations also disclosed that whatever the second firman, or the purported Italian translation of that letter authorised Elgin or his party to do it was not to dismantle the structure of the Parthenon but instead limited the extent of the activities sanctioned to digging among the rubble of the Parthenon. No letter of permission has ever been presented to Parliament or anywhere else as authority to plunder artefacts and sacred relics from churches, graveyards, or other places outwith the Parthenon. This is evident from the new firman translation which is appended to the Report of the Select Committee (9) and from the letters of Mary Nisbet.

    Footnotes Section 3
    9. See “Report From The Select Committee”. PDF Pages 231-232

    4. Elgin used a bogus anonymous Memorandum written by himself or his Chaplin/ Occasional Private Secretary, Dr Philip Hunt, to support his petition of Parliament
    My dormant interest in the Elgin Marbles was awakened in 2001 when I read an article by a history Professor, Epaminondas Vranopoulos, who wrote about the marbles and in Chapter 10 of the article (10) made reference to an anonymous book found in the library of the Estia of Nea Smyrni (a suburb of Athens). The book is in praise of Elgin’s virtue and stresses the immense financial and artistic value of all of Elgin’s collections in Greece. The book was published in 1815 in London and Professor Vranopoulos believed that Wiliam Richard Hamilton, Elgin’s private secretary, in fact wrote it.

    I set out to research the book, which is entitled “MEMORANDUM ON THE SUBJECT OF THE EARL OF ELGINS PURSUITS IN GREECE” in the National Library of Scotland and found that the library contained three editions of this book title by three different publishers on three separate dates. One of the books could be the 1815 London edition that Professor Vranopoulos found. The three books are:

    An 1810 edition (11) printed in Edinburgh by Balfour Kirkwood & Co.
    An 1811 edition (12) printed in Edinburgh by Balfour Kirkwood & Co.
    An 1815 second edition (13), corrected, printed in London for John Murray, Albermarle Street by W. Bulmer and Co. Cleveland-Row.

    I then found evidence of another edition of the Memorandum by way of a literary review from a publication entitled, “The British Review, and London Critical Journal.” This journal contains a critique (14) of an 1811 edition of the Memorandum published by Millar of which the reviewer says:

    “This publication relates, that much has been performed by the exertions of Lord Elgin, in redeeming the specimens of sculpture and architecture which remained in Greece, and in transmitting them to England. On reading this splendid account, it is matter of some curiosity to know the name and character of the author. The publication is anonymous; yet, if the whole be not a fabrication, which incontrovertibly it is not, the writer, if not the hero, of the tale is some one mentally connected with his lordship; for he determines not only what Lord Elgin performed, but he presumes to specify what Lord Elgin “conceived.” (p. 18) This folletto, or familiar of his lordship, begins by informing the public, that in the year 1799, when Lord Elgin was appointed to be his Majesty’s ambassador extraordinary to the Ottoman Porte, he happened* to be in frequent intercourse with Mr Harrison, an architect of eminence in the west of England;”
    Footnote on page * Why expressed as a casualty?”

    It is interesting to note that in the 1810 edition the wording of the first paragraph is slightly different and reads (15) :
    “he happened to be in much intercourse with Mr Harrison”.

    The 1811 second edition is again slightly different and reads (16) :
    “he happened to be in habits of intercourse with Mr Harrison”

    The 1815 edition removes the word happened and reads (17) :
    “he was in habits of frequent intercourse with Mr Harrison”

    It would seem to me that in light of the comments by the literary critic in the footnote of the British Review & London Critical Journal the anonymous author who, “seemed to be mentally connected” to Elgin had altered subsequent editions of the Memorandum to take account of this criticism. It should also be noted that in the 1815 Memorandum (as the Select Committee hearing approaches) various letters in addition to the two from Benjamin West (which feature in all editions) appear in praise of Elgin and his efforts and one fawning anonymous letter (18) compares Elgin’s marbles equal in value to a Napoleon’s Borghese collection worth £500.000.00.

    The National Library of Scotland is clear in identifying the author of the 1811 and 1815 editions as Bruce, Thomas, 7th Earl of Elgin. In the case of the 1810 edition the National Library attributes the author as being Benjamin West, President of the Royal Academy whose two letters to Lord Elgin form an appendix to all four editions (3 in N.L.S. & 1 in British Review & London Critical Journal). In a sense this is partly correct as West was a co-author in that his 2 letters form part of the Memorandums.

    As the forerunner to the National Library in Scotland, the Library of the Faculty of Advocates (Advocates’ Library) formed in 1689 was entitled to receive a copy of every book printed in Great Britain from the publishers by virtue of a Royal Charter granted by Queen Ann in 1710. If it is the case that the contemporaneous records (19) of the Advocates’ Library are correct and the author in the Advocates’ Library “Catalogue of Accessions to 1871” is quite clearly stated, then Lord Elgin wrote his own reference. This Memorandum of reference was then sent to Parliament together with his petition under cover of his letter dated May 6th 1811 to the Right Honourable Charles Long MP with a Postscript added February 1816. The letter states (20) :

    “The Memorandum recently published, on the subject of my pursuits in Greece (of which I did myself the honour of sending you a copy), and the inspection of my Museum, will sufficiently explain that my undertaking could have had no other object….”

    If the Parliamentary Select Committee was given the latest and corrected edition of the Memorandum to replace the original 1810 edition it is likely that the additional appendices would have had an influence on the Committee’s opinion of the propriety of Elgin’s actions and the monetary compensation arising from same.

    There is another possible explanation regarding the identity of the anonymous author of the Memorandum that supported Elgin’s petition to Parliament. This explanation is supported by several factors, is just as damaging to Elgin’s reputation and the legitimacy/provenance of the marbles, and it is that Hunt wrote the Memorandum.

    A similar theory was favoured by Dr Epaminondas Vranopoulos however when I investigated his premise I found it to be accurate up to a point but wrong with regard to the identity of the author.

    The author of the Memorandum was in fact Hunt. This fact is verifiable by cross referencing the Memorandum and the letters of Hunt. In 1805, Hunt wrote to Mrs Hamilton Nisbet (Elgin’s mother in law) from Pau, near Lourdes, France, where he was imprisoned with the Elgins. The language in Hunt’s letter is almost identical to that used in the 1810 Memorandum and differs only by way of the pretence of anonymity attempted in the latter. For Example Hunt’s letter of 1805 states (21) :

    “Near the Parthenon are three temples so connected in their structure, and by the rites celebrated in them, that they may be almost considered as a triple temple. They are of small dimensions, and of the Ionic Order. One of them dedicated to Neptune and Erectheus; the second to Minerva Polias the Protectress of Citadels; the third to the Nymph Pandrosos. It was on the spot where these temples stand that Minerva and Neptune are supposed to have contended for the honour of naming the city. Athenian superstition long shewed the mark of Neptunes’s trident, and a briny fountain, that attested his having there opened a passage for his horse; and the Original Olive tree produced by Minerva was venerated in the Temple of Pandrosos as late as the time of the Antonines”.

    “The temple of Minerva Polias is of the most delicate and elegant proportions of the Ionic Order; the capitals and bases of the columns are ornamented with consummate taste; and the sculpture of the frize and cornice is exquisitely rich. One has difficulty to conceive how marble has been wrought to such a depth, and brought to so sharp an edge; the palmetti, onetti, etc. have all the delicacy of works in metal”.

    The 1810 Memorandum states: It is not necessary to reproduce the text of the Memorandum here as it is, verbatim, a duplication of Hunt’s letter with the exception of the last line where the Memorandum (22) refers to “ovetti, &c.” as opposed to “onetti etc”. in Hunt’s letter.

    Further evidence of Hunt being the author of the Memorandum can be found by comparing references to the Posticum of the Parthenon in Hunt’s letter from Pau in 1805, and the 1810 Memorandum. Here in identical descriptive passages the writer of the letter is forced to change (23) “I also procured some valuable inscriptions” into “Lord Elgin also procured some valuable inscriptions” in the Memorandum (24), so as to preserve a sham of objectivity and anonymity.

    That the anonymous Memorandum was taken from the letters or writings of Hunt is now undeniable and can be proven further if such proof were necessary by examining a portion of Hunt’s letter where reference to what actions we (Hunt and Elgin) had jointly taken is deleted from the letter text so as to preserve Hunt’s anonymity in the Memorandum. For example, Hunt’s letter of 1805 states (25) :

    “One of the bombs fired by Morosini, the Venetian from the opposite hill of the Musæum injured many of the figures of this fronton, and the attempt of General Königsmark to take down the figure of Minerva ruined the whole.

    By purchasing the house of one of the Turkish Janissaries built immediately under it, and then demolishing it in order to excavate, Lord Elgin has had the satisfaction of recovering the greatest part of the Statue of Victory, in a drapery which discovers all the fine form beneath, with as much delicacy and taste as the Flora Farnésé. We also found there the Torso of Jupiter, part of Vulcan, and other fragments. I believe his Lordship has also had the Hadrian and Sabrina taken down and sent to England. On the other frontispiece was the contest between Minerva and Neptune about giving a name to the city. The goddess of Wisdom had just gained the victory by proving how much greater a benefit she should confer by the peaceful and productive olive, than the God of the Ocean by his warlike gift of a horse.”

    The 1810 Memorandum has an almost identical passage which deals with the bolded section above that would have identified the author by omitting that revealing section and replacing it with (26): “Lord Elgin also found there the torso of Jupiter, part of Vulcan, and other fragments.”

    It would appear that Elgin misled the Parliament by presenting a supposedly anonymous document of testimony that he himself dictated to his accomplice, or that Hunt had written while in prison in France with Elgin. Given the close confines of their detention at Pau it would be surprising if Elgin was not aware of the writings of his closest aide to his mother-in-law and perhaps the writings of Hunt were part of a conspiracy to persuade Parliament that Elgin had acted properly in acquiring all manner of relics, and that these items should be purchased for the nation at an inflated monetary value which would benefit the seller and his accomplice.

