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Constantine Grapsas, BA(Hons) Architecture, University of Greenwich
Date submitted: 7/8/98

"The previous message gives me the opportunity to refer in the historical routes of art and disagree in a certain point: The arts were not always serving something outside of it. The word "museum" derives from the Greek word "mouseion" which was the place were Greeks used to worship the nine Muses of creation. Surprisingly, in an ancient Greek museum one would not find works of art, ticket boxes or any kind of commercial activities. People knew that art serves the soul, improves humans and can stand on its own. Art was intangible.

At the same time, in some primitive cultures, certain spaces were used to keep, preserve and worship some "holy" objects called totems. This is a second aspect of what a museum can be and (unfortunately for my point of view) this idolatrous attitude survived until our times especially in the Western societies.

The finished art object became more important than the Muses, the Godesses of the forces of creation. When Romans took over Greece they took the Greek statues in Rome and start displaying them in the collonades of the public buildings. But they made a mistake. These statues did not represent the forces of creation any more. They were just "objects" which reminded to people of the power of the Roman Empire. Art was abused at THAT point of history. People mixed Art with their materialistic attitude against life. This survived until our time. We think that Art is the object, the object is connected with money, people start evaluating Art in terms of money. We made museums of Art, Universities, etc. -- all of them looking at Art as a commodity which can be bought and sold. This is the reason we are asking now about how we can marry two things which (I think) can never be married. Art and money. "

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