• Photos from Greece

    Events of Press Office

    Click to go to Events of Press Offce site















Extended visiting hours for museums and archaeological sites

Culture and Tourism Minister Pavlos Yeroulanos announced new extended visiting hoursof a number of museums and archeological sites in Greece on May 18.
The ministry said that the list will be further enriched in the future weeks, depending on the availability of staff.
The list includes some of the most popular sites and museums in Greece such as the Acropolis of Athens – Archaeological Site, which will be open from 8.00-19.00, all year round; the Thessaloniki Museum of Byzantine Culture; the Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki; the Archaeological Site of Philippi; the Archeological Museum and site of Mycenae; the Archeological Museum and site of Epidaurus; the Archaeological site of Mystras; the Archeological site and Museum of Afaia, Aegina; the Archeological Museum of Messenia; the Archeological site of Ancient Messene; the Catacombs on Milos island; the Herakleion Archeological Museum; the Archeological site of Knossos and the Spinalonga island on Crete.
The list also includes the Archaeological Museum of Drama; the Church of Panagia Kosmosoteira (Our Lady, Saviour of the World), in Ferres; the Grevena Archaeological Collection; the Museum of Asian Art, Corfu; the Archaeological Collection of Arta; the Byzantine Museum of Ioannina; the Ioannina Treasury; the Fortress of Ioannina; the Igoumenitsa Archaeological Museum; the Nekromanteion of Acheron; the Athanasakeion Archaeological Museum in Volos; the Archeological site of Nea Aghialos, Magnesia; the Byzantine Museum of Fthiotida at Ypati; the Monastery of Osios Loukas; the Corinth Archeological Museum.
Ministry of Culture & Tourism:  Brief Guides to Archaeological Museums in Greece Part I & Part II; YouTube: Culture in Greece [VIDEO] [Photo 3: The Nekromanteion of Acheron – Oracle of the Dead]
(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)

Acropolis Museum receives British award

The Acropolis Museum in Athens (see Photo Gallery) has won the British Guild of Travel Writers (BGTW) prestigious global award for the Best Worldwide Tourism Project for 2010.
The prize was presented to Deputy Culture and Tourism Minister George Nikitiades, during a ceremony in London on November 7.
Nikitiades thanked the organizers and the travel writers who voted for the Acropolis Museum, noting that this distinction opens the door for the return of the Parthenon Marbles to their home.
Nikitiades is currently in London with a Greek National Tourism Organisation delegation to participate at the World Travel Market fair, taking place from November 8 to 11.
Greek News Agenda (29.10.2010) Acropolis Museum: Best Overseas Tourism Project

Εκδηλώσεις “Ευρωπαϊκής Ημέρας Γλωσσών” (Βαρσοβία, 20-27/9/2010)- Συμμετοχή Γραφείου Τύπου Βαρσοβίας

Οι φετινές εκδηλώσεις της «Ευρωπαϊκής Ημέρας Γλωσσών 2010» πραγματοποιήθηκαν στη Βαρσοβία από τις 20 έως τις 27 Σεπτεμβρίου.
Το Γραφείο Τύπου, για μία ακόμη χρονιά, συμμετείχε στη διοργάνωση των εκδηλώσεων προβολής των ευρωπαϊκών γλωσσών, εκδηλώσεις που στοχεύουν στην ενημέρωση του πολωνικού κοινού για τον γλωσσικό και πολιτιστικό πλούτο των χωρών της Ευρώπης. Η Ευρωπαϊκή Ημέρα Γλωσσών θεσπίστηκε από το Συμβούλιο της Ευρώπης το 2001.
Διοργανωτές των εκδηλώσεων ήταν δεκατρείς χώρες, μέλη του EUNIC Cluster Βαρσοβίας (European Union National Institutes for Culture): Ελλάδα (Γραφείο Τύπου Ελληνικής Πρεσβείας), Εσθονία (Πρεσβεία Εσθονίας), Ιρλανδία (Πρεσβεία Ιρλανδίας), Μεγ. Βρετανία (British Council), Βέλγιο (Πρεσβεία Βελγίου), Δανία (Πολιτιστικό Ινστιτούτο Δανίας), Γερμανία (Goethe-Institut), Πορτογαλία (Ινστιτούτο Camoes), Γαλλία (Γαλλικό Ινστιτούτο), Ιταλία (Ιταλικό Ινστιτούτο), Αυστρία (Αυστριακό Ινστιτούτο), Ρουμανία (Ρουμανικό Ινστιτούτο), Ρωσία (Ρωσικό Κέντρο Επιστήμης και Πολιτισμού).
Στη διοργάνωση συμμετείχαν, επίσης, το EUNIC Cluster Βαρσοβίας, η Αντιπροσωπεία της Ευρωπαϊκής Επιτροπής στην Πολωνία, το πολωνικό Ίδρυμα για την Ανάπτυξη του Εκπαιδευτικού Συστήματος, το Πανεπιστήμιο Βαρσοβίας, το Εκπαιδευτικό Τμήμα του Δήμου Βαρσοβίας, το Κρατικό Εθνογραφικό Μουσείο στη Βαρσοβία, η Δημόσια Βιβλιοθήκη της συνοικίας Praga (Δήμος Βαρσοβίας), το πολωνικό Κέντρο για την Ανάπτυξη της Εκπαίδευσης, η πολωνική Κρατική Επιτροπή για την Πιστοποίηση της Επάρκειας της Πολωνικής ως Ξένης Γλώσσας. Οι εκδηλώσεις τελούσαν υπό την αιγίδα του πολωνικού Υπουργείου Εθνικής Παιδείας, του πολωνικού Υπουργείου Επιστήμης και Ανώτερης Εκπαίδευσης, της Δημάρχου Βαρσοβίας και της Πρυτάνεως του Πανεπιστημίου Βαρσοβίας.
Η απήχηση των εκδηλώσεων τις προηγούμενες χρονιές οδήγησε τους διοργανωτές στην απόφαση για την φετινή διοργάνωση πολυήμερων εκδηλώσεων, με ποικίλο περιεχόμενο.  
Το πλήρες πρόγραμμα, που περιελάμβανε, μεταξύ άλλων, ημερίδα, μαθήματα γλωσσών, σεμινάρια, φεστιβάλ ταινιών, street game, κ.ά., μπορεί να αναζητηθεί στην ηλεκτρονική σελίδα των εκδηλώσεων www.edj.waw.pl

