Monkey Bite in the Lion’s Den

Monkey Bite in the Lion’s Den is a conspiracy theory first presented as part of the publication The Ever-Garden Effect by brazilian artist Barbara Marcel. The above images have also been shown as individual prints on archival paper (dimensions 70x100cm)

The text below accompanied the images in the publication.


Athenians stroll around the former Royal Gardens (now the Greek National Garden) in order to enjoy a beautiful piece of urban planning while at the same time they are able to daydream about a glorious era of their nation, the times when Kings and Queens, princes and princesses used to rule and protect their ancient land. But unfortunately, they are not aware of the fact that they pass by an outrageous admission of guilt, the proof of a plot that doomed Greece to be the small, weak country we know today.

The story begins almost a century ago, a few years after the end of World War I. On the 30th of September 1920 King Alexander the I was taking one of his daily walks on the family estate of Tatoi, Attica, close to the summer palace. His dog was allegedly attacked by a couple of domestic Barbary Macaque monkeys that belonged to a German officer, the gatekeeper of the estate. The King, showing his heroic nature, tried to protect his dog when one of the monkeys attacked him, biting him deeply on his leg and torso. Unfortunately, after three weeks, seven surgical operations and a few suspicious mistakes by his doctors, the King succumbed to his wounds.
At this point, it is important to note the relationship between the Crown and the great powers during the Great war. In 1917 Alexander’s father, King Constantine I, was deposed under severe Entente pressure due to his pro-German sympathies
and his relationship with the German Kaiser Wilhelm II –he was married to his sister, Princess Sophia of Prussia. He was exiled to Switzerland and left his younger son Alexander to lead the nation. Alexander was a young, brilliant man, intensely influenced by Eleftherios Venizelos, the liberal politician who wanted Greece to join The British Empire and France in a war against German expansiveness. Alexander trusted Venizelos, thus going to war against Germany and its allies in the Balkans (Bulgaria, Austria-Hungary and the Ottoman empire). The end of the war found Greece victorious; with numerous lands liberated from Slavic and Turkish rule. Greece was again a luminous, powerful state spanning two continents.
Alexander was living up to his name, liberating parts of Asia, mirroring the deeds of his ancient predecessor more than two millennia ago. But this was not something that made everyone happy in Athens or Berlin. Several groups, including Germanophile Masonic lodges and the -extremely influential in 1920s Germany- Jewish bankers, wanted Greece to be a small, weak
In this context, the peculiar animal attack and the inability (?) of the royal doctors to save the King seem rather suspicious. But how can any of this be proven? How far can we follow the trail of clues regarding the death of Alexander? Is there any proof that the attack was not an alleged accident but rather an assassination? The numerous assassination attempts against Venizelos make this argument certainly plausible.
One lead regards the story of the killer monkeys, which was apparently obscured by liberal bureaucracy. According to unnamed sources, the monkeys were not euthanised as stated in the official documents but were actually moved from Tatoi to the Royal gardens of Athens. In the Gardens they were kept in the magnificent tiger cage that Queen Amelia of the Hellenes had built in the 1850s. This outrageous action was lead by shadowy figures; people who wanted to secretly celebrate the weakening of Hellas and schemed to have these German-owned monkeys exhibited as living proof of their successful conspiracy. Who these people were remained a mystery up until 1998. It was at that time that in front of the tiger’s cage a small fountain was built with an inscription that looks harmless to the unsuspected eye. It writes: “An offer of the Lions of Greece”. What is the offer? The fountain? Some might think that. But the truth lies in the relation of the Masonic Lodge “Lions of Greece” with the German empire during the 1920s. Their interests in German expansionism, colonialism, finance and banking made Alexander’s reign unhelpful. Their position was weakened and they were planning for the return of their favoured Royal. Since Alexander did not have kids and was married to a commoner, in case he died, the crown would return to the German protege Constantine. Upon his return to power, King Constantine assisted in the defeat of his nemesis, Venizelos and his political moves led to the national disaster of 1922, a collapse that greatly benefited the Lions’ goals. Some researchers believe that this inscription is actually an admission of guilt on behalf of the masons. The matter must be investigated further, especially at a time that German expansiveness and colonialism reappears on a global scale and deeply influences Hellenic national sovereignty.