The Greek Parthenon (447 BC) was desecrated & converted into a mosque by Ottoman Turks in 15th c. When Greece gained independence, Greeks destroyed the mosque to restore Parthenon back to its full glory. But when Hindus ask the same for Gyanvapi we are called intolerant.
The Parthenon (447 BC) built on the Acropolis hill is regarded as the finest example of ancient Greek architecture. It was a temple complex with shrines to goddess Athena & associated gods, creatures & heroes. The Parthenon was converted into a Christian church in 6th C. CE.
In 1456 CE, the Turks invaded Athens & Sultan Mehmed 2 forcibly converted the Parthenon into a Mosque, using parts of the temple itself. Many ancient sculptures of Greek gods were destroyed, Christian icons whitewashed, windows blocked up & watchtower converted into a Minaret
Just like Visheshwar, the mosque was built on top of remains of the temple, as a trophy of Islam’s conquest over Christianity & Pagan gods. The ancient sacred sculptures were smashed to bits & their marble limbs, torsos & heads were burned in a kiln to provide lime for mortar.
The ancient Erechtheion north of the Acropolis, which was the shrine for a giant statue of Athena, was converted by the Muslims into a sex harem for Turkish soldiers. The Temple of Athena Nike was dismantled & its blocks used to make structures to store guns & ammunition.
In 1687, the Parthenon’s central portion collapsed to rubble when the Turks used it as a gunpowder magazine in their war against the Venetians. On 26 September, a Venetian mortar round, blew up the magazine, & the Parthenon was almost completely destroyed.
Myths to misappropriate history were created by Muslims to justify the mosque, since it was known as the ancient site of Plato’s Academy. He was fictionalized into a Muslim who constructed the Mihrab of the mosque to face Mecca & protected it with the bronze gates of Troy
In 1715, the Turks rebuilt a mosque on top of the remains of the Parthenon again, this time they covered its interior with a typical Islamic dome above an octagonal porch. This is eerily similar to Aurangzeb’s domed desecration of the Hindu Visheshwar Mandir at Kashi
When Greece became independent & regained control of Athens in 1832, it officially declared the Parthenon a protected archaeological site & radical measures were taken to eliminate every trace of the barbarians who had occupied & contaminated the sanctuary for so long
To restore Parthenon back to its original state, changes were implemented so that all traces of medieval Christian buildings & the Islamic mosque & minaret were fully demolished. The only remaining image of the mosque is preserved in Joly de Lotbinière’s photograph, (1842)
All signs of Islamic occupation were erased. Excavations were carried out, many priceless buried sculptures of Greek gods & goddesses were unearthed & preserved. Portions of the buildings in the complex were meticulously reconstructed to approximate their original state.
Since its renewal as a historical precinct by the Greek government, the Parthenon attracts millions of tourists every year. They travel up the path of the Acropolis, through the restored Propylaea, up the Panathenaic Way to the Parthenon, just as pilgrims did centuries ago.
Today, the Parthenon is considered as the pinnacle of architectural achievement in the West. Had the Greek nation not chosen to preserve this temple by reclaiming it from the damage of fanaticism, the world would have forever lost this invaluable testament to world heritage.
Kashi Visheshwar is more ancient than the Parthenon with a long recorded history dating back 1000s of years. The world celebrates when the Parthenon is reclaimed from Islamic iconoclasm, but when Hindus seek the same for Gyanvapi, why are we labelled intolerant hatemongers?
100s of sites exist in Bharat where Mosques were built atop Hindu temples, & sacred icons trampled under intolerant feet. Greece courageously reclaimed its timeless heritage from the barbaric damage by Islamic invaders. It is now high time that Hindus begin to reclaim theirs.