Przemek Kordos, Maria Mondelou, Pantelis Gianoulis at the Greek stand

Η ελληνική συμμετοχή στις εκδηλώσεις, η οποία περιελάμβανε μεταξύ άλλων φεστιβάλ ταινιών, μάθημα ελληνικής γλώσσας, σεμινάριο για το ζεϊμπέκικο, ελληνικό περίπτερο κ.ά., διοργανώθηκε από τη Γραμματέα Επικοινωνίας, Μαρία Μονδέλου.
Αναλυτικότερα, η ελληνική συμμετοχή είχε ως εξής: Continue reading

Greece`s presentation by the Greek Embassy and the Press Office at the European Information Centre in Warsaw (19/3/2010)

A presentation of Greece by the Greek Embassy and the Press Office in Warsaw took place at the European Information Centre of the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the 19th March 2010 (www.cie.gov.pl).
Various aspects of Greece were presented by the Deputy Head of Mission, Paraskevi Charitidou, and the Press Attache, Maria Mondelou.
The audience, 70  students of higher secondary schools of Warsaw, was informed about Greece`s geostrategic position, its political system, the participation in international organizations, such as the EU and the NATO, the Greek Presidencies in the EU.
A brief presentation of the Greek history, mainly during the modern and contemporary period, was followed by characteristic examples of Greek culture, in the fields of literature, poetry, music, theatre and cinema.
Views of the New Acropolis Museum were presented, as well as Greece`s request for the restitution of the Parthenon Marbles.
During the discussion, the students were informed about Greece`s foreign policy, the situation of the Greek economy, tourism, the educational system and the scholarships offered for foreign students. They were, also, particularly interested about the image of Poles in Greece and their life.
 The European Information Centre, that invited the Greek Embassy to make the presentation of Greece, organizes annually discussions with representatives of the EU member states.

Centrum Informacji Europejskiej  

Spotkanie z przedstawicielkami Ambasady Grecji
 19 marca 2010 r. w Centrum Informacji Europejskiej MSZ odbyło się spotkanie uczniów XL Liceum Ogólnokształcącego im. S. Żeromskiego oraz LXXV Liceum Ogólnokształcącego im. Jana III Sobieskiego w Warszawie z przedstawicielkami Ambasady Grecji. Ambasadę reprezentowały Pani Paraskevi Charitidou, zastępca szefa misji oraz Pani Maria Mondelou, Pierwszy Sekretarz w Biurze Prasowym Ambasady Grecji w Warszawie.
Prelegentki omówiły historię i system polityczny Grecji oraz aktualne działania Grecji w Unii Europejskiej. Opowiedziały również o warunkach studiowania w tym kraju i stypendiach dostępnych dla polskich studentów. Podczas prezentacji został wyświetlony krótki film o Atenach.
Po wykładzie miała miejsce dyskusja, w czasie której przedstawicielki Ambasady odpowiedziały na liczne pytania publiczności dotyczące stereotypów o Polakach, greckiej kultury, popularnych Greków, kryzysu gospodarczego, relacji z Turcją, aktualnego sporu między Grecją i Byłą Jugosłowiańską Republiką Macedonii przed Międzynarodowym Trybunałem Sprawiedliwości oraz doświadczeń czterech prezydencji Grecji w Radzie Unii Europejskiej.
W spotkaniu uczestniczyło ponad 70 osób.
(Polish text by www.cie.gov.pl)

OSCE Ministerial Council in Athens

» Papoulias Inaugurates OSCE Meeting

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) President of the Hellenic Republic Karolos Papoulias inaugurated yesterday the 17th Ministerial Council of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), taking place in Athens (1-2/12).
Papoulias welcomed delegates from the OSCE’ s 56 member states and described the international meeting as “an important political event and an opportunity to strengthen peaceful cooperation and promote the common goals of the member states, in order to reach tangible and substantive conclusions.”

