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by Maria Spiliopoulou

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    October 8, 2018 11:01 PM PDT



    by Maria Spiliopoulou


    ATHENS, Nov. 10 (Xinhua) -- For over two millennia, the rocky hill of Acropolis in the center of Athens, crowned with a unique ensemble of masterpieces of Greek Classical architecture, is a timeless universal symbol of the glorious legacy of the ancient Greek civilization and the great ideals born in this land.


    In recognition of its outstanding artistic and historic value in 1987 the Athenian Acropolis, the finest example of the splendor of Greek civilization at its peak, was inscribed as a designated UNESCO World Heritage site.


    In 2006 UNESCO further acknowledged the Sacred Rock and its monuments as a "symbol of the idea of world heritage."


    At the birthplace of democracy in the 5th century BC, as philosophy and arts thrived, statesman Pericles endorsed an ambitious plan to reconstruct the sanctuary of Athens' patron goddess, Athena, which was destroyed during the war with the Persians.


    The brightest minds of the time joined forces under the guidance of sculptor Pheidias to transform the Acropolis hill under an inspired concept into a unique complex of monuments which from antiquity to the present represents a priceless world cultural heritage treasure.


    Construction of the massive Parthenon temple dedicated to Athena Parthenos (Athena the Virgin) at the centre of the 156 meter high hill, designed by Ictinus and Kallikrates, began in 447 BC.


    Propylaea, the impressive gateway to the site by Mnesicles, followed. By 406 BC the smaller temple of Athena Nike (Victory) and Erechtheion with its renowned Caryatids, the female figures on one of its porches, were also erected.


    Built entirely of Pentelic white marble, the definitive monument of world civilization caused gasps of admiration at the time and in subsequent centuries influenced other monuments of the Western civilization which followed.


    In the course of time the monuments of the Athenian Acropolis suffered damage from natural causes and the human factor.


    In the 6th century AD the monuments were converted into Christian churches, while in the Ottoman period (1456-1833) into a mosque, garrison headquarters and munitions store.


    In 1687 during the siege by the Venetians the Parthenon was hit by artillery fire. In 1801 the British Lord Elgin looted the sculptures decorating the Parthenon, the Erechtheion and the Athena Nike temple.


    During the Greek War of Independence in the early 19th century the Acropolis returned to the hands of the descendants of the ancient Greek architects of the Classical miracle of the Pericles' Golden Age. The features dated from the Byzantine to Ottoman periods were removed to restore the monuments to its original form.


    Despite the damage inflicted the masterpieces of the Athenian Acropolis are still a striking aesthetic paradigm which embodies the achievements and ideals of Classical Greece.


    However, the issue of the removal of the sculptures by Lord Elgin casts a dark shadow over the Sacred Rock. Their repatriation to be out on display in the new Acropolis Museum is still an issue awaiting to be settled.




    UNITED NATIONS, Sept. 9 (Xinhua) -- The UN Security Council will hold a closed-door meeting on Friday afternoon on the latest nuclear test conducted by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK).


    According to UN Spokesperson's Office, the closed-door meeting is scheduled to take place at 3 p.m. local time (1900 GMT).


    UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will speak to the press on the DPRK's nuclear test at noon, said the office.


    The DPRK said earlier Friday that it has carried out a nuclear warhead explosion test, according to the state-run television. It is the country's fifth nuclear test.


    The Security Council has adopted five resolutions to curb the DPRK's nuclear and missile programs.


    The latest one adopted in March imposes the most severe sanctions yet on the country, including an export ban and asset freeze.




    ZAGREB, Sept. 12 (Xinhua) -- Croatia's main opposition Social Democratic Party (SDP) leader Zoran Milanovic announced on Monday he would not run for the party's helm.


    Milanovic, the former prime minister during 2011-2015, made the announcement at an extraordinary press conference after his party lost the Sunday's early parliamentary election.


    Milanovic said he would not run for the another term as the SDP's chief, the position he has held since 2007, and hoped that inner-party election would be held as soon as possible.


    According to the Statute of the SDP, inner-party presidential election should be held within 150 days after parliamentary election. Milanovic was re-elected with 62 percent support in last inner-party election in April this year.


    "I want a stable government. In recent months we have had a very bad and unstable situation," he said.


    He still hasn't decided if he would stay in politics, he said, adding "I don't know if I would be a member of the parliament but I would for sure do something interesting."


    The SDP-led People's coalition won 54 seats in Sunday's election, two seats less than in last election held in November 2015 and also seven less than its rival of Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ), which stepped down following a no-confidence vote in June after in power only five months.


    NEW YORK Cheap Eric Tomlinson Jersey , Feb. 12 (Xinhua) -- U.S. stocks witnessed broad gains Thursday, with the Nasdaq Composite Index logging its highest level since March 2000, as investors cheered a ceasefire agreement on the Ukraine conflict.


    The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 110.24 points, or 0.62 percent, to 17,972.38. The S&P 500 advanced 19.95 points, or 0.96 percent, to 2,088.48. The Nasdaq jumped 56.43 points, or 1.18 percent, to 4,857.61.


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