    At best, if, as seems likely, the Advocates Library were informed of the correct identity of the author by the publisher who supplied copies of the various Memoranda (as per the 1710 Queen Ann Act), it would suggest that Elgin plagiarised Hunt’s letters or writings into anonymous Memoranda for publication

    Whatever the circumstances, by writing or having his Chaplin/Occasional Private Secretary write his own reference Elgin, or Hunt, or both Elgin & Hunt misled Parliament by allowing his Memorandum to be used for fraudulent purposes without demur and giving evidence to Parliament without disclosing the fact that Hunt was the original author of the narrative, which became the anonymous Memorandum in support of Elgin’s petition. These matters require further investigation by Parliament and the police.

    Footnotes Section 4
    10. See “Epaminondas Vranopoulos” C10. PDF Pages 40-41
    11. See “1810 Memorandum” Generally PDF Pages 44-61
    12. See “1811 Memorandum” Generally PDF Pages 62-95
    13. See “1815 Memorandum” Generally PDF Pages 96-149
    14. See “The British Review & London Critical Journal” Generally PDF Pages 150-160 & Page 150
    15. See “1810 Memorandum” PDF Page 45
    16. See “1811 Memorandum” PDF Page 63
    17. See “1815 Memorandum” PDF Page 99
    18. See “1815 Memorandum” PDF Page 146
    19. See “Advocates Library Catalogue of Accessions 1871” PDF Page 161
    20. See “Report From The Select Committee 1816” PDF Page 226
    21. See “Letters of Mary Nisbet of Dirleton” PDF Page 280
    22. See “1810 Memorandum” PDF Page 52
    23. See “Letters of Mary Nisbet of Dirleton” PDF Page 278
    24. See “1810 Memorandum” PDF Page 50
    25. See “Letters of Mary Nisbet of Dirleton” PDF Page 277-278
    26. See “1810 Memorandum” PDF Page 49

    5. Sacrilegious acts were committed after bribing occupation officials.
    The “Report From The Select Committee on The Earl of Elgin’s Collection of Sculptured Marbles &c.” contains various contradictory sets of accounts from Elgin purporting to be his expenses for excavating and transporting the several hundreds of Marble pieces, tomb headstones, alters, burial urns, medals etc. Within Elgin’s bill to Parliament there is twice reference to the amount of 21,902 (27) Piastres for “Presents found necessary for the local authorities, in Athens alone”

    Elgin or members of his party bribed Turkish officials in the occupied city of Athens and other occupied territories to allow the unauthorised or illegal removal of all manner of items including sacred items such as altars, tomb headstones ( Hunt described as Cippi), and funereal urns. In Hunt’s accounts of finding a funereal urn which could have belonged to Aspasia he waxes lyrical about the quality of the outer marble urn, the inner alabaster urn, and the myrtle wreath of gold that the buried lady had worn, yet mentions nothing of her remains other than to refer to a deposit of burnt bones (28), which, presumably would have been decanted without ceremony onto a rubbish heap. This hypocrisy from a so called man of god is tantamount to a confession of grave robbery and sacrilege. It is sad to note that the current Earl of Elgin thinks fit to give interviews to the press and pose for photographs in his basement study where the walls are lined with ancient Greek stelae or grave markers (29).

    Footnotes Section 5
    27. See “Report From The Select Committee 1816” PDF Page 229
    28. See “1810 Memorandum” PDF Page 54 & “Letters of Mary Nisbet of Dirleton” PDF Page 282-283
    29. See “Independent Article & Photo of Stelae” PDF Pages 284-286

    I trust that you will treat this complaint (which arises out of new evidence) seriously. It is a matter of some importance to the reputation of Scotland that a name synonymous with our country should be besmirched by association with misleading Parliament and inducing that Parliament to purchase stolen and sacred artefacts on behalf of the nation.

    I will be making a quite separate and distinct complaint to the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner, Sir Philip Mawer calling on him to review the matter of the purchase of the Elgin Marbles by Parliament in light of facts now known which show evidence given to the Select Committee in 1816 to have been lies supported by bogus documentation. If my allegations are investigated and found to be correct it would mean that the Parliament of Great Britain spent the taxpayers’ money to buy stolen goods from grave robbers.

    The people of Great Britain have, in the past, had many injustices carried out in the name of their Empire. Such things happen when nations have Imperial ambitions but the recognition of injustices and willingness to make reparation for such acts is surely the measure of a mature democracy. The people in whose name such actions are taken have a right to expect no less.

    I look forward to a response at your earliest convenience.

    Yours faithfully,
    Thomas Minogue.

    C.c. Sir Philip Mawer, others.

  100. nic

    for your info turkish…….
    re: Posted by: Turkish | November 11, 2006 at 04:19 PM, Posted by: Turkish | November 11, 2006 at 04:27 PM, Posted by: Turkish | November 11, 2006 at 04:38 PM
    The only turk worth listening to would be the Attorney General of turkey, or ex attorney general, who stood in the United Nations Assembly and declared; “ I cannot defend my country’s human rights”, then walked out in disgust. no one knows if he’s still alive.

  101. nic

    apologies, my point being re the above is that if turkey could not defend its human rights this century, what have they being up to for the last four (4) or five (5) centuries without reproach.
    P.S. Matt, keep dancing nice steps, I like the way ya move, wherever, whenever.

  102. nic

    for your info turkish…….
    Re: “mainly Christian Orthodox for 1800 years”
    turkish, don’t bring religion into the subject because: “Greek (Ελληνικά, IPA: [eliniˈka] — “Hellenic”) has a documented history of 3,500 years, the longest of any single language within the Indo-European family” quote; wikepedia. and,,,, Greece brought many subjects that are tutored in every university in the world.
    These buildings and monuments were built for Gods and Godesses before christianity and well before ottomans, however obsurd that ideology is, it was where it all began and the subject matter herein. I therefore respect that. Cant wait for a dance at the whitehouse or ground zero, in a Kanaki tribal village or an American Indian Reserve or the local mosque.
    I quote turkish; quote no.1: “Did you know that Parthenon was still fairly intact until the Greek militia fighting against the Ottoman’s blew it up at the end of the 19th century (it was being used as an arsenal). :)…. quote no.2: “Not to miss inform future readers,
    I was wrong parthenon was destroyed with Venetian powder… :)
    Say’s the turk with two (2) smiles…….why the smiles??? comfortable knowing destruction to the creator of democracy and an educator to the world??? since you appear to be a most learned scholar why do you not elaborate and say that it was a turkish ammunition dump, or didn’t you know. Why did turkey place their munitions there? Strategic! An aggressor always blows the munitions dump first. turkey does not nor never had any respect for history before its time and certainly no respect for cultures and history that is not tangible to them. Destroy what is beautiful that you can never own or claim. turko’s nemesis is Greece. They want it destroyed, obliterated but alas, its too late.
    Under the nic law, you are hereby banned from EU contention for a further 5,000 years (I couldn’t resist).
    quote wikepedia: “In the 6th century AD, the Parthenon was converted into a Christian church dedicated to the Virgin. After the Turkish conquest (14th century), it was converted into a mosque. In 1687 AD, a Turkish ammunition dump inside the building was ignited by a Venetian cannonball. The resulting explosion severely damaged the Parthenon and its sculptures”.
    And many more such stories of 450 years turko occupation. but as the Greeks said “no” to the germans most recently (WWll), the tiny Greek warrior nation evicted the turko’s in 1821 and declared independence.
    Listen folks, in a nut shell, if an american chooses to call some monuments a pile of rocks which attracts attention and sponsorship (cadbury schweppes trying to sell more carcinogenic gum, aspartame ), then so be it in a democratic world, you will not be beheaded after kidnapping, nor have your arms or tongue severed, nor be captured and dissolved in lime,
    The Greek police who arrested/semi arrested matt conducted themselves in an appropriate manner and released matt, video and pride intact, even after some bullish retort from a self proclaimed “whimpish, around the corner and out of the view of tourists” Matt.

  103. Mark

    Go Matt Go…
    I would have gone back and danced again.. Good Gravy…
    To Nick.. Yeah the Grand Canyon has been around longer. Scientists believe that the Grand Canyon was formed over 5000 years ago.. So if you want to show respect show respect for Nature built not man

  104. nic

    for your info mark…….

    nah mark,,,,,, you respect nature due to your shallow history, you have nothing else, I’ll respect nature including humankind of all that is, as discussed, debated and written in manuscripts and text by my ancestors.
    In a hundred thousand (100,000) years your descendants will reflect on their ancestors and what they accomplished, whereas my descendants and yours will continue to be educated using Greek words and subjects constructed millennia ago. All this until our life source, our sun, dies and our solar system freezes.
    Matt is entitled to go back and dance again, It’s a democracy and you missed the point as I know many will. It’s up to Matt whether he does or does not.
    Good morning to all.

  105. turkish

    I not here to fight, So I don’t see any reason to throw anything..
    Everybody except some Greeks shares this opinion looks like you can look into your selves and try to see something else then helenic ideology.
    Your lack of knowledge of history far worse from anybody you accuse. Your ancient greece has a distinct pattern of beliefe and science of Ancient Egypt. Every god represents it self as an Ancient Egyptian one. There are strong but not populized theories (because Western civilization couldn’t be based on an Eastern Civilization) Trade colonies establised by Egyptians founded the greek cities. Art and building knowlege has passed on too. At the start of Greek cities trade with Egypt was everything. Until the Hitit’s fall Greek couldn’t imagine to colonize Anatolia.
    Even romans made Temples for Egyptian Gods, They still stand in Turkey. The remains of Egypt was destroyed so we assume eastern world was founded on greek knowledge though it was found on Egypt.
    So called “byzantium” was found by a German Historian in 18th century. Based on a Greek colony that was found before there. As Constantinople issue: Constantin was a Roman Emperor not Greek. Empire was called Rome from the very first begining when roman empire splited apart that became eastern rome. Anatolian Christians called them selves Rum not Greek. When Constaniople was conquired by Sultan Mehmet he didn’t change the name, Infact the Ottoman Emperors Used the Roman Emperor title with others.
    Your remarks on others history is quite wrong, no body landed from the moon. We have our history of 5000 years starting from scrolls of Ancient China. These people you mock about seen the world of Great Alexander and came from a much bigger one. Why do you think chineese build a great wall? Just to show off?
    Ps: Smiles were intended to show the irony not a celebration of ruining an ancient heritage. I am a working professional on conservation of architectural heritage.
    Ps2 : I did wrote a reply to you nic, but either it got deleted or haven’t posted because a bug and I won’t post any more. Be happy in your own little planet.