» Papandreou’ s Address

The Corfu Process needs to be taken a step further in order to meet the challenges to European security in the 21st century, OSCE chairman-in-office, Greece’s Prime minister and Foreign minister George Papandreou stressed, addressing the first plenary session of the organisation’s 17th ministerial council.
“We have to agree on important decisions in the next two days to strengthen co-operative security across the OSCE area, to shape the work of our organization, and to create a strong foundation for Kazakhstan to build upon as it assumes the OSCE Chairmanship on January 1,” Papandreou said.
He also expressed his hope that a constructive spirit will prevail during the two-day deliberations of the meeting.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Speech of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office, Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Greece Papandreou, to the 1st Plenary session of the 17th OSCE Ministerial Council
See also Project Syndicate: Renewing Europe’s Security Dialogue by George Papandreou

» Sideline Meetings

On the sidelines of the OSCE ministerial council, Papandreou met with the foreign ministers of Finland, Alexander Stubb and Kazakhstan, Kanat Saudabayev, who together form the current OSCE “troika.”
Alternate foreign minister Dimitris Droutsas had a meeting with FYROM’s FM Antonio Milososki while the premier is scheduled to meet today with the foreign ministers of Russia and Turkey, Sergei Lavrov and Ahmet Davutoglou respectively.
At the end of the first day of meetings, the Greek OSCE chairmanship hosted a formal reception for the visiting diplomatic delegations at the Acropolis Museum.

Greece: Dear Real Estate

» Most Costly Shopping Destinations

Among the most expensive streets in the world for 2009, is Athens’ Ermou Street, ranking 12th, compared to last year, when it was 9th.  The top three in the list are New York’s 5th Avenue, worth €13,000 per square metre, Hong Kong’s Causeway Bay worth €11,600 Paris’s Avenue des Champs Elysses, worth €7,700, while Athens’ Ermou is €3,100.  Among the top ten expensive streets, Europe boasts streets in Paris, London, Milan, Zurich, Dublin and Munich which was this year’s surprise.The crisis in the real estate market seems to have significantly affected prices; however, these streets’ locations become a magnet, especially for major commercial brands.

» Shopping & the City

Ermou Street in downtown Athens offers an all-encompassing shopping experience.

Starting from Syntagma Square and stretching to the historic centre of Monastiraki, close to the Acropolis, this pedestrian road gathers shops for all tastes, as well as picturesque outdoor coffee shops, ideal for the city’s sunny and mild days.  Differentiating the Greek tourist product is the key to holding on to the country’s successful market shares.  To this end, special tourist destinations such as the city of Athens must receive more attention becoming even more competitive destinations in the “city break” section.  More information: Ermou.gr: List of Brands; Breathtaking Athens: Athens Shopping

500.000 Visitors at the Acropolis Museum

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) According to the Ministry of Culture, the latest numbers show that within the first two months of its operation (June 21-August 26), the new Acropolis Museum has so far attracted more than 500, 000 visitors, 60% of whom were foreigners.  Meanwhile, within the same timeframe, 409,000 users from 180 countries accessed the Museum’s webpage. As of September, the Museum launches its educational programmes destined to both pupils and teachers.  The opening of the Museum as well as its first days of operation, together with background information on the campaign for the restitution of the Parthenon Marbles received extensive coverage by foreign media.

During the opening, 440 reporters representing 167 media from 36 countries visited Athens to cover the event. As a result, from May to September, some 1,000 news items have been produced.  Secretariat General for Information: World Media on Greece – Acropolis & Parthenon Marbles; Greek News Agenda:Special Issue- The Acropolis Museum

Campaign to Return the Parthenon Marbles to Athens

» London

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) Having won a place on the fourth plinth in the north west of Trafalgar Square, as part of the “One & Other Project,” nineteen year-old Sofka Smales decided to dedicate her time and space to promote the cause of the restitution of the Parthenon Marbles.  On September 12, she stood on the plinth and explained why she thought that the cause was worthy. “I have always felt that the Parthenon Marbles should rightly be returned to their country of origin. Especially now, that a first class museum has been built to house them,” said Smales. Link to the organiser of the event, the British Committee for the Reunification of the Parthenon Marbles

International Campaign to Return the Parthenon Marbles to Athens: http://www.parthenonuk.com/  & www.parthenoninternational.orgwww.elginism.comwww.marblesreunited.org.ukwww.acropolisofathens.gr

» Paris

The right for the return of the Parthenon Marbles to Greece is highlighted in an article in France’s Le Monde newspaper (Le Parthénon mérite ses marbres) by author and honourary professor of Sorbonne University, Henri Godard who calls on the Louvre Museum to set a “good example”, by being the first to return to Greece pieces of the ancient monument, the Acropolis.  In his article, Godard maintains that the construction of the New Acropolis Museum weakens every argument of the past concerning those who refuse to return pieces, which have been removed from the Parthenon.   Voice of America: French Calling for Parthenon Marbles

The New Acropolis Museum at the World Media

The Acropolis Museum OppeningThe Acropolis Museum, designed by architect Bernard Tchumi with Michael Photiadis and their associates, has been constructed to exhibit the unique finds and architectural sculptures of the Acropolis of Athens.  Its official inauguration took place on June 20, 2009 and was attended by Heads of States and Governments, Ministers and other officials from around the world. The Secretariat General of Communication – Secretariat General of Information operated the Press Center for the official inauguration from June 17 through June 20 and facilitated more than 400 journalists and photographers, representing95 Greek and 167 foreign Media.  The Acropolis Museum has a total area of 25,000 square meters, with exhibition space of over 14,000 square meters, ten times more than that of the old museum on the Hill of the Acropolis offering all the amenities expected in an international museum of the 21st century. The admission price for the museum has been set at one euro throughout 2009, while from 2010 the admission price will rise to 5 euros.  According to Culture Minister Antonis Samaras, the new Acropolis Museum received 90,000 visitors in the first seven days since its official inauguration on June 20. The average number of tickets for the e-ticketing section for the first five days reached 11,000, while visits to the museum’s website exceeded 260,000 from the Americas to Nepal and Mongolia.

