ATHENS, Greece — The streamers in English that among those in Greek festooned the iron fences were demanding more funds for the ongoing restoration work, as well as the reinstatement of dismissed employees. A small, crudely handwritten sign, hardly visible among the streamers, said the site was closed, and would remain closed. The employees were on strike.
The site was no factory, however, but the Acropolis, the complex of ancient buildings and monuments that Greeks say is “the symbol of Athens,” “the sacred rock” linking ancient Greek civilization with the modern city. Within its walls were, among others, the Parthenon, the temple Athenians had built 600 years before Christ and dedicated to Pallas Athena, the ancient goddess of wisdom, after whom the now modern city of Athens is named.