GIAB (GIVING IT ALL BACK) takes the audience on a journey to the Acropolis and the British Museum: we admire the six caryatids holding up the roof of the Erechtheion; we watch as Lord Elgin, British ambassador to the Ottoman Empire – which encompassed Greece in the late 18th – has one of them removed; we follow the statue to London, where Elgin sells it to His Majesty’s government, which in turn sells it to the British Museum where it remains today, together with fully half of the Parthenon frieze; we realize how close the Western notion of beauty remains to the Antique ideal, and we see Greece fancifully yet enduringly portrayed as the cradle of that ideal. Against this backdrop, the audience faces at least two problematic questions: indeed, isn’t it time for “beauty” to escape from the pseudo-classical mould, and for Europe to finally support the “cradle” it manufactured and then plundered, all the while celebrating its grandeur?

GIAB thus opens with a gratifying question: what about giving it all back?

Cover Photo: OVTR ©Danielle Voirin