World Media on the Acropolis Museum

The Black Parthenon

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   Black Parthenon is a public art installation at Federation Square, Melbourne, by artist Konstantin (Kon) Dimopoulos. It concerns cultural appropriation, and in particular the Parthenon Marbles, calling for their return. Black Parthenon uses various levels of scaffolding around which black perforated cloth is used as cladding to create an architectural imprint, a silhouette of the Parthenon.  During the day the installation is a black funerary altarpiece that reflects a sense of loss; a void in the national psyche of countries which have had cultural icons and treasures taken away from them.  At night Black Parthenon explodes into vibrant white and blue light, the Parthenon’s iconic simplicity illuminating the surrounding darkness.  Black Parthenon, is part of a larger forum and programme calling for the return of the Parthenon Marbles to Greece.  Secretariat General of Information: Hellenic Culture Abroad- Exhibitions- Black Parthenon Installation, Melbourne, Australia & International Campaign to Return the Parthenon Marbles to Athens

New Acropolis Museum Welcomed Internationally

Acrop Museum(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  The New Acropolis Museum received more than 90,000 visitors during the first seven days since its official inauguration on June 20, while visits to the new museum’s website exceeded 260,000 from 169 countries, from the Americas to Nepal and Mongolia, Culture Minister Antonis Samaras announced during a press conference, a week after the celebrations.  The cost of the inauguration events, which were attended by several foreign heads of state and government, was far less than the anticipated sum of €3 million. The minister emphasised that the authorities’ target to attract attention through the international media was successfully met. According to Secretary General of Information Panos Livadas, 440 journalists representing 167 media organisations from 36 countries covered the event, producing over 760 news pieces.  Greek News Agenda: Special Issue- The New Acropolis Museum

The Acropolis Museum Attracts Scores of Visitors on First Day

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) Hundreds of people –both Greeks and foreign tourists- rushed to visit the museum on Sunday, the first day it opened to the public. Until tomorrow (June 23), only visitors who have booked their tickets through Internet will be able to admire the 4,000 artefacts on display. From June 24, visitors can turn up at the museum and purchase a ticket at the entrance. Themuseum is open every day from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. except for Mondays and public holidays. Tickets are priced at €1 until December 31, after which date they are expected to rise to €5. Kathimerini daily: Visitors flock to new museum

The Acropolis Museum Officially Inaugurated

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) The New Acropolis Museum was officially inaugurated on Saturday evening (20.6) during a ceremony that brought together Greek and foreign dignitaries, boosting hopes that the purpose-built museum’s opening will mark a “reverse countdown”  towards the reunification of the Parthenon Marbles.
“Today, the most important sculptures of the Parthenon can be viewed together. Some are missing. It is time to heal the wounds of the monument with the return of the marbles where they belong” said Hellenic Republic President Karolos Papoulias in his address at the opening ceremony. Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis stressed that the new museum “is the achievement of all Greeks, for the entire world to enjoy. It is the property of universal culture”.  On his part, Culture Minister Antonis Samaras expressed optimism that the [pieces] that are missing, those that were taken apart 207 years ago will return.

“Parthenon marbles were looted” he said “but this looting can be redeemed and repaired today. The Acropolis Museum is a moral force that attracts the marbles back to where they belong.”  Following the ceremony, the distinguished guests –amongst whom were EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, UNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura, the Presidents of Cyprus and Bulgaria, Demetris Christofias and Georgi Parvanov, several Prime Ministers and Culture Ministers- were given a tour around the museum by Prof. Dimitrios Pandermalis, president of the new state-of-the-art facility. World Media on Greece: www.minpress.gr; Google News: Greece’s Acropolis Museum Greek News Agenda: Special Issue – The Acropolis Museum

The New Acropolis Museum: Opening Online

Fanfare as Acropolis Museum opens

(BBC NEWS)  A glamorous ceremony was held as the long-awaited Acropolis Museum was officially opened in Athens.  (VIDEO)
The modern glass and concrete building, at the foot of the ancient Acropolis, houses sculptures from the golden age of Athenian democracy and offers panoramic views of the stone citadel where they came from. FOR MORE

Greece urges return of sculptures

(BBC NEWS) The Acropolis was lit up as the new museum opened in style. VIDEO Greek President Karolos Papoulias has renewed his country’s call for Britain to return sculptures removed from the Parthenon in Athens 200 years ago.  At the opening of the Acropolis Museum, Mr Papoulias said it was “time to heal the wounds” of the ancient temple. FOR MORE

