Imagine a new take on the Greek myth of Pygmalion. A love-shy artist makes a woman out of marble who is so beautiful that he falls for her and prays that she will come to life. For a moment he thinks his wish will be granted, but it is only his imagination. Now, in his sadness, he feels as if he himself is turning to stone.
This, in a sense, has been the story of the Greek nation since, two centuries ago, a gang of brigands and diplomats took up arms to breathe life into the Parthenon marbles and revive the glory that was Greece. Thus began the phenomenally bloody Greek War of Independence, which brought an end to the centuries-long Ottoman occupation. Yet even at the start, the dream was as chaotic as its realisation.