  106. nic

    for your info turkish….

    -you appear quite upset, mixed up and wrong. I’ll leave you at it, but….

    -for generations to come “Hellenic Ideology” will still be the educational tool used by civilised nations throughout this little planet. Hellenic’s do NOT own democracy. They donated it to provide a fair and common ground to debate, discuss, theorise, ideologise etc. Fore your info; “democracy” means FOR THE PEOPLE BY THE PEOPLE. LET THE PEOPLE VOTE, MAJORITY RULE. Democracy DOES NOT mean; close oneself from the rest of the world and categorise peoples as gentile and non-gentile, jew, budhist, christian or moslem nor to educate/brainwash it’s children that any one Nation or any one civilisation is greater than the other, it meant a continual learning and development process in an attempt in understanding of what our universe and creatures are all about.

    Hellenic God’s and Goddesses HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH RELIGION or as you put it “mainly 1800 years of christian orthodox”. Read on…

    Goddess of beauty and love.
    God of the light, music, healing, prophecy, the sun, and poetry.
    God of war, primarily violent war and bloodshed.
    Goddess of the hunt and the moon.
    Goddess of wisdom, strategy, and war.
    Goddess of agriculture.
    God of the Dead and lord of the Underworld. Brother of Poseidon and Zeus
    God of fire and the forge.
    Goddess of marriage, family, motherhood and childbirth. Zeus’ jealous wife.
    God of travel, thieves, and commerce. Messenger of the gods.
    Goddess of the hearth and domestic life. Eventually replaced by Dionysus.
    God of the sea. Brother of Hades and Zeus and father of Polyphemus
    King of the gods. God of air, thunder and lightning. Brother of Poseidon and Hades. Destroyed his father who was a titan. Loves women and cheats on Hera very much in mythology.

    -Many more such Deities, all to unite PEOPLES in this mysterious and still to this day mostly unknown universe.

    Do you see any similarity between those Gods and Goddesses and today’s Ministries in Governments?

    -why was the great wall built? to keep the rabbits out? no, it was built from “3rd century BC until the beginning of the 17th century, in order to protect the various dynasties from raids by Hunnic, Mongol, Turkic, and other nomadic tribes coming from areas in modern-day Mongolia and Manchuria, it roughly delineates the border between North China and Inner Mongolia. Construction of the wall involved the mobilization of vast amounts of labor, including forced conscription of criminals, prisoners of war, and political dissidents. Because many people died while building the wall, it has obtained the gruesome title, “longest cemetery on Earth” or “the long graveyard”.

    – I’m not interested in your education turkish. Your statement in your first post “and finaly it came to the turks”, for what I ask? Your approval? What an egotist, exactly my point, you think the sun shines from where is certainly does not.

    As the policeman asked Matt; “ Don’t you think this is disrespectful?”. That is a democratic question and Matt replied “no I don’t” is a democratic reply. Greece is a demoicracy so he was released was he not?

    If Matt had danced on ground zero what would the response be? Maybe; “ hey there bud you cant do that, it’s disrespectful”, a non democratic tone? Could a dance at ground zero cause a riot?

    Mat, would you or will you have a dance at ground zero? A monument to the slain as the parthenon marbles are a monument to ancient Gods and Goddesses.

  107. nic

    P.S. Re: turkish statement “Pls Inform the Leather Jacket Man what you think about his origin and inform me about his reaction. If you think you can’t find him, just face a mirror that will do….”
    I look in the mirror and see Adonis, tall, fair and built. One of the few remaining as my ancestors’ part of Greece remained mongol free.

  108. Laura

    Ok, so they guy’s blaring of the AM radio talk show wasn’t offensive? I suppose that’s a bit odd to me. For some reason I think I remember dance being part of religious ceremonies, could just be me though. I can’t believe everyone found such offense with it though. Alas… Makes for a funny story, though.

  109. chloe licks donkey balls

    chloe in australia eat a dick up till ya hicup beotch vegamite eating retard by the way love the dancing vids

  110. Maria Alexandra

    Oh my God, that story is hilaaarious! I wish you could add the Pantheon dancing clip though! Even if the lighting is bad or whatever, ithas a story behind it, so I think u should post it somewhere even if as a “delete scene”! Post it in your site somewhere! I wanna see it so badly now =p EMAIL ME WHEN U POST IT! lol =p

  111. nasos

    Matt…typical american :( you could just delete the video to show some respect to the country you visit and walk the street next to Acropolis and make a new one… No one could tell you a thing. a typical american you asked for your right to do what ” you think it,s right ” As a world traveller you should have known better instead of blame . Your dance is funny , the place you tryed to dance isn,t funny .Atleast for us Greeks.

  112. rob

    before I found out about the encounter with law enforcement at the Parthenon, I had seen all three of your videos.

    What went through my mind? Wow this is neat … I think it would be great if Matt could do this in my hometown — I assume you get a lot of emails from people asking you to do that! Or to do this in the country my parents came from. What great exposure to the YouTube community!

    And then I read this blog and see a lot of negative comments about how your dancing desecrates the Parthenon, and how it’s deemed as disrespectful. That’s totally counter to my impressions of what you’re doing.

    I think the Rwandan kids had a much healthier attitude about what you’re doing than those who are upset with you.

    If non-Americans are disgusted by American attitudes, they should wish every American could be like you. Visiting places outside America, and taking videos to show other Americans that there are other places and people out there in a way that catches attention.

    You’re clearly doing that to have fun, and not to show disrespect to the places that you’re visiting.

  113. Christina

    You said that for you is just a pile of rocks. I respect this. (pity though, since Greek history is in a way your history also, as for whole Europe, but opinions vary, it’s ok) Also I’ve seen in your biography that you say with your way, that travelling can be as educative as going to the university for example…. But dear Matt, if you don’t spend not even half an hour, reading about every country you visit, and your only “experiences” are from just only few seconds,minutes,hours of dancing, sleeping, walking eating in a place… then maybe some of your conclusion for a country ar.. wrong? 😛
    If you don’t wanna study history, it’s ok, but at least try to find out wich 10.580 words of english vocabulary are greek.

    Generally I loved your idea, I’ve seen all your videos and bravo to you! It’s great what you are doing, it’s fun and… try to make it even more educative. :) Yes, world would be better though if more ppl would try it, maybe not the entire world as you did, but something “smaller”…
    Keep moving and learning :)

    Ps. …and try to visit Greece again, you might realize that it’s not as hostile as you experienced at your first stay. Sun, good food, friendly ppl and a lot of fun.

  114. madinno

    ok, i know this is way way old and some of the comments i’ve read are way way old, but i just had to point something out (that i don’t think anyone else got, or no one else decided to comment on): Matt isn’t an American. he’s Australian. he just happens to currently live in the US. if all you America-haters had read the About Matt section, you’d know that. i love how people see something like this and automatically turn it into an America-bashing party.

    as for the Parthenon, Matt did what he thought was right, and i can’t fault him for that.

  115. Manos

    Some of us Greeks are not too sure about our so-called heritage so we have really insecure, stupid ways of protecting our “identity”.

    We can be stupid enough to consider dancing in front of the Parthenon a sacrilege but we let our culture (or what’s left of it) disintegrate.

    As for the rest of the usual greek-hating mambo-jumbo I will not bother to answer. It’s same old racist talk. “It should become better as you progress north”… sheesh! :-p

  116. butch

    why doesn’t the wanker do a dance at ground zero, on anzac day with his sodomising priest and down syndrome therapist whilst eating a pie from harry’s cafe de wheels in his underpants.

  117. Kyle

    Hey, shitheads, America invented the internet. So quit bashing us on it. Or Matt might just have to keep dancing in front of your ancient hockey rinks. Eye for an eye, motherfuckers.

    I salute you Matt. You’re the man, dog.

  118. Julia

    OMG! Where did all the above come from. I totally thought that people would pick up on the Alabama comment! What a FOOL I was! You know, I just don’t care what these idiots think about US! Keep up the dancing Matt, next they’ll say that Free Hugs is a plot against someones culture! GMAB!

  119. Ryan

    Right on matt… keep up your individualism man. they only have power if someone is stupid enough to give it to them.
    I just visited the parthenon a week ago and had a cigarette… then some greek guy came over and said “what is ‘dis, no do ‘dis here” not that smoking is good or somesort of protest but i though id share it.
    peace be the journey

  120. Ryan

    Right on matt… keep up your individualism man. they only have power if someone is stupid enough to give it to them.
    I just visited the parthenon a week ago and had a cigarette… then some greek guy came over and said “what is ‘dis, no do ‘dis here” not that smoking is good or somesort of protest but i though id share it.
    peace be the journey

  121. Amanda

    As an American currently living in Germany (and I’ve been here for the past year & a half), I would just like to say that there are rude people everywhere. I have seen all kinds of rude people (not just Americans either!) all throughout my travels in the USA & in Europe. I don’t think what Matt did was particularly rude, he wasn’t harming anyone & I can personally attest that there are no “No Dancing & Making a Video” signs anywhere @ the Parthenon or any other Greek theatre/ruin/etc. There are so many other things that the Greek police should worry about – maybe the people selling drugs down the street (from the Parthenon) would be a better choice than harrasing tourists who are spending a lot of money & are helping the Greek economy to grow! Good luck with the dancing! :)

  122. kleo

    I saw your video on youtube and it was fantastic….and since i am half greek half italian i though “hm…this guy hasnt been in greece”. Checked out the site and your journal about greece was unbelievable! These people doont have a clue about passion in life. I really cant imagine a thing like this could actually happen. Continue with what are you doing mate and next time you visit greece maybe i will be the one holding your camera. Cheers.