New Acropolis Museum opens with lavish party

(ASSOCIATED PRESS / By NICHOLAS PAPHITIS) The Acropolis Museum Oppening ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Gods, heroes and long-dead mortals stepped off their plinths into the evening sky of Athens on Saturday during the lavish launch of the new Acropolis Museum, a decades-old dream that Greece hopes will also help reclaim a cherished part of its heritage from Britain. The digital animated display on the museum walls ended years of delays and wrangling over the ultramodern building, set among apartment blocks and elegant neoclassical houses at the foot of the Acropolis hill. The nearly euro3 million ($4.1 million) opening ceremony was attended by some 400 guests, including European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, UNESCO Director-General Koichiro Matsuura, and foreign heads of state and government. Conspicuously, there were no government officials from Britain, which has repeatedly refused to repatriate dozens of 2,500-year-old sculptures from the Parthenon temple that are held in the British Museum.  President Karolos Papoulias said Greeks think of the Acropolis monuments as their “identity and pride,” and renewed the demand for the missing marble works, displayed in London for the past 200 years. “The whole world can now see the most important sculptures from the Parthenon together,” Papoulias said. “Some are missing. It is time to heal the wounds on the monument by returning the marbles that belong to it.” Culture Minister Antonis Samaras said the sculptures “will inevitably return,” but ruled out Greece acknowledging the British Museum’s legal title to the works — as requested by officials in London as a precondition for any loan. FOR MORE

Old Videos

The concept of the Acropolis Museum. (VIDEO)   Preparing the exhibition: The new Acropolis Museum . (VIDEO)  Preview of Acropolis Museum (VIDEO)

The BBC for the Openning

(BBC NEWS) News has posted a slide show of the new Acropolis Museum, which opened to the public today (title link). The marble statue of a youth on the right is the famous Kritios Boy (c.480 BC) so named because it is attributed to Kritios. This statue is the earliest known example of contrapposto (counterpoise) a term which refers to the off-centre weight shift of a statue to produce a more natural and relaxed pose. (Praxitelles’ Apollo Watching a Lizard is a fine example of contrappostoCLICK). The Kritios Boy was unearthed in Athens in 1865. Despite its monumental appearance, it is less than 4 feet tall. FOR MORE

New Acropolis Museum the perfect home for Elgin Marbles, say Greeks

(BBC NEWS) Workmen were putting the finishing touches yesterday to Ancient Greece’s newest and most extravagant showcase, the New Acropolis Museum, due for a fanfare-filled inauguration today. But conspicuously absent are the very relics which the €130m futurist building was expressly designed for: the Elgin Marbles.    The airy top floor of the 25,000 square metre museum, offering an unparallelled view of the Parthenon atop the Acropolis a couple of hundred yards away, has been reserved for when the Marbles — as many Greeks devoutly hope — return.  Yet as dozens of dignitaries arrived for the opening that Antonis Samaras, the Greek Minister for Culture, promised would be “a magical atmosphere with musical surprises”, it seemed likely that the Parthenon Hall, as the glass-domed top floor is called, would remain empty for a considerable time to come. FOR MORE

Acropolis museum raises Marbles’ hopes

(BBC NEWS) As the new Acropolis museum opens in Athens, Frank Partridge investigates whether the long-running dispute between Britain and Greece over the Parthenon Marbles will be resolved. Museums are not renowned as places of high drama, but everything about the glassy, angular structure that has appeared at the foot of Acropolis Hill is dramatic. The design is provocative, the contents breathtaking, and its showpiece gallery is intended to deliver a cultural and political thunderbolt as powerful as anything the goddess Athena once threw. FOR MORE

New Acropolis Museum in Polish Media

“Rzeźby na przymusowym wygnaniu”

GRECJA OTWIERA MUZEUM I WALCZY O EKSPONATY

Acropolis Museum(tvn24.pl) Nowoczesne Muzeum Akropolu zostanie uroczyście otwarte w sobotę. Będą w nim prezentowane rzeźby i inne dzieła sztuki ze szczytowego okresu starożytnej demokracji ateńskiej. – Nie możemy dedykować tego wspaniałego, nowego muzeum całym sercem – żali się grecki minister kultury. Ateny bezskutecznie domagają się od Wielkiej Brytanii zwrotu części cennych eksponatów. FOR MORE

Elgin & the Meaning of the Acropolis

hitche(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  Christopher Hitchens, The Elgin Marbles: Should They Be Returned to Greece?, Verso, 1998 “In 1801 Lord Elgin, then British ambassador to the Turkish government in Athens, had pieces of the frieze sawed off and removed to Britain, where they remain. Here Christopher Hitchens recounts the history of these precious sculptures and forcefully makes the case for their return to Greece…” Eleana Yalouri, The Acropolis, Berg Publishers, 2001 “This book looks at the meaning of the Acropolis in contemporary Greece. How are global ideas adopted and adapted by local cultures? How do Greeks deal with the national and international features of their ancient classical heritage? How do the global cultural constructions surrounding the Acropolis become part of local practices which project Greek cultural difference?” Mary Beard, The Parthenon, Profile Books, 2004 “The ruined silhouette of the Parthenon on its hill above Athens is one of the world’s most famous images. Its ‘looted’ Elgin Marbles are a global cause célèbre. But what actually are they?”

