The museums had some variation; for instance, nine were built in urban centers and seven within or nearby archaeological sites. Yet, they achieved homogeneity in their underlying curatorial principles. An important achievement was to move beyond the strictly repository character of earlier museums and to codify chronological and typological classifications. Common tendencies involved packing as many objects as possible in one space and creating formal connections within media. In short, they followed the strict taxonomic character of museum display in the “age of archaeological flamboyance” (1870-1914). As Gazi points out, the majority of Greek curators had studied in Europe, mostly in
The one exception in curatorial practices came about through a British collaboration. In displaying the finds from Ritsona in the
Gazi also discusses Greek intellectual culture ca. 1900 and new notions of history that emerged through Paparregopoulos, Dragoumis, Palamas and other Demoticists. The archaeologist, “a national intellectual,” was caught between two competing models: classical purism versus historical inclusiveness (i.e. the incorporation of post-classical periods in the national identity). The 20th century ushered in the age of ambivalence towards antiquities, in contrast to the age of subservience preceded it. Gazi observes that the curators of the Greek museums were behind the times, stuck in the age of subservience. This might be one of Gazi’s most interesting conclusions with powerful repercussions. The institutionalization of the Greek museum as a palace of taxonomy removed the classical archaeologist from the forefront of intellectual debate. Perhaps at this juncture, 1900-1909, the Greek archaeologist ceased being an intellectual and became a bureaucrat.
Gazi refers to some great secondary literature, such as P. Kitromilides, “From Subservience to Ambivalence: Modern Greek Attitudes toward the Classics,” in The Impact of Classical Greece on European and Classical Identities, ed. M. Haagsma et al. (