THE MASSACRE AT CHIOS

 

The Massacre at Chios (French: Scène des massacres de Scio) is the second major oil painting by the French artist Eugène Delacroix. The work is more than thirteen feet high, and shows some of the horror of the wartime destruction visited on the Island of Chios. A frieze-like display of suffering characters, military might, ornate and colorful costumes, terror, disease and death is shown in front of a scene of widespread desolation.  The painting was completed and displayed at the Salon of 1824 and presently hangs at the Musée du Louvre in Paris.

 

WHERES THE EXAGGERATION?

 

By SOFIA KONTOGEORGE KOSTOS

 

As part of an agenda to erase and manipulate historic truth on behalf of the Center for Democratic Reconciliation for Southeast Europe (CDRSEE):

Mr. Thanos Veremis, professor of modern history at the University of Athens; Mr. Dimitris Kastritsis, lecturer in Hellenic Studies and History; Ms. Christina Koulouri, chair of the History Education Committee must be looking at some other painting. It is claimed that French Artist Eugene Delacroix’s painting of the Massacre of Chios (1824) at the Louvre Museum in Paris is an exaggeration of the artist’s mind.

 

Actually, Delacroix’s Massacre of Chios does not show 50,000 butchered fathers and husbands; it does not reveal women and children being enslaved, raped, and murdered; it does not depict the Island of Chios reduced to ashes. And certainly . . . we don’t hear their screams and cries!

 

The following editorial was excerpted from a long report in The Times of London in 1822:

 

THE TIMES, LONDON, WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 1822

EDITORIALS, P. 2 Issue 11661

Many details of the horrible barbarities committed by the Turks at Scio [Chios] have already been laid before the public. We refer to a paragraph in the German papers, where will be found, in few words, the amount and effect of those barbarities.

 

A population of 120,000 souls has been reduced to about 900! and of them a considerable portion were dying every day of pestilence produced by multitudes of un- buried corpses. The most beautiful and flourishing island of the Archipelago is a desert. The most civilized, cul- tivated, and interesting people, the flower of Greece have been the greater part, exterminated—the residue expatriated, or sold for slaves by the unbelieving butchers of their kindred.

 

Yet acts like these were palliated, and by Englishmen: these acts were all but justified in Parliament, as being provoked, or at least irritated by the Greeks.

 

When did the Greeks deliberately and indiscriminately massacre the male inhabitants of an entire province? When did the Greeks carry off tens of thousands of defenseless women and innocent children, to glut their base avarice, or other execrable passions? Will the destruction of a faithless garrison, after a storm which its treachery had invited, be alleged as an equivalent for laying Scio [Chios] in ashes, and burying fifty thousand fathers, and husbands in the ruins of their own peaceful habitations?. . .

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Transcribed for educational and archival purposes only.