Pagai Unbound: Law, Politics, Heritage
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Greece labels itself a superpower of culture. As such, the preservation of the remains of the Classical past is a necessity. The newest comprehensive ordinance, Law 3028 which passed in 2002, follows the tradition of Greek cultural heritage legislation by defining what is considered proper interactions with the remains of the past. I argue that this protection involves a weird chronopolitics. It separates sites from the present in which they resides in a double sense - by framing them in terms of the past and by offsetting them for a projected futurity. This ignores community concerns, placing them aside for strangers yet to come. To this end, I use the Akropolis of Pagai as a case study, located in the modern town of Alepochori, Greece. I examine three primary concerns about this site: (1) The way in which archaeological law applies a framework that severs relations with what becomes of the past; (2) The site’s confusing temporality and the misconceptions regarding where it belongs in time; and (3) methods for how the community could engage with the site, visualized through examples of successful alternative modes of preservation in Greece. Following Nietzsche, I aspire to an Akropolis of Pagai unbound, one released into the service of lives that are lived.