Australian media is far from happy with Greece’s National Tourism Organization’s (EOT) latest promotion video entitled “Visit Greece: Gods Myths, Heroes” in which an Australian landmark — the infamous beach of the Twelve Apostles — is featured. “The Greeks consider themselves the founders of democracy and mathematics. Now they’ve taken credit for one of Australia’s most recognizable landmarks, the Twelve Apostles,” Australian newspaper The Sunday Morning Herald, underlined in its article entitled “Greece claims ownership of Twelve Apostles in tourism promotion.”
According to the Australian media, the controversy erupted after Australian astro photographer, Alex Cherney, realized that 15 seconds of his award-winning time-lapse film “Ocean Sky” has been used without his permission in the official Visit Greece campaign video.
“My video has been seen nearly two million times online since 2011, won some awards, and been featured as NASA’s astronomy picture of the day, so that’s probably why it was recognized. The fact that they’re showing the Twelve Apostles in a tourism video for Visit Greece is somewhat, you would say, preposterous,” Mr. Cherney said to The Sunday Morning Herald.
In his attempt to reach the director of the Greek tourism promotion video, Andonis Theocharis Kioukas, Mr. Cherney was surprised to find out that “Visit Greece: Gods, Myths, Heroes” has acquired a license for the footage and the plan is to keep using it!
The Greek Tourism Organization, in an attempt to justify what to the rest of the world perceived as a big blunder said in a statement that, “almost all the over the world, wherever you turn, you will meet an idea, a name, that originated from Greece. Even the skies of Australia in the southern hemisphere, when lifting your eyes upward, you will see stars and constellations that carry Greek names. The mythology of the sky at all latitudes and longitudes of the Earth is Greek.” Commenting on the statement, Mr. Cherney said it was a farcical defense.
This is not the first time that this specific promotion video has received negative press. The clip needed re-editing when it was revealed that it included footage of the torch-lighting ceremony from the 1936 Berlin Olympics, shot by Adolf Hitler’s official documentary filmmaker, Leni Riefenstahl.