Ilias Monacholias Attica (region) 0

Initiative for the Enhancement and Promotion of the Archaeological Site of Eleusis and the Ancient Mysteries

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Proclamation: The Friends of Eleusis

Initiative for the Enhancement and Promotion of the Archaeological Site of Eleusis and the Ancient Mysteries

The Birthplace of the Greek Tragedian Aeschylus

“The Most Famous Sanctuary You Have Never Heard Of”

The town of Eleusis, historically known as one of the most influential centers of the ancient world, not only preserves its mythical identity through its long history since Classical antiquity on into the modern world, but also it represents one of the primary industrial and financial centers of modern Greece.

The town’s name designates it etymologically as the place of arrival, commemorating the advent of a personage of the greatest importance for the meaning and survival of humankind. This wandering goddess was none other than Mother Earth, Gaia. In honor of her, this initiative is titled the Gaia Project. According to the myth, it was she who brought back the light from the darkness of the realm of death to this upper world.

Cicero credited the ancient Mystery enacted at Eleusis as the essential impetus for the evolution of humankind’s rise from savagery to civilized modes of life.

"For among the many excellent and indeed divine institutions which your Athens has brought forth and contributed to humanity, none of them, in my opinion, is better than those Mysteries. We have learned from them the beginnings of life, and have gained the power not only to live happily, but also to die with a better hope.”

Eleusis was the birthplace of Aeschylus. It was one of the five international centers of Greco-Roman identity, ranking with the iconic city of Athens, and with the sanctuaries of Olympia, Delphi, and Delos. It manages to preserve even today its historical and spiritual l significance, despite the threat imposed by the extreme industrialization of the twentieth century.

This complex, where antiquities and modern industrial monuments coexist, provides the Eleusinian landscape an essential character and its distinctive identity. Moreover, the visits of contemporary initiates seeking spiritual guidance, both ordinary citizens and people of political influence, continues day after day, creating new organizational stress and urban needs.

The organization "Friends of Eleusis" proposes to make its own contribution in these times of crisis, encouraging a creative urban approach that aims to enhance and promote internationally the archaeological site, through modern infrastructure that will meet the contemporary standards of museum amenities.

To this end, the signatories to the text above consider essential:

1) The designation of the archaeological site of Eleusis in the World Heritage List of UNESCO.

2) The construction of a new archaeological Museum of Eleusis, capable of accommodating a collection of exhibits, as well as sponsoring cultural activities. The present tiny Museum is two hundred years out of date, surviving since the nineteenth century.

We, the undersigned, support these goals of the Friends of Eleusis and enlist ourselves in the membership of the Society.

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