The New Acropolis Museum

Making it as good as new…

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) Three days remain until the grand opening of the new Acropolis Museum, on June 20. Both the Museum’s organisation team and the Ministry of Culture are working closely to put the final touches on the surrounding area and of course, the Museum itself. The Acropolis Museum Website: www.theacropolismuseum.gr
• THE OPENING: June 20, a night to remember….
Fulfilling the core philosophy the ancient monument represents, the official inaugural event will not indulge in excessive or ostentatious displays, but will become a moderate festivity with artistic infusions. The guest list is long and comprises heads of state and government, royalties, top level officials, eminent academics and presidents of other museums. New technologies will be used to showcase the antiquities, acting as the “artistic event” of the evening. A dinner on the museum’s terrace will close the event and a cruise of the Saronic Gulf has been organized for the day after the inauguration ceremony for the heads of state and government attending. Tune online and watch the opening ceremony on June 20th. New Acropolis Museum Organising Committee: Preparing the museum

• THE MUSEUM
♦ A Museum of Sculpture and Light….

The New Acropolis Museum is a purpose built museum by architects Bernard Tschumi and Michalis Fotiades to house the archaeological findings related to the Acropolis Hill. It is located at the foot of the Acropolis (300 metres -980 feet-southeast of the Parthenon) and the total cost of the museum was €130 million.  The first Acropolis Museum was completed in 1874. Successive excavations on the Acropolis have uncovered many new artifacts which needed additional space for their housing. The initiative for a new museum coincided with Greece’s campaign over the return of the Elgin Marbles. Greece claims that the new museum offers both a technically and historically unparalleled shelter for the Acropolis’ treasures. Quoting the architect, “the museum appears effortless and almost undesigned.” The goal of the orchestrated simplicity is to focus the viewer’s emotion and intellect on the extraordinary works of art. Thus, the extensive use of glass in the Museum. The design allows for the free flow of natural lights into the museum spaces through 50 skylights, while the Parthenon gallery is flooded by light.
♦ Digital Parthenon
The museum’s crown jewel is the Parthenon gallery, where the entire frieze is exhibited in the same order and with the same directional orientation as when it adorned the monument. Visual contact from the gallery to the monument was set as a prerequisite and as a result, the visitor can now relish a breathtaking view of the Acropolis, the surrounding historic hills and contemporary Athens. Speaking to the Financial Times (June 4), the President of the museum, professor of archaeology Dimitris Pandermalis said that the “arrangement and labelling of sculptures, from the freize of the Parthenon to the dozens of free-standing pieces is designed so that people can wander around, stop and look, feel they are engaging directly with the antiquities.” Culture Minister Antonis Samaras stressed the importance of digital technology. “It has a big role to play in explaining not just the ancient world but modern Greek history. We would like to have visitor centres at the main sites that would use virtual reality to recreate scenes from daily life as well as the big battles,” he said. Ministry of Culture: www.parthenonfrieze.gr &  Play with the Frieze Acropolis Restoration Service: Let’s Go to the Acropolis! – Kits
A Symbolic Entrance Fee
Samaras announced that entrance to the museum will cost €1 for the first six months. 2,200 tickets will be on sale online (e-ticketing) for the first three days, while about 2,5 million visitors are expected every year.  The Acropolis Museum was recently selected as the main motif for a high-value euro collectors coins: the Greek Acropolis Museum commemorative coin, minted in 2008.  This coin was issued to commemorate the re-opening of the museum. On the obverse, a panoramic view of the Acropolis can be seen; the museum resides in the base of it.
THE SIZE: The largest and finest one of all…
The words describe the famous sanctuary of ancient Athens, the Acropolis, as it so happened that the Acropolis of the fifth century BC was the most accurate reflection of the splendour, power and wealth of Athens at its greatest peak.  The New Acropolis Museum is 25,000 square metres with exhibition space of over 14,000 square metres- ten times more than that of the old museum.  The glass encased Parthenon Gallery is 7.5 metres high and has a floor space of over 3,200 square metres. It hosts approximately 4,000 artefacts.  The museum will offer all the amenities of an international museum of the 21st century.

THE TECHNOLOGY: The Old Masters; how well they understood

Just as the ancient masterpiece prevailed upon its contemporary monuments worldwide in craftsmanship and technology, the New Acropolis Museum is also designed and constructed based on environmental friendly and functional novel techniques, becoming that as well a monument of dexterity and grace.  In particular, the Museum’s novelties focus on a shell of glass covering the Parthenon gallery which allows natural light, while protecting contents from radiation and maintaining a normal temperature.  The floors of glass – 5 centimetres thick – are designed to provide the visitor with a view to the 2.5 acre area of underground excavations. The special soundproofing materials and the anti- seismic construction standing on 92 pillars are designed to endure a quake measuring up to 10 on the Richter scale.