  123. MHoc

    If it was really illegal they would have put him in jail or fined him. They were just looking for a bribe.

  124. Cyrus

    I’m embarrassed with what happened in Greece and for most of the comments I read in this forum…Ill just say this: if you ever come to Greece I hope ill meet you to hold the camera next time for you and fight those stupid narrow-minded people, who happened this time to be Greeks.

    It also saddens me that you were left with bad memories from my country, but I cant blame you, it all went bad from the start. Next time, walk around with a Greek friend or someone who knows the place. There is more to be seen. Its not the best place in the world, but it is my home and I want you to feel comfortable.
    I don’t consider what you did disrespectful!

  125. getalife

    This banter is saddening – this act (dance) would have taken less than 2 minutes and likely offended no one for more than 2 seconds – people who would have gone about their day in less time it took any of you to condemn the act. Isn’t anyone concerned about the level of hate generated by this as oppossed to a discussion on it…? Am I missing something here?


  126. Dimou

    You should have smashed the little toady around the nose with your cam

    How on earth can these idiotic low-lifes be offended by a guy dancing ?

    This turd is obviously an unemployed troublemaker with too much time on his hands

    To think that such a dweeb got you roughed up by security guards and ARRESTED too ? jeezus I’d have knocked the slimy little worm out BANG !

    Greece is like some race-hate infested Authoritarian fascist dictatorship where “FOREIGNERS” get arrested as “SPIES” for looking at the numbers on shitty antiquated airplanes or dancing infront of monuments that were built thoud=sands of years before Greece even existed as a country ( only since 1821 )

    Take my advice, keep your Tourist dollars away from these fascist bully-boy freaks, TURKIYE is next-door and has more “GREEK” cities & monuments than this tin pot nation of aggressive goons

  127. Grace

    *longest list of comments i have ever seen*

    Next time I go to Greece, I’m going to stand in front of the Parthenon, and shake my booty to my heart’s content.

    When they ask try to arrest me, i shall scream furiously at them that this is a ancient sacred ritual that must be performed by every british female in order for them to be carried to a suitable place of resting by the great god ‘Whatshisface’ when I have died.

    And that if i cannot carry out this performance, Whatshisfaces’ Mother will smite their race from the high heavens of ‘GoodnessKnowsWhere’, so that they shall burn for eternity.

    Take that!

  128. Sad American

    Amazing to see how an ‘incident’ that lasted around 10 seconds has incited discussion over a period of 2+ years…

    Let us remember the valiant struggles of freedom and democracy belong to no one nation, culture or individual; they are shared and continue to this very day.

    For those of you who call the actions and subsequent protestations of such ‘inappropriate’, rude and disrespectful’: Do you seek to marginalize the votes of each citizen of the world? Do you seek to quell the uprisings at the Tiananmen Squares of the world? Do you wish to relegate the Rosa Parks of the world to the back of the bus?

    Like it or not, we are all cut from the same proverbial cloth. All the conflicts herein speak to no more than in-fighting within the same team.

    Humanity first, nation second.

    And come on! Live a little.

    Thank you, Matt.

  129. Lefcant

    @Dimou/Grace: You know what racism is? Generalizing one person’s actions to his whole country.

    @Dimou:When was the german nation established? 1871. The Turkish? 1923 So don’t tell us anything about missing cultural continuity, you’re making a fool out of yourself. And the huge influence of the armed forces in Turkey is not very democratic either, an this poor country would really need it…

    By the way you used 5 greek words in your short post. You must really like them. And how many turkish ones? Hum…

    Can you tell us how these greek “cities & monumets” came to be in Turkey nowadays? Right, through blood and steel. Who is aggressive then I shall ask you.

  130. tommy

    the moment you enter acropolis, imagine you enter a museum. I wouldnt mind doing what you did but many people would find it offensive and you should understand that.

    The stupid thing you did was to be stubborn about it.. you were all no no no..pff silly. you just lost your time. You should act smarter

  131. George from Greece

    Dear Matt, i am sorry about the incident in Athens. The man with the leather jacket was an a*$h*e. The bad thing in Greece is that in places like Parthenon, to get a job there you must have bribed someone in the politics or you must be very close to political parties. the guy was an idiot with no knowledge and no manners, his complex of superiority because he had that post got you into this situation not what you did. Take care keep dancing…. give me his description…

  132. Here’s a thought Matt.

    Next time you are in Athens, let me know and I’ll make sure I gather at least 20 Greek guys/girls wearing black leather jackets and we can all dance together in Sounio, right outside Athens by the Aegean Sea, where Poseidon’s temple is. Much better light, much more peaceful.

    All the best.

  133. Yorgo

    you got arrested in Greece? what?

    I am both Greek and American, but what?
    cops actually caring in Greece about miniscule stuff?

    im shocked, truly.

    thats really odd.

    although, the parthenon not worth saying anything? come on man…

  134. Akis

    I am a Greek Australian living in Australia.
    I have got to say what happened to Matt is just strange. Greeks giving some guy a bad time for dancing!

    I would have never expected that the land of Zorba The Greek could treat a guy with such dancing skill so badly! Especially when he tried to dance in formt of the Parthenon.

  135. some 3rd worldian.

    “Looked around, saw an old Indian guy blowing snot out of his nose on the floor next to me. Realized I was a vagrant.”

    ah, so this matt has a problem with Indians it seems. he does come across as racist.

  136. theworldpolice

    I don’t understand why you had to keep fighting for a video of you dancing somewhere you shouldn’t…Visiting another country implies acknowledging and respecting their rules even if they aren’t written, these are known as “customs” – something you should think about next time instead of thinking you are always right and can do whatever you want and then complaining about it on the internet while ignoring the rest of the country you visited.

  137. Olga

    it’s really simple everyone…
    Greek guards are instructed not to let people, especially tourists, take pics or videos in front of the monuments when it is ambiguous about whether or not they images will be used to disrespect and make fun of what’s in the background. some years ago a british tourist mooned the parthenon and took a pic. where do you draw the line between mooning and dancing? Though personally I wish the guards (I’m Greek) had let Matt do this, I totally understand their position and I think it’s somewhat of a trivial topic to be discussing in terms of who was right and who was wrong.

  138. Vassilis

    If it means anything for you Matt, I can only say SORRY… On behalf of all the Greeks that are quite different from these pigs that still live in the Middle Ages…

  139. Aristarhos

    You’re the typical ignorant American asshole. You visit foreign countries without a purpose, without reading a book, a guide about their culture and all you want to do is go there and shake your fat ass. Just because your monkey-brain president rules the world, doesn’t give you the right to visit other countries and act like a complete stupid fucking idiot. Fuck off and stay away from Greece low-life bum. Get a life and a job.

  140. Panagiotis

    Hey Matt, I loved your video. I m greek myself (currently living in CA, US) and I actually read about your travels in a greek online news site today. They were talking about it very positively – except for the unfair police treatment, of course.

    I regret you were treated like this. I think the police (and the asshole in the leather jacket) overreacted – which is probably why the police chief went nuts to his subordinates. Having said that, I its a well-known fact that certain “things” are more sensitive in certain countries than others. Personally (as a greek), I wouldn’t mind you dancing in front of the acropolis, but I can appreciate how someone else could find this offensive.

    Like someone else mentioned here, the US has its own rules which I try and obey/respect as a foreign citizen. Its always a good idea if you do the same when you are in foreign soil.

    As an example: in Greece I could probably go to an airport, say terrorist jokes with friends of mine on the check-in line and no-one will care. Should I be suprised if I got arrested and banned from flight if I tried something like that in a US or UK airport?

    Nope, because I know the rules in these countries. What’s right in your country doesn’t make it right everywhere. Its all a matter of context.

    Take care, and keep up the good work! :-)

  141. AllisonR

    Hey Matt,

    You are in fact a world traveller, someone who shows the joy in sharing with all peoples of the world, a love of life and exploring. Somewhere as world famous as the Parthenon needs to have a sign in multiple languages showing things that are allowed/not allowed. It happens elsewhere in the world – just go to a temple in Bali, for example. Yes, different cultures have different tolerances. Dancing at a ‘tourist’ site like the Parthenon cannot be compared with dancing at a war memorial. Just goes to show how low an IQ you can have and still be able to use a computer! If the Greeks want it to be revered as a sacred, religious site(I don’t honestly think they do), they need to make it clear to the masses whom they so happily encourage. I’ve travelled quite a bit – born in Australia, lived in the UK, now live in France. Travelling makes you a better and more tolerant person – long live the travellers!! You are doing OK!

  142. Pokr

    Hello Matt,

    First of all excellent video. Furthermore as a greek myself I’d like to apologize for the “inconvenience” in the Parthenon.
    As for some bad comments you see here, just don’t mind, i used to be (a little) anti-american myself but now that i’ve grown up i look at things from a different perspective.

    PS: it’s funny that some people judge america so badly while they constantly use american products ;).

  143. gvliou

    no one would have problem if you were dancing like human !! That dance (if you can call it dance) reminds monkeys dance and the people there thought that you were not respecting the monument. Becouse your education may not be very hight and to think that Parthenon is a piece of rocks!!, remember that some countries are pround of their monuments and you sould respect them.

