After 1,500 Years, Pagans Plan Acropolis Prayer

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A small group of pagans pledged Thursday to hold a protest prayer among the ruined Acropolis temples, more than 1,500 years after Christians stamped out worship of the ancient Greek gods.

Group spokeswoman Doretta Peppa said the worshippers would pray Sunday to Athena _ goddess of wisdom and patron of ancient Athens _ to protect the 2,500-year-old site. Peppa said followers of the old religion object to the removal last year of hundreds of sculptural masterpieces from a tiny museum on the Acropolis to a large new building under the citadel.

In a statement, her group, Ellinais, described the landmark glass and concrete structure as "an incredible architectural monstrosity that insults (Greece's) cultural heritage."

The $190 million building is where Greece hopes one day to display the Elgin Marbles beside the other Parthenon sculptures.

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