ACROPOLIS: The lance of Athena’s statue was visible from miles away…

At the entrance of the Acropolis once stood an immense statue sculptured by Phidias, that of goddess Athena fighting in the frontline (Athena Promachos).  The colossal bronze statue is lost, but according to descriptions it was so large that ships approaching the coast of Attica could see Athena’s lance.  For the first time after 200 years of archaeological excavations at the on the rock of the Acropolis, all the significant findings will be displayed together in the one museum, telling the complete story of the Athenian Acropolis and its foothills.  Rich collections dating from prehistoric times through to the Archaic, Classical, Hellenistic and Roman periods and up to late antiquity (700 AD) will provide visitors with a comprehensive picture of the centuries-old human presence on the sacred site.  The sculptural decoration of the Parthenon, the Erechtheion, and the Temple of Athena Nike, (the four major monuments built on the Acropolis under Pericles), together with the Propylaea (entrance, the gates) comprise some of the most important Classical architectural sculptures.  Among these, the Parthenon frieze with the splendid portrayal of the Panathenaic procession, the metopes and the pediments, the famous Erechtheion caryatids and others.  Ministry of Culture: The Archaeological site of the Acropolis of Athens & The Acropolis Restoration Project National Geographic Channel: The secrets of the Parthenon VIDEO

WORLD MEDIA ON THE MUSEUM

The New Acropolis Museum has been in the spotlight of the foreign media for years. The media report on the museum making references to the historic resonance of the event, the artistic superiority of the museum’s building, as well as to the problems which emerged during its construction.  The Press also emphasises the international campaign over the repatriation of the Parthenon marbles showcased in the British Museum and Melina Mercouri’s personal contribution to the cause of the marbles’ reunification.

PROMOTION AROUND THE GLOBE

The new museum has helped revive the interest in Greece’s classical heritage.  The achievement of creating a new home for something which is considered part of Greece’s supreme legacy has sparked a series of cultural events almost in every continent.  From the United States to China, and from Athens to Helsinki foreign audiences have been offered a vivid, detailed and comprehensive presentation of both the Acropolis treasures and the new museum.  Secretariat General of Information: Press Center for the inauguration of the New Acropolis Museum & The Acropolis Museum: Press Kit

PARTHENON MARBLES: THE INTERNATIONAL CAMPAIGN
“In the name of the world’s cultural heritage…”

The movement to reunify the Parthenon Marbles, which are situated at the moment in the British Museum, has been gathering remarkable support worldwide over the years and especially during the last months. In fact, in view of the New Acropolis Museum’s opening, Greece’s claim for the restitution of the Marbles has grown all the stronger. Parthenon international“- an association of various national committees from different countries, the “American Friends of the New Acropolis Museumorganisation or the British campaign group “Marbles Reunited” are part of the international campaign sharing the same vision of the marbles’ return. On June 15, Parthenon International sent a letter to both the British Museum and the British Government, communicating their view on the matter.
Melina Mercouri: “Culture is Greece’s heavy industry”

Internationally renowned Melina Merkouri (1920-1994) was a towering figure of Greece’s cultural life of the 20th century. Daughter of an MP and grandchild of Spyridon Mercouris, a former mayor of Athens, the actress, singer and politician Melina Mercouri was an ardent supporter of the Parthenon’s Marble repatriation. As minister of Culture, Mercouri openly claimed the Parthenon Marbles and devote herself to it. Together with her husband Jules Dassin president of the Melina Mercouri Foundation until his passing away (2008), Melina Mercouri led a successful campaign, a fruit of which could be considered the New Acropolis Museum.  Melina Mercouri Foundation: www.melinamercourifoundation.org.gr You Tube: Melina Mercouri describes the Parthenon Marbles [Footage screened on the Greek television programme  “Erevna”  (=Research)]