  144. Alex

    Hey Matt,

    You should really respeced those monuments.Because you never had a tradition [what tradition 200 year history only]doesn’t mean that you can be rude to other countries History.You really need t think about it because of all the monuments that you have visited this is the oldest one, and to say the truth ….when they spoke you ancestors where ”grouming” thier furs from bugs etc..

    Have fun and do come again to Greece this time try to read the regulations respect.PS:And to that guy that said Greece has done nothing for the 21th century….well mate what did USA DID HUH …..only wars-creaded problem with the climet-created terrorism-and hate from all over the world for American is not a WHY look USA’s past nothing but blood.

  145. Alex

    Ok the guy with the jacked over reacted.I am pretty sure for that but dancing in one of the oldest monuments on earth ; Matt mate show some respect….anyway try to read the rulles for historical sites before you do that Hippo dance

  146. Christina

    “But the Taj Mahal? Pyramids? Parthenon? To me, it’s just a pile of rocks that doesn’t say anything worth saying.”

    Just a pile o rocks? Well Matt, I really like what you’re doing, you put a smile on people’s faces, but you should think before you talk (or write). I understand why pyramids and parthenon mean nothing to you. It’s because America does not have ancient history and you can’t respect it. And any kind of history you had (like the Indians), Americans killed it! That of course is not your personal fault, but you should read some things about Egypt or Greece and have some respect for people’s history. I don’t agree with your arrest in Greece but I don’t agree with your opinion either. Keep dancing around the world, but as years pass you by, become more wise. You are not a child. And you are not a typical American. Don’t act like one.

    Be happy.

  147. Mandrake T

    First of all, I have to admit that the behaviour of the guy in the leather jacket and the guards on the Acropolis was totally out of proportion. I assume that this has to do with the fact that, apart from tourist photos, a special permit by the Archaeological Council is needed so as to have public spectacles, shoot TV shows, etc. in major archaeological sites in Greece – my guess is that the moron in the leather jacket thought you were shooting some show or similar and he wanted to perform his duty, admittedly in a very wrong manner. As a Greek, I also wish to apologise for that, as other people already did on this blog.

    As far as the anti-americanism is concerned, I totally disagree with that as an attitude, but unfortunately I have to admit that it is nurtured by behaviours Greeks come along with all the time. From my experience, I remember that, when I was working as a volunteer in the Athens Olympics 4 years ago and the American female basketball team won a crucial game, an American spectator asked me if he could enter the VIP seating, where I was appointed at the time, so as to make photos. We had strict instructions not to allow anyone else in except for people with the proper accreditation and I politely explained that to him and told him that he could go down to the first rows in the immediately adjacent sector, which was not VIP – the problem was that the adjacent sector was full with people. A few minutes later I saw the guy in the front rows of the VIP seating, I went to him and told him he had to leave the premises, at which he started swearing at me and threatening me and finally he left only after I told him I would call security. Of course, one man is no good sample for a whole nation – but acting like that certainly does not make the best of impressions either.

    I watched the video on youtube of your dances around the world and, I have to say, I found it quite funny and original. But it was not until I read the threads here that it dawned on me that it might have actually been regarded as disrespectful by some people to do so in front of their monuments. I assure you, Matt, it is perfectly fine by me, as a Greek I don’t feel insulted or provoked, because what you did certainly was not meant to be disrespectful.

    What I found rather sad, was the resentment that is profoundly insinuated throughout your text and which was apparently provoked by the whole experience. But being the traveller that you are, you should be able to cope more easily with local peculiarities. I have been living abroad for several years now and one lesson I have learned is that I must abide by the rules of the society in which I happen to find myself. I don’t mean that you should have done extensive research on the rules for visitors of the Acropolis. But it was also easy to understand that you had to do with morons and a less perky and arrogant style of talking would have helped a great deal. When we visit a place, we try to get insights into the people’s state of mind, habits and beliefs – we cannot take for granted that what is valid at home is valid everywhere. And I am quite sure that if I started dancing like that at the main entrance of the Capitol Hill, some guard would come to me and ask me what I am doing. And I would try to explain.

  148. Simon V


    If they tell you you can’t dance in front of the Parthenon just don’t dance there. It offends some people..

    Go dance in front of the house of parliament or something haha.. it’s not like Greece is limited only to the Parthenon.

    I think you made too much fuss about something that wasn’t really necessary..

    Apart from that it was a cool video.

  149. panos

    PARTHENON is not the same thing as any US monument…is PARTHENON it is a 2.300 years old architectual is not only a symbol of the greek civilization but also a worldwide monument…you cannot just dance in front of it…it is disrespectful…but as an american you don’t know that because you americans don’t learn worldwide history at your schools but only the american history which is 500+ years old…not 2400+

  150. “There are places like Angkor Wat and Abu Simbel that leave me truly astonished. They have a magical quality.”

    I think I know what you mean. There is a grandeur to the way the Parthenon looms over the city – like a glimpse of the distant past rising over the modern smog and traffic. At a distance, I could appreciate it’s power in an intellectual way. I didn’t experience any emotional impact, however, even up close – I got no sense of how people would have experienced it in the past. By contrast, the lovely ruins of the “Theater of Dionysus” (a tiny little amphitheater just down the hill), seemed full of magic. Sitting in it, I could feel what it must have been like to see performances there. It gave me goosebumps.

  151. What would happen if Matt attempted to dance on John Lennon’s “Imagine” mandala in “Strawberry Fields” in Central Park? It certainly wouldn’t be illegal, but I suspect that a number of onlookers would object rather vehemently.

  152. Tim

    You might be interested to know that yesterday the authorities allowed Jennifer Lopez to shoot some commercial INSIDE the Parthenon !!! You must work on your curves Matt 😉

  153. yankee_killer

    Hey american fuckhead, maybe I will dance on your grave when I kill you first. Fucking yankee, always thinking that you are the center of the Universe even outside your country

  154. Alex

    Hi Matt!
    I like Praan ,I respect Rabindranath Tagore and I like your clever idea to go around the world and dance!
    In Greece you have and other places to come and dance (Santorini, Mykonos, outside the Parthenon, Sounion, Meteora, many many islands, etc). Why only the Parthenon? And why inside the Parthenon? Perhaps you should have permission for that, you are a clever guy!
    Try to have a travelling guide, read history and some basics of architecture and we are waitting for you again!
    Sorry for my bad english!
    …Sunny regards from Greece!!!!!!!

  155. Eva


    I am sorry for what happened to you in Greece. It certainly does not honor us to have someone questioned because they danced in public.

    I had not seen your dance videos until today, and I thought it was a funny idea. I would really love to visit all those places too and I felt kind of gealous.

    But after I saw that you did not even remember the name of that beautiful amphitheater (Ηρώδειο) and that you consider the Parthenon and the Pyramids “piles of rocks”, I don’t feel all that gealous anymore.

    It’s funny to dance in front of different places, sure, but you get so much more if you know where you are, how people live there, how they think.. And why those rocks were put there in the first place!

    I think in that sense, you might as well dance at home and fake the Parthenon in the background..

  156. george the greek

    when i saw that matt was forced to stop dancing infront of the parthenon i didnt like that….but my question is if i was going infront of whitehoue and started to dance would the police arrested me or not??? if you knew that some tourists in the past were getting of their pants and took pictures infront of the parthenon you would have a different opinion about that rules they told you matt.Also matt i have been to angor and founded perfect like you, but if you search the history and espesially the architecture that parthenon has in a region which usually has earthquakes then you would be astonished of what greek ancient people had build thousands years ago…Finally greek people dont like americans and that is because of your politisian.Finally i want to say that the embassy of u.s.a and britain dont allow to drive with your car around them.isn’t that odd to you???

  157. Georgia

    Hello today I watch on the television what happened to Greece. So I decided to come here and leave you a msg. I thought that everybody here will be talking against Greece. But I read many comments and I saw that some people from Greece speak against America. Well I am from Greece too. I am sad about your story. I love your “dancing videos” and I think that you have the right to go everywhere you want. I don’t agree with man’s behavur. On the other hand I think that you should explain him better because…come on we are Greeks all we have is our history. We need some respect especially when we meet every day Greeks that not respect the history of their own country. Finally I must say that I don’t like Americans either. I am sure that some of them are good people but I know that they think that they are the best around the world. From the first day on school until last, they listen that America is the best country, freedom, rights and “God bless America” so I think that all this create some issues on American personallities. Of course I know that you are Australlian but when people listen “America” something goes wrong. Anyway I am a Bush hater. I wish Omamba will be better. Continue your travels and come again here…try an island or another town we have enough beautiful places.

  158. Ed

    Ἑλλάς is one of the most beautiful countries on the face of the earth! 3000 years of fierce independence and magnificent culture! The crossroads of the Mediterranian and beginning of every Olympics!

    “Greeks, all we have is our history.”? Isn’t that like saying “USA, all they got is their money.”?

    As you do, I also frequently disagree with the actions and attitudes of (some to nearly all of) my countrymen. But my countrymen have the right to act as they do and Matt has the right (and obligation!) to publicly ridicule their behavior.

    Really, what does Matt have – a bad dance and an allergy to Guam? Let him have some fun once in a while.

  159. SPyros


    WHEN you go to the states they treat you like shit compared to EUROPE!

    I have been to greece over 10 times and not once have I heard of such a situation.

    Maybe next time you shouldnt be such an arrogant American type…..

    I say that because you do not care for the countries you go to you only do it for the “fame”

    so you deserve what you got.


    The parthenon the Egyptian pyramids and taj mahal are all beautiful…..

    THATS WHAT AMAZING ABOUT THE FIRST TWO! they are made out of rocks! all those years ago! it wasnt as easy as it is today to carve etc

    you are arrrogant

  160. Maria

    You´re a big ego Matt.
    You were totally disrespectful to values that means a lot of things to many people.
    You seem to think that it´s strange that you have to respect anyone else.
    So what if you have travelled around the world when you still haven´t learned basic manners?
    The way you acted in this situation makes you a rude clown instead of an interesting person. Too bad.

