Remembering Heinrich Schliemann, marketing (some) antiquities, and rebuilding the Roman Forum.
Having lived in Greece for 15 years, I loved Julie Skurdenis’s article on Sounion (Destinations, AO 02:05). There’s only one point of interest she missed. In ancient Greece, a light was kept burning in each of three places: on Cape Sounion, on the tip of the island of Aegina in the Saronic Gulf, and on the Acropolis. By triangulation, sailors could plot the safest route into harbor in Piraeus.
While in Greece, I kept company with a retired admiral of the Greek Navy who is a grandson of Nicholas Yannakis, Heinrich Schliemann’s assistant who helped smuggle Trojan treasures into Greece. According to my friend, Yannakis drowned while crossing a stream on his way back to Athens, and so his wife raised their family on her own. She passed on to her descendants a collection of the jewelry that didn’t quite make it to the goal it was destined for (Schliemann himself).
One day my friend said, “I’d love to give you a piece of the Troy jewelry our family inherited, but we just gave the last, a pair of gold earrings, to my niece Artemis!”
What a magnificent gift I missed having! Would I have presented it to a museum? I wonder.
So where’s the rest of the collection?—Ed.
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