New Acropolis Museum: Tour of the permanent collections

Karyatides(ANA-MPA) The New Acropolis Museum, which will be officially inaugurated on Saturday, contains five Permanent Collections: The Acropolis Slopes, divided into sub-categories on The Settlement, and The Sanctuary; The Acropolis during the Archaic Period, with sub-categories on The Hekatompedon, The Ancient Temple, abd The Votives; The Parthenon, with sub-categories on The Monument, The Metopes, The Pediments, and The Frieze; Other Monuments of the Classical Acropolis, with sub-categories on The Propylaia, The Temple of Athena Nike, and The Erectheion; and Other Collections, with sub-categories on The Sanctuary of Artemis Vravronia, The Votives of the Classical and Hellenist Periods, and The Votives of the Roman Period. ANA-MPA takes its readers on a tour of the collections, in three parts, leading up to the official opening. The Museum opened its electronic gates (www.theacropolismuseum.gr) on Monday.
New Acropolis museum viewed from AcropolisTHE ACROPOLIS SLOPES
The first gallery of the Museum houses finds from the slopes of the Acropolis. The gallery’s glass floor affords views to the excavation, while its upward slope alludes at the ascent to the Acropolis. In antiquity, the slopes of the Sacred Rock constituted the transition zone between the city and its most famous sanctuary. This was the area where official and popular cults, as well as large and small sanctuaries existed alongside private houses.
The Settlement
Among the sanctuaries, or at a slightly lower level, archaeological excavations brought to light parts of the urban fabric of ancient Athens and gave evidence of its almost uninterrupted settlement from the end of the Neolithic period (about 3000 BC) until late antiquity (6th century AD). Houses and workshops, roads and squares, wells and reservoirs, as well as thousands of objects left behind by the local people in antiquity all provide valuable insight into the past. Most finds are made of clay, as objects made of other perishable materials have been lost to us, while the most valuable objects have been looted. The finds include tableware and symposium vessels, cooking pots, perfume holders, cosmetics and jewelry containers, children’s toys and others.
The Sanctuaries
The slopes, caves and plateaus of the Acropolis hill were sacred to gods, heroes and nymphs. The south slope was home to two of the most important sanctuaries of the city, those of Dionysos Eleuthereus and Asklepios. It was also the site of several other temples, smaller in size, yet of great importance to the Athenians. At a short distance from the Sanctuary of Asklepios was a small open-air temple dedicated to the Nymphe, who was the protector of marriage and wedding ceremonies. There, the Athenians dedicated the nuptial bath vases, as well as other votive offerings, such as perfume bottles, cosmetics and jewelry containers and symposium vases.
THE ACROPOLIS DURING THE ARCHAIC PERIOD
parthenonThe period throughout the 7th century BC, until the end of the Persian Wars is called Archaic. This period is characterized by the development of the city-state and the development of democracy. It is also characterized by great achievements in the economy, art and intellectual life. In the early 6th century BC, the cult of Athena Polias on the Acropolis continued to be pursued in her late-geometric temple. In 566 BC, the tyrant Peisistratos re-organized the Panathenaia, the greatest festival in honor of the Goddess. It is possible that at that time, for reasons of political propaganda, a large temple was erected at the site to be occupied later by the Parthenon. This temple is the Archaic Parthenon or Hekatompedon, dedicated to the military facet of Athena Parthenos, the patron divinity of the city.
The Hekatompedon
The earliest building known on the Acropolis was the Hekatompedon or Hekatompedos neos – meaning 100 feet long, and comes from an inscription referring to the layout of the sanctuary. It is thought that the building was built on the site, later occupied by the Classical Parthenon. The fragments of poros architectural members and sculptures uncovered to the south and east of the Parthenon, reveal that the Hekatompedon was a Doric peripteral temple. The lioness pediment is distinguished by its high-relief carving and its striking size. It depicts a lioness with an unusually bushy mane, rearing on its hind legs and tearing apart a calf. It is believed to have adorned the east pediment of the temple. Two compositions belong to the west pediment. The one to the left depicts Herakles on his right knee, wrestling with the Triton, a creature with a body of a man ending in the scaly tail of a sea monster. The group to the right is the Triple-Bodied Monster, a composite creature consisting of three male figures conjoined at the waist. Each figure holds an object in its left hand: the first has water, the second fire, and the third a bird (symbolizing air).
The Ancient Temple
The Gigantomachy pediment belongs to the decoration of the Old Temple of Athena. It has been argued that the Temple had an earlier building phase (570 BC), involving the poros sculptures that are now assigned to the Hekatompedon, while the marble sculptures were associated with a renovation by the sons of Peisistratos. It is possible, however, that the Temple was built and given its marble sculpted decoration in the last quarter of the 6th century BC. The compositions of the pediments consist of larger than life-size statues, carved in Parian marble, which are attributed to the workshop of an important Athenian sculptor, either Antenor or Endoios.
The Votives
From the time of Peisistratos onwards, the site of the Acropolis began to fill with votive offerings, offered to the Goddess, both as tokens of respect and as marks of financial and artistic development. These important offerings were mostly statues meant to please the Goddess. The human form was at the core of artistic pursuit, and its depiction resulted in technique perfection. On the Acropolis, statues and other expensive artefacts were commissioned by members of aristocratic families and wealthy professionals, manual workers, as well as women, such as washer women and bakers. Clay plaques depicted Athena either as Promachos, fully armed and resting one foot on a chariot, or as Ergane, seated and spinning.
Ministry sponsors children’s film dedicated to the New Acropolis Museum
The education ministry on Wednesday announced that it will debut a children’s film dedicated to the Parthenon atop the Acropolis, entitled “The Parthenon and its Sculptures”. The film will be shown primarily within the New Acropolis Museum’s main atrium, as the entire museum will officially be inaugurated on Saturday. MORE PHOTOS. Continue reading

www.The Acropolis Museum.gr

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   The website of the New Acropolis Museum is now open. (www.theacropolismuseum.gr). Visitors may take a virtual tour of the exhibition halls, learn the history of the museum and become more familiar with the cultural heritage of Greece from ancient times until today.   The e-ticketing service allows a prospective visitor to buy a ticket from anywhere in the world and choose the day and hour of the visit. During the first three days after the official opening of the museum – Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday (June 21, 22 and 23), the visitors will be able to buy tickets only online because the box offices will be closed. From June 21 to December 31, 2009, the cost of a ticket is a symbolic €1
Tune online and watch the opening ceremony on June 20th

56th Acropolis Rally: Finland Takes Lead

Finnish Mikko Hirvonen is the winner of the 56th Acropolis Rally which ended on June 14.  Ford driver Hirvonen, who now ranks 7th in the World Rally Championship, was trailed by Sebastien Ogier (France/Citroen) in second place and by fellow team mate and compatriot Jari-Matti Latvala (Finland/Ford) in third. Following the win, Hirvonen narrowed to seven points (55) his distance from front-runner and current world champion Sebastian Loeb (48, France/Citroen) -last year’s Rally Acropolis winner- who crashed out of the Rally on Saturday when his car hit a rock.