  161. Charlotte

    I personally think that not allowing you to do your simple dance routine is a rather silly ‘rule’ it’s not as if its a sin or that one of the 10 commandmants was thy shall not dance, but nevertheless, if somebody doesn’t want you to do it out of respect, you shouldn’t, (especially considering alot of things in life are based upon or come from greek history/meanings etc) you wouldn’t dance on somebody’s grave would you? They were also in the wrong though, they should of politely explained to you that it was forbidden and asked you to stop, if you didn’t after that then it would be a different story, but you probably would of, i don’t see the need in deleting the video as it isn’t hurting anybody because everyone has a choice about viewing it whereas everyone passing had no choice but to see you dancing, but taking you to jail for it is just rediculous.

  162. GC

    Man, no matter where you go, people suck. I used to want to travel, except I’ve got enough stupid people to deal with right here. No need to go looking for more.

  163. afraid of the US secret services

    Johny Sapphire,
    I believe that the world needs more
    people capable of understanding why
    Parthenon is considered as the
    imprint of human civilization and not
    “a pile of rocks”.
    Also since Matt is so much interesting
    about why old-buildings are in such a state

    I would like to inform him that the greatest
    damages to Parthenon were done because of
    bombardement from the Venetians in a period
    were the Turks have transformed as powder-bunker the monument.

    Concluding, I think that it is good
    that some things are ment to be
    discovered only by some and not by everybody, no matter how many places they
    believe they have visited. Especially when
    culture in order to be accessible to
    everybody has to be likeable by everybody.

    kind regards

  164. Rosaa

    ooh god!
    TYPICALLY greek.
    one guy thinks he knows everything about Greece and acts all proud and makes a HUGE fuss out of it and then everyone gets involved and then the chief is like, what malakies (bullshit in greek) are theres and just lets you go.

    and all that for nothing. TYPICALLY greek.
    sorry about that
    it was just a matter of having the wrong people see you doing the wrong thing in the wrong place at the wrong time.
    if you had done the same without the guy in the leather jacket i’m positive nothing would have happened….

  165. Jon

    i don’t understand what all the big fuss is about, it may be a holy religious site, but if i danced in a church, i doubt the priest would care as long as i did it quietly and didn’t disturb anyone

  166. Felix

    Hi there…

    I’m greek and I don’t like what they greek authorities did to you. I’m from the part of the greek community that thinks most of the greek police force and security guards are A-holes. And they are many like me. I think that greece has so many problems and no politician here helps and being a police officer means you support the scums that are in charge. So the people who are ethical don’t join or leave the force and the onlyones left are retarded people that think that there is nothing wrong in greece and others that like being in charge and gain pleasure by commanding other people and stopping you for check ups just because they can…

    People here may hate you just because you are american, or turkish or whatever. Greek have a history that goes waaay back. That is what makes them “short-minded” and find the dance offensive. But anyone who knows the reason that you want to dance in front an old greek relic understands that you don’t mean disrespect to the greek history [and if if you did, I don’t care, what makes me greek is not a pile of rocks that someone built with talent]. Maybe if you have tried to explain what was going on to the security guard at the first place you would have avoided the hustle…

    Anyway I’m sorry for what bad experiences you had in Greece, and I hope that a bunch of stupid police officers didn’t make you have a bad opinion for the rest greek nation.. I hope you come again, I live in the second biggest town [Thessaloniki] and i would like to be a part of what you do…

  167. Stan

    i respect all that thing u did all around the world but what u did in Greece was pure stupidity…
    i’m really sorry about u even commenting about the policies when u know that in your country things ARE MUCH WORSE!!!
    there’s even a law that doesn’t let u fart some particular day!!JESUS!!!

  168. yiannis

    Matt, I am Greek and I ask from you a huge “SORRY” for what happened to you. I shame for the attidute that you saw in my country. It is obvious for me, that you communicated with MALAKES (I think that you know what the word mean- this is international…!). “Malakes” there are everywhere. Unfortunately, you meet some of them in Parthenon. Sorry !

  169. zik1

    The guys that arrested you were probably idiots, especially the one who was listening loud to the radio in front of the Parthenon. Perhaps though, you could try a little better to explain them what you were doing. But that doesn’t mean you are right. Try dancing inside, say, the Lincoln Memorial or the White House. I don’t think that the reaction of the security there will be much different. In fact, they might even think you’re a terrorist or something.
    What is worse, is your views like “But the Taj Mahal? Pyramids? Parthenon? To me, it’s just a pile of rocks that doesn’t say anything worth saying”. I don’t care about the fact that you’re completely ignorant. That’s your problem. But since you acknowledge your ignorance, since you don’t understand or know what a certain monument might mean to the locals (not only the Parthenon but any monument), why do you find it strange or unacceptable that some people may get offended by what you do? Your ignorance also means that this dancing routine has no symbolism that could justify your standing up to the authorities.
    Still, I agree that the guys that arrested you totally overreacted. The police authorities in Greece are far from perfect, but there’s no such thing as a country with no problems. Next time you visit Greece, try dancing in front of a square or a park… nobody will bother you there!

  170. Yiannis

    Sorry to hear you got in a little adventure in Greece, I think by now you are wise enough to email people of the country before you visit… you would have had 50 Greeks dancing with you Syrtaki style in front of the parthenon….

    I also hope that you have gained in wisdom from your travels and what you said was just because you were pissed of that something like that happened… “To me, it’s just a pile of rocks that doesn’t say anything worth saying”

    your filming and apparent respect of the people at the solomon islands shows a maturity that this sentence didnt…

    remember that peoples thoughts feelings and actions are imprinted on the environment they live so the rocks you stand on have been part of peoples lives for thousands of years… symbols are part of peoples identity…a flag is a symbol… a collection of famous rocks is also a symbol…symbols say a lot worth saying…

    your mini-adventure was a power struggle of a bored minor official against the symbolism of the American nation… he was wrong to take it that far but his action was perhaps one of the better lessons you got from your travels… i hope at least… now go back to the solomon islands and finish that story before its too late…

  171. Dennis

    I am Dennis living in Athens, Greece

    OK I don’t have to mention that people saying things like “Oh you Ammericans, leave as alone and go dance to YOUR monuments are just kinda stupid”

    Greeks are proud of their history and monuments and things like that, only because we have been taught to be so, and not because we really really care. I am sure neither the guy in the black jacket nor the police thought you were actually disrespectfull to the monuments. I just think they were following some rules by reflex.

    I am sure that if they see one of your videos both the police and the guards will feel very sorry and stupid.

    I for sure would like you to try again, and email me so i could be there with my friends and dance with you.

  172. Dennis

    ..adding in my previous comment above:

    And you have to forgive them my friend Matt.
    I am sure there are places in your country that a foreigner wouldn’t be easily allowed to dance with a video camera. It could get out hand. Imagine what if people were allowed to videoshoot anything as long as one is dancing at the foreground.

  173. speeps

    man, you were asking for it. Greeks gave it to you. You should thank them! Greeks are famous for hospitality, but also for teasing the s**t out of people who ask for it.
    The Parthenon IS a holy place. Look it up at Wikipedia. Also look up the reasons why.
    I have done weirder stuff, but never got sh*t for it. You must have been really asking for it.

  174. Barry

    Wow – some people have megga hang-ups – gave up reading half way through!!!!

    Maybe they should travel more. :-)

  175. Anna

    omg!!! matt i am greek and i really feel so embarassed that the policemen behaved so badly to you!! seriously…i honestly live in Crete, a greek island and we don’t do these things to people that admire our monuments!! what the hell?? i’m so sorry for what happened!! if u come to crete,chania u won’t have problems like these!! Keep up the good work!! I absolutely love your videos..!! :) :)

  176. john smith

    Hello everybody,
    I am the guy with the leather jacket.
    Matt forgot to mention that before letting him go we sodomized him all 8 of us.
    He then begged us for more, claiming that this is the secret behind his super dancing skills.
    We refused and dropped him off at his hotel.
    Of course, later that night the rest of the precinct paid him one last visit for a “farewell memento”.
    Now you know.

  177. dim

    I loved the combo of some videos I saw..
    but this story…?

    It would all be funny to me too if it didn’t sound so personal.. And it is personal if you get people comment like this..

    I don’t get it either why they had to take this so far and “arrest” you but on the other hand it was one guy that messed this up. The rest is really the law here: if you are asked your passport/ID and you don’t show it, you have to go to the police station. This applies to foreigners and greeks, so don’t be offended.

    All the rest is just bull.

  178. Pamela

    as a greek i am so embarresed with what happend there. Please dont think ALL greeks are rediculous like that, greece is an amazing country filled with mountains, gorgeous beaches and scenery and not to mention beautiful people. I hope you dance in greece and upload it in the next video!

  179. telemachus

    hey Matt, i d first of all wanted to state that i admire what u have been doin the last few years and that i think u are a faithfull and brilliant person,excited with travelling and dancing.. so..look: i am a greek student aged 16 and d like to explain how things work here (i definetely do not agree with people like the one who stopped u from dancing at the parthenon).The point is that many truly sedate people above (usually) 55-60 years old have parthenon and such monuments as a holy structure somehow which represents our ancestors’ civilization. You see, they probably viewed what u were doing(dancing) as ridiculing the monument,and therefore all greeks…but as i said they are SEDATE people and dancing meant for them that u turned the parthenon area to a party place!and dont ever think the police here is strict.. to sum i just wanna say i realise how insane some situations can be..and its not good to know my country is viewed like this by some.. it seems it is worth it ..!:S
    anyway good luck with dancing and traveling, we LOVE what you r doing,it’s a dream coming true

  180. Marios Martakis

    Well i am a greek .. not really proud of it with what happend to you.. The police are like robocops who are like the god of law and bullshit like that.Ofcourse u didnt do anything i would say more disrespectful is when someone picking his nose under parthenon than dancing…So.. i dont know if this message will come to you but are welcomed to come again in Greece i live in Rhodes its an island in Greece and we have beautiful places to dance also i can bring alot of people to dance with us and a place for you to stay/eat so if you decide to come again send me an email ..

