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George Barboutis: The Revival of the Colossus of Rhodes


A project with a vision of Peace in the Mediterranean region

- What is the reason of reviving an ancient wonder nowadays? - What are the eternal and diachronic values which ought to be brought to light and be further explored? - How Rhodes and the rest of the world can benefit from a modern day landmark?


A brief summary of the project


The idea concerns the creative revival of this ancient wonder in a modern, contemporary work-of-art that will bring out the invaluable and intangible characteristics and convey the symbolic values of the legendary monument.

The main source of inspiration comes from the 21st century re-visitation of the ancient wonder aimed at embodying the diachronic values of (world peace, friendship and cooperation) and at becoming an iconic project of Greek culture invested with an ecumenical ideological content.

The ultimate vision of the project is to promote Greek cultural heritage and reestablish Rhodes, as tourist, cultural and diplomatic destination “par excellence”. The New Colossus of Rhodes aspires to become a Tourism - Architectural Landmark, a Cultural Achievement of our century (by embodying a contemporary Theme Museum and an Archaeological Research Center), as well as, a neutral Venue of Peace in the Mediterranean region.

By engaging people and leadership motivated by a common vision, the destination can turn into a marvelous evolution.

Charter - Roadmap for its ideal implementation

The charter - declaration (roadmap) is suggested in order to define the proper framework for the dissemination and the implementation of the idea of this undertaking, enabling it to become an eternal offer of Rhodes and of the Greek civilization to Humanity. 1. Concept

The Colossus is the eternal myth of Rhodes which we attempt to revive, without alienating it with the re-creation of a sterile and anachronistic copy -replica – maintaining any archaeological implications pertained to it.

The philosophy and ambition of reviving the Colossus, is to make it an evolutionary ideological continuation of the ancient monument, which was dedicated to the Sun god Helios, to peace and freedom, and gain universal character. It will constitute the Greek seal of the human centered and diachronic ideas of universal peace, friendship and the brotherhood of people, with a view to becoming a world landmark and a remarkable reference point.

2. Vision

“Just like the ancient Colossus was built as a tribute to the Sun God Helios, to freedom and peace, its future successor wonder, standing in the Mediterranean at the crossroads of three continents, aspires to become a global symbol of world peace and friendship among people and through the iconic emission of its eternal light to the human ideas and deeds, to establish Rhodes as a worldwide beacon by disseminating messages of hope and optimism to the expectations of all future generations.”

3. Implementation

The conception of the project should be based on the construction of a contemporary creation with artistic expression and dimensions of innovative technical achievement, of visual angle of a 21st century feat, respecting inextricably the measure, the harmony, the historic and rich cultural and architectural environment of Rhodes.

This work should ideally result from the outcome of an open global competition that will be approved by a local and international selection committee which will be composed of prominent figures from the world of politics, culture, literature, arts, sciences and technology and will be placed under the auspices of the President of the Hellenic Republic in order to ensure the international prestige and the absolute transparency in procedures.

4. Fund Raising

In the quest of financial resources it is proposed that the project be self-financed through the mobilization of prominent personalities (Ambassadors of the Idea) who will lead an International Fundraising Campaign and will raise funds from sources such as:

• Grants from institutions in Greece and abroad,

• Subsidies from official bodies and international organizations, UNESCO, European Union,

• Supports from regional and municipal authorities

• Donations by wealthy Greeks of the Diaspora, as well as, philhellene citizens across the world who would like to make contributions towards the implementation of the idea.

5. Avoidance of commercialization

Following the relevant example of the Revival of The Library of Alexandria we must avoid any kind of mass commercialization of the idea of the project, and it is therefore proposed that money from future project revenues to be reinvested in the direction of the promotion of peace and of our cultural heritage by creating:

A) A Theme Museum of the ancient Colossus and its history,

B) An International Mediterranean Peace Center, which will house an excellent cultural multipurpose facility, technologically advanced, that will include a conference and exhibition center, an auditorium, and a concert hall able to host international caliber meetings, activities and events.

Best Practices: To avoid any ambiguity, a few examples of landmarks are mentioned below to function as best practices which added value, prestige and admiration to the cities –countries they belong to:

• The New Library of Alexandria

• The Sydney Opera House

• The Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao

• The New Acropolis Museum

• The Cultural Center of Stavros Niarchos

6. Archaeological Research Center – Academic Chair of the Colossus

To make the overall effort sustainable for the future generations of young scientists, it is proposed that a significant share of project revenues be distributed to the establishment of an Archaeological Research Center for the Colossus and its history but also to an Academic Chair of the Colossus that will help in the research and study made by archaeologists - researchers on issues related to the possible location or future findings of the ancient wonder according to the new scientific standards and methods.

7. Mediterranean Venue of Peace

The ultimate challenge of this undertaking is the establishment of the idea, in the long run, that Rhodes can internationally claim the reputation of a "Neutral Island of Peace", "a dispute resolution of Davos" in the Mediterranean, especially due to the prevailing conditions of the acute refugee crisis, and through the successful implementation of the project of the Revival of the Colossus to be able to exercise soft power cultural diplomacy strategies in the area.

Rhodes, with its multicultural identity and prominent strategic location, constitutes the ideal venue to bridge cultures and ideas, to establish free dialogue and promote the universal and diachronic ideals of world peace and friendship amongst people and countries.


Epilogue

We are fully aware that it takes infinite courage, boldness, and valor to attain this noble achievement. After all, it represents a moral duty to historical Rhodes, an ethical debt to mythical Greece and an honorary obligation to humanity, to offer a memorable feat of such a scale. Much like the Olympic Games, it is something so Hellenic that the whole country has to benefit and at the same time so ecumenical that the whole world has to gain.

It is our responsibility to humanity and the whole of mankind, to make a great leap forward, by drawing inspiration from our historic past and by mobilizing our most creative forces. It would become a great opportunity to regenerate, and reignite our most depleted virtues, while sending a message that we Greeks with the small country and the huge history do not remain trapped in this dormant state, but we progress in an admirable manner, by transforming our national introversion into cultural extroversion.


Post Script by Federico Mayor - UNESCO Director General: “The future is our most precious common good and it’s intact. We can share it, all our hands can help to write it.”

The past? All we can do is underwrite it.”

(From his speech at the inauguration of the New Library of Alexandria)

For more information regarding the project you may follow: Website: www.colossusproject.org

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Colossusproject.org/



George Barboutis is a Strategic Marketing and Management Expert with 30 years of involvement in the Hospitality / Tourism field. He combines a multifaceted academic background from Colleges, Universities and Institutions in Greece, USA and France, along with an extensive professional experience in private and non-profit organizations.

He is the pioneer of the initiative and the rapporteur of the of the millennium cultural proposal for the “Revival of the Colossus” of Rhodes. This is an effort to re-create a 21st century monumental landmark inspired ideologically from the ancient wonder and dedicated to the universal values of peace, friendship and collaboration amongst people and countries. The aim is to promote the Greek cultural heritage and to implement a vision of peace in the Mediterranean region.

LinkedIn Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/george-barboutis-/