“To you, O Sun, the people of Dorian Rhodes set up this bronze statue reaching to Olympus when they had pacified the waves of war and crowned their city with the spoils taken from the enemy. Not only over the seas but also on land did they kindle the lovely torch of freedom.”
This project concerns the creative revival of the Colossus of Rhodes, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, without any intention to reconstruct a sterile replica carrying any anachronistic or archaeological implications. Background philosophy and ultimate ambition is to create a contemporary, 21st century-style wonder, inspired by the legendary monument only borrowing its symbolic characteristics and artistic values.
Just like the Colossus was erected as a tribute to the Sun God of Helios to celebrate liberty and peace its symbolic successor, standing in the Mediterranean at the crossroads of three continents, should become Rhodes’ contribution to peace acting as a beacon emitting eternal light to send messages of hope and optimism for the future generations to come.
Implementation - International architect's competition
To give substance to this new landmark a call for an open international architect’s competition is proposed. An International Honorary Committee should be formed under the aegis of the President of the Hellenic Republic to secure worldwide acknowledgment, international acceptance and transparency of the procedures.
Attracting funds and resources
A significant amount of funds could be secured by contributions of international organizations, the European Commission and UNESCO; but also through the activation of Greek and international prominent figures; in this respect Hellenes of Diaspora and philhellenes could become ambassadors of the idea and lead an International Fund-raising campaign.
Following the relevant example of the revival of the Alexandria Library (www.bibalex.org) and to avoid any kind of commercialization, future project revenues should be reinvested to promoting Greek cultural legacy and the idea of global peace. This would be achieved by creating a thematic museum of the Colossus and establishing an International Center of Peace, which would host a cultural multiplex, including a conference center, exhibition spaces, auditorium, concert hall, hosting major fairs and events.
A Mediterranean venue of peace
Rhodes bearing a multicultural identity and prominent strategic location is the ideal venue to bridge cultures and ideas, to establish free dialogue and promote the universal and diachronic ideal of world peace and friendship amongst peoples and countries. Such a project has the potential to offer multiple benefits on both cultural and economic levels, especially during this period of crisis, instability and hardship.
George A. Barboutis