My most recent class in graduate school, Economic Analysis, has gotten me to ponder the question of just what the benefits maybe for Hellas (Greece) if the government in Athens were to reopen our ancient temples. I wonder if anyone has ever done the research to see just what the economic benefit of such a project may be. During these hard economic times any and all ideas, at least in my opinion, should be openly discussed and debated. It is because of this belief that I felt it may be interesting to blog about this question and see what type of reaction, if any occurs. I must confess I am by no means an economist and am very uncomfortable with the topic in general. However, for the sake of argument I’ve decide to dabble in it just this once.
Just what kind of positive economic or social benefits could be achieved if the Hellenic government was so bold as to reopen our ancient temples? Well for starters it would mean jobs, perhaps even government jobs, which are always fondly accepted in Hellas. Such a project would have to employ a large number of skilled workers to help in the reconstruction and continued preservation of such sites across the country. The ancient Thracian capital of Seuthopolis is a perfect example of World Heritage Site being reconstructed and preserved. Next, such a project would also provide employment opportunities for individuals educated in social sciences to staff these locations with not only employees to handle tourists, but also employees equipped with the necessary skills to run these facilities, something which could lead to a miniature renaissance for ancient Hellenic studies. Another benefit would be that by reopening the temples, Hellas could establish itself as a spiritual homeland and attraction for spiritual tourists. I dare to even believe such a national project could boost national pride across the country.
Now I understand this may sound ‘crazy’, it may not even be very realistic. Like I said previously, I am not an economist. I merely hope to spark debate and conversation. Who can honestly say they would not like to see the greatest wonders and accomplishments of our ancestors revived to their former glory? Who could be that selfish and ignorant?