  181. Emmanuel

    Hi Matt, I am originally from Greece but live in the States. There *are* idiots in Greece, just like in all countries. Many times those idiots become police officers, I understand it’s not all that difficult. If my mom was still alive and saw you dancing she would probably bring you some refreshments and spanakopita. I am sorry about your experience.

  182. Aris

    I really don’t know what’s more disturbing; the fact that you were detained for dancing, or the comments written above by some people…

    Either way, you should return to Athens and finish what was rudely interrupted.

  183. Hello Matt

    I just wanted to say I am sorry.
    In many occassions I feel ashamed to be Greek.

    I am not trying to make up for what happened to you or support the Greeks, I just hope you understand we are not all the same, but yes a big percentage of the arrogant-holding-a-gun assholes are.

    Greeks have a saying “Give someone power and you will know who he really is” well, there you go.

    Once again I am really sorry, and I hope you are having a great time travelling around the world. I am now in the UK so if you some on over again .. let us know 😀

  184. Diamantis

    I like & enjoy what you do. I even envy you. However, you went to Greece, you climbed the Acropolis, didn’t worry about learning A THING about all that, and you wonder what the commotion was about? Do you do all that just to get on the Internet, or to find out a bit about others? Are you a little short-sighted? Sorry, you lost me. Open your eyes a bit.

  185. Enobie

    What I find most astonishing in the posts I’ve read on this topic is that only one poster has mentioned the movie “Zorba the Greek.” Doesn’t anyone watch classic movies anymore? Tony Quinn won a well-deserved Oscar for his portrayal of Zorba who, as the one other poster pointed out, would have gladly danced in front of the Parthenon!

    I disagree with the negative comments expressed by a few tight-assed people about Matt’s alleged disrespect of other countries’ traditions. These people do not speak for all of their fellow countrymen and women.

    Having lived and traveled extensively, I have observed and spoken with people like them who look down their noses at those who do not act, dress, or speak as they think they should. When I had the opportunity to discuss this tendency with them, I was sometimes able to convince them of how narrow-minded, intolerant, and bigoted this thinking is. Sometimes this would bring about paradigm shifts in the ways they would interact with others. One might hope these transformations might lead to a better world. Sadly, others remained set in their ways, conformist, and anxious about what other people thought of them.

    Fortunately, as shown by the posts, and as I learned from living, studying, and traveling in Europe, there usually are more people with open minds than closed. And they are the ones who appreciate what Matt does to try to make a difference.

    Criticizing Americans because they often don’t speak other languages, is wrong for at least four reasons. First, unlike Europeans few Americans have the opportunity to travel when they are young. Second, the education system in the U.S. is quite different from European systems and (unfortunately, some would argue) does not emphasize a classics-based curriculum with mandatory language instruction. Third, inasmuch as tourism is a major part of the economies of many countries, would it make sense to require that visitors learn the local languages before being allowed to enter? And fourth, English has become the lengua franca of the 21st Century — please either get with the program or quit complaining.

    As several posters have pointed out, there are sacred and spiritual places where dancing might actually be disrespectful; but the Parthenon, where pantheistic worship through human sacrifice was practiced, probably is not one of them.

    Far from being disrespectful, what Matt does is help people everywhere express their intrinsic joy, happiness, and love. Is this what his detractors find so threatening?

  186. Panos

    Hey Matt,

    thanks for all your good words about Greece. Interestingly, your travels seem to narrow your mind.

    I guess your take home lesson (probably you missed it) is that you should try to learn some stuff about the places you are visiting. You CAN’T shout in the Louvre, you CAN’T take pictures in Capela Sistina and yes ,you CAN’T dance in the Parthenon. Also, you CAN’T eat hot-dogs in the Congress Library (maybe you will get this).

    As to the ‘pile of rocks’ for Parthenon, I bet you haven’t been to college. Don’t give up though. Next stop, Nagasaki Memorial Park. Go dance over there. I bet you don’t know what this is either.


  187. nobody


    The graffiti you met walking to parthenon “ACAB” means All Cops Are Bastards. I think you had your own experience!!(even that the graffiti warned you)

    We Greeks have a bad idea about USA GOVERNMENT due to wars in SERBIA mostly and the others countries USA bombed.

    And also believe that the majority of American are apathetic in their government terrorism actions.

    Also USA government used to mix in greek politics a lot, something that greeks doesn’t like at all!!

    Of course every one has the right to dance or do what ever he wants in front of parthenon because its a monument which belongs to humanity and not Greece specially.

    In my opinion, you had a great and unique experience that can be very beneficial for you and anyone who read it.

    from beautiful Greece..

  188. satyros

    fuck you american faggot Parthenon is a pile of rocks??? Μy ancestors created it 500 hundred years b.c. what DID YOU DO at that time? butchering indians and force them to get out of their homes? fuck you fat bastard go eat 10 burgers and travel the world dancing attention whore

  189. dimitris

    i like your video.. its funny.. but you are dumber than a bag of hummers..
    its your arrogance and lack of common sense that makes you a proud american..
    your “ancient” monuments are younger than my grandmas house.
    keep dancing but at least try to understand what you have around you before saying you look at a pile of rocks.
    there are many places in greece dance friendly you chose the one that isnt not because of greek asholes but just cos its something that represents (among some Egyptian and few others around Mediterranean sea) why you pretty much exist..
    so now go eat at macdonalds a tripple plastic burger to refill some of those lost dancing calories…

  190. Helen

    Well surprise. Welcome to Greece!
    I live in Greece and had a similar experience many years ago. There is one public holiday in Greece when you are all supposed to go out and fly a kite. I was entertaining a business visitor who wanted to do this and also wanted to visit Sounion. So we went to the temple of Poseidon at Sounion and having wandered around the site and enjoyed it (and even looked to see where Lord Byron had graffiti-carved his name into a column) we decided to fly the kite. And got chucked out! For being disrespectful.

    So Matt, it’s not just dancing that considered disrespectful in Greece. It’s also doing that unbelievably awful flying-a-kite thing.

    It’s not, however, disrespectful
    to rip off the tourists who enable you to eat,
    for the entire population to fiddle their taxes and then get the rest of Europe to bail them out,
    to take EU money for infrastructure projects and then put the money in your own and your mates’ back pockets.

    I could go on. . .

    Keep dancing Matt.

  191. dimitris76

    I only saw your videos today for the first time and it felt good to briefly “breathe” some of the freedom, joy and discovery you experience in your travels. As I am greek I spontaneously thought how cool it would be to see you dance your dance in front of some greek site too, which brought me here.

    Now, I think that 200 comments on your little story and brief passage from Greece, is making a huge deal out of it, all sides included.

    I also think that you just had bad luck as you fell upon a hyper-sensible guardian who only acted as his own logic dictated him. Be certain that no manual and no superior official ever told him that “monkey-dancing in front of the Acropolis is forbidden”. He is there to make sure that the monument doesn’t suffer from the presence of the many visiting tourists, which includes sitting on the ancient marbles (yes they are old and sensitive). Also he is there to deal with (tourist) emergencies, health related or other. And finally he is told in a vague way to stop anything disrespectful from happening, as this could potentially lower the image of the monument.

    I would personally not mind your little dance if I were in his place (I would be keeping an eye on you though, that’s for sure…), but he thought it was being offensive. So what? You could have apologised, deleted the shot and searched for another site to do your dance, or even more in your spirit, go around the monument and take another shot at it, a few minutes later, away from him…

    Instead you decided to make a stand about your right to dance wherever you wish. It’s your choice man and although at first I felt a bit embarrassed on behalf of my country upon reading your story, I no longer feel anyone should have apologised for something. If he was just another bored state employee who doesn’t care he wouldn’t have bothered with you – he was bored enough to ruin your “quiet moment of peace” with his greek radio but acted (sure, over-reacted) when he saw something wrong in his opinion. Taking people for idiots, uncultured and what have you, for doing what they believe to be their duty, doesn’t make you any better. Not everything coming from the authorities is about “power display”.

    You find that the Parthenon is a pile of rocks and I can respect that – I feel the same about foreign monuments and sites of which I know nothing. So don’t do you dance in front of it! As a greek I am offended by that calling, especially since you forgot to read anything about the monument or the country (as stated). I now see that the Acropolis would be like another named shop window to add to the collection. Probably this is just the spirit, in all your innocent and adventurous state-of-mind, but you lost me here (mind you, me neither, I haven’t read the “About Matt” section).

    By all means, keep dancing, just not in places you don’t respect – respect comes from inside, it’s not what you do.

  192. dimitris76

    And @Helen, right above: please, leave alone your “bad people” pointing at greeks. I have personnaly been ripped off as a tourist, more or less, in most places I have been abroad and it’s not proprietary to tourists coming to Greece. This can happen everywhere – it’s bad but, hell, it happens so try to be a smart tourist instead. And please stop thinking along the lines that world money owners want us, slaves, to think. There is as much money theft and tax evading in most countries as in Greece, although in more subtle and sophisticated way than observed here. What is disrespectful is that other Western European countries kept forcing Greece to buy their stuff, from weapons to services, while knowing that the country economy couldn’t afford it and paying its officials under the table for permitting so. So not everything is black and white as you say.

    Thanks and keep all dancing – it’s only good.

  193. dimitris76

    I only saw your videos today for the first time and it felt good to briefly “breathe” some of the freedom, joy and discovery you experience in your travels. As I am greek I spontaneously thought how cool it would be to see you dance your dance in front of some greek site too, which brought me here.

    Now, I think that 200 comments on your little story and brief passage from Greece, is making a huge deal out of it, all sides included.

    I also think that you just had bad luck as you fell upon a hyper-sensible guardian who only acted as his own logic dictated him. Be certain that no manual and no superior official ever told him that “monkey-dancing in front of the Acropolis is forbidden”. He is there to make sure that the monument doesn’t suffer from the presence of the many visiting tourists, which includes sitting on the ancient marbles (yes they are old and sensitive). Also he is there to deal with (tourist) emergencies, health related or other. And finally he is told in a vague way to stop anything disrespectful from happening, as this could potentially lower the image of the monument.

    I would personally not mind your little dance if I were in his place (I would be keeping an eye on you though, that’s for sure…), but he thought it was being offensive. So what? You could have apologised, deleted the shot and searched for another site to do your dance, or even more in your spirit, go around the monument and take another shot at it, a few minutes later, away from him…

    Instead you decided to make a stand about your right to dance wherever you wish. It’s your choice man and although at first I felt a bit embarrassed on behalf of my country upon reading your story, I no longer feel anyone should have apologised for something. If he was just another bored state employee who doesn’t care he wouldn’t have bothered with you – he was bored enough to ruin your “quiet moment of peace” with his greek radio but acted (sure, over-reacted) when he saw something wrong in his opinion. Taking people for idiots, uncultured and what have you, for doing what they believe to be their duty, doesn’t make you any better. Not everything coming from the authorities is about “power display”.

    You find that the Parthenon is a pile of rocks and I can respect that – I feel the same about foreign monuments and sites of which I know nothing. So don’t do you dance in front of it! As a greek I am offended by that calling, especially since you forgot to read anything about the monument or the country (as stated). I now see that the Acropolis would be like another named shop window to add to the collection. Probably this is just the spirit, in all your innocent and adventurous state-of-mind, but you lost me here (mind you, me neither, I haven’t read the “About Matt” section).

    By all means, keep dancing, just not in places you don’t respect – respect comes from inside, it’s not what you do.

    And @Helen, right above: please, leave alone your “bad people” pointing at greeks. I have personnaly been ripped off as a tourist, more or less, in most places I have been abroad and it’s not proprietary to tourists coming to Greece. This can happen everywhere – it’s bad but, hell, it happens so try to be a smart tourist instead. And please stop thinking along the lines that world money owners want us, slaves, to think. There is as much money theft and tax evading in most countries as in Greece, although in more subtle and sophisticated way than observed here. What is disrespectful is that other Western European countries kept forcing Greece to buy their stuff, from weapons to services, while knowing that the country economy couldn’t afford it and paying its officials under the table for permitting so. So not everything is black and white as you say.

    Thanks and keep all dancing – it’s only good.

  194. Ioannis

    I love travelling and I travel often around the globe too. I also like your videos and I hope I will see as much as you have seen. For me it’s not about dancing around but exploring cultures and try to understand more about life and humans. Visiting museums, important places, talking with educated (and not only) people and learn from their history. To understand and learn something from a culture you need to respect it. Matt and the rest check this video and try to see all 4 parts. You will understand more about this pile of rocks called Parthenon and its importance.

    link to

    Keep dancing responsibly (like drinking)

  195. Τα τσεπωσε.

    the comment is powered by VISA CREDIT CARD..

    To make money you want a good idea not big efford…
    You left Sillicon Valey, P.C nerd Matt,with this good idea..and try to compine holidays and effort.
    Its all about money..

  196. Replying to “dim” who said:
    “The rest is really the law here: if you are asked your passport/ID and you don’t show it, you have to go to the police station. This applies to foreigners and greeks, so don’t be offended.”
    You think that he doesn’t know/understand that? Hey, he lives in a country that they first shoot & they ask questions later. That is sometimes, there are times that nobody asks questions. They have laws that you can get arrested & held even without warrant! It’s just that he thought that he is visiting a 3rd world country, with no laws, where dollars can buy anything & people would kneel before him for being from US. Well, I’m proud as Greek that we proved him wrong.

    Replying to “Enobie” who said:
    “As several posters have pointed out, there are sacred and spiritual places where dancing might actually be disrespectful; but the Parthenon, where pantheistic worship through human sacrifice was practiced, probably is not one of them.”
    First of all, who are you to say if that place is “sacred and spiritual” to me (who live there & own it)?
    Then, “human sacrifice was practiced”? Yea & then we cooked & ate them! WTF are you talking about? Maybe you are mistaken us for Aztecs?

    Replying to “Helen” who said:
    “I was entertaining a business visitor… we went to the temple of Poseidon at Sounion… we decided to fly the kite. And got chucked out! For being disrespectful.”
    You are lying! I’m 1,000% sure for that! Or you are not telling us everything, like WHERE EXACTLY you were, WHAT EXACTLY you were doing etc. But my best guess is that you are lying, simple as that. We all get to Sounion that Monday for that reason, nobody “gets chucked”. We actually go EVERYWHERE to fly a kite, in every open area. It’s a tradition here & unless you WERE disrespectful, nobody would call you that.

    Replying to “all my fellow Greeks who say -we are sorry mr. Matt-“:
    Well, I’m sorry for you. How about you lent him your wives next time he visits? Or even better, how about you pull down your pants & bent over? WTF are you talking about? Have you even read what he is writing? Akropoli is “just a pile of rocks that doesn’t say anything worth saying”? WTF? Then why don’t we tear that shit down, & build a baseball or rugby stadium for all our American friends to visit? In the whole story here the worst person isn’t Matt, it’s you.

    Replying to “all those haters of Greece (including Matt)”:
    Feel free NOT to visit Greece if you can’t appreciate this place & its History, don’t expect to be appreciated either…

    Finally, replying personally to Matt:
    I understand what (you think that) you are doing & I think your videos could have been a trademark, or a fiesta, uniting the whole Humanity! Leaving aside out differences & dancing together. But as I discovered your opinions about monuments like Parthenon, the Pyramids & others of such magnitude, & your opinions about the people & their customs regarding those monuments, I can only say that you failed. What started as an International dance ended up as an arrogant, ignorant, cowardly & RACIST attack!
    As to the two old men at the photo sitting on the bench, may as k how many HUNDRED OF THOUSANDS you have under your bridges, just next to your own architectural miracles, the skyscrapers?
    As to the graffiti, don’t let me started. From NY subway (btw did you use ours? If you did, you know what I mean) to Philadelphia, Chicago & countless more cities with such a problem, that passed laws about it! It is illegal to possess permanent markers in NY?! Haha wtf? & you are talking about dancing?
    So, my conclusion after reading your comments is that you are not to unite people but to perform a silly dance. You are just that & nothing more. That’s why nobody knows you & never will. You are a monkey dancer that found a way to travel the world for free (I give you that) & to make a living by being a clown. But please, try not to mock those monuments, you are too “small” for that & you are only making yourself a little bit more of a clown (if that is even possible).

    If I made any mistakes in my attempt to express my opinions it’s not my fault. The fault is yours for not being able to speak Greek.

  197. ARk

    Wow, this original journal post was from 2006 everyone.

    No judgement but,
    hopefully a bunch of people have grown into adults by now.

    On BOTH sides.

  198. paola coutarelli

    matt i just saw your clip and i think its absolutely wonderful, actually i think i nearly cried because it reminded to actually believe in humanity….i am greek and extremely dissapointed by the attitude of these idiot policemen, please though dont judge an entire nation by a couple of fools. good luckin the future

  199. Vangelis

    After reading all this supposedly funny article I am sure the police arrested you for stupidity.

    You are trying to be a smart ass with the locals and the police and you are badmouthing Greece and Europe in general all covered under “humour” because you had a bad experience that yourself provoked.

  200. Vassilis

    Matt: you are another ignorant and arrogant american, that thinks he owns all of the world. You managed to make a shitload of money by dancing like monkey in front of other civilization’s monuments (because you don’t have your own). For you it’s “just a pile of rocks”. You don’t even care to spend some minutes to read about the history of the places you visit, for you these monuments mean MONEY. Your target group is north americans, same kind as you, that’s why your videos seem funny and you get paid for them. But for other people it is disrespectful. Try to act like monkey in front of a mosque, or Buckingham palace, or even your White House and see what you get. I have seen other americans like you in the greek national archeological museum, stupid girls doing stupid and even sex-related poses for photos beside nude men statues, and laughing about it. I wanted to punch their faces! Of course, the guard stopped them. Maybe they were whining in their blogs about it, like you do. If after all this travelling you still cannot understand that you must respect other cultures and people, then there’s no hope for you…

  201. Jen Hitchcox

    I know this post and comment chain is so old, but I found this post yesterday trying to find the rules for photography at the Parthenon after being scolded by a security guard. My family and I are traveling for a year and take photos of a little Lego guy everywhere we go, but we were stopped this time- I think the guy was saying “no logos”?(except what about all the people with Red Bull or Harley Davidson t-shirts?) I don’t know, it was confusing and my kids were upset and it didn’t seem worth it to get into showing him our other shots or explaining it was non-commercial and I don’t work for Lego. I couldn’t find any rules posted on the Acropolis web site, or anywhere else, but I came across your post about getting busted for dancing and thought it was funny- maybe it was the same guy!

  202. Alexia

    I’m replying to a comment made in 2006 (weird I know) but I think that I would be disrespectful to dance in front of something that people treasure so much, I ,ran if someone danced in from of Abrahams Lincons statue in Washington D.C it would be frowned upon by a lot of locals who would think/say ” why would you dance in front of a dead mans statue” so they probably feel the same.

  203. Django

    I know I’m 9 years late to this party but I wanted to comment that I too had got in trouble for dancing in front of the Parthenon. Dude with a name tag told me to delete my video and I did but it sucked. Thankfully there were multiple videos on my camera with me dancing in front of the Parthenon which he didn’t notice :) Also got in trouble for taking a picture in front of a Palace Guard with thumbs up and at a McDonald’s for trying to take a picture of the unique McFlurry choices. Sensitive culture compared to the US I guess

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