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Marbles Reunited

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  Marbles Reunited is a British, membership-based campaign organisation with offices in central London. It co-ordinates a campaign of activities to promote the case for the reunification of the Parthenon sculptures currently housed in the British Museum, and commonly known as the ‘Elgin marbles’, with the remaining surviving sculptures in Athens, Greece.  This campaign is based on the belief that the Parthenon sculptures are best seen and studied as a single collection within sight of the 5th century monument they were once an integral part of, namely the Parthenon. On this website one may find information on the reunification debate, background to the campaign and information as to the different ways in which individuals can express their support.  The Australian newspaper “The Age” ran an editorial titled “Britain runs out of excuses for keeping Elgin Marbles” on May 13, arguing that “with most Britons supporting the Greek claim, Britain ought finally to return its ill-gotten ‘marbles’ to where they belong.  

Athens: A New Look for an Old City

Acropolis Museum

(photo: When it opens in June, the New Acropolis Museum will display treasures from the Parthenon /Cameron Hewitt) 
(www.minpress.gr / NBC, 28.04.09)  NBC’s Rick Steve reports on Athens’ dramatic change. The city of about 4 million has made a concerted effort to curb pollution, clean up and pedestrianize the streets, spiff up the museums, build a new airport, and invest in one of Europe’s better public-transit systems.  Athens still has its “big three” sights: the Acropolis, the Ancient Agora and the remarkable National Archaeological Museum. In June the fourth big sight of the city is opening – the New Acropolis Museum.
The new museum is a world-class space, custom-built to showcase the Parthenon sculptures, a state-of-the-art building worth a look itself.   Besides sightseeing, Athens is ideal for strolls and wanderings through the Plaka district, through the Monastiraki flea market and the Psyrri neighborhood. Read more…

Athens 2009: Something Old, Something New

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) NBC’s Rick Steve reports on Athens’ dramatic change. “The city of about 4 million has made a concerted effort to curb pollution, clean up and pedestrianise the streets, spiff up the museums, build a new airport, and invest in one of Europe’s better public-transit systems.  Athens still has its “big three” sights: the Acropolis, the Ancient Agora and the remarkable National Archaeological Museum. In June the fourth big sight of the city is opening – the New Acropolis Museum. It is a world-class space, custom-built to showcase the Parthenon sculptures, a state-of-the-art building worth a look itself. City of Athens: www.cityofathens.gr/en; Breathtaking Athens: www.breathtakingathens.com

Baroso at the New Acropolis Museum

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso visited (26.4) the New Acropolis Museum. Culture Minister Antonis Samaras and Professor Dimitris Padermalis showed him around the venue, which will officially open its doors on June 20. Barroso said that it was a great privilege to visit this important museum before its official inauguration.Today, after having met with Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis, Barroso will attend a two-day international conference on “Biodiversity Protection Beyond 2010: Priorities and options for future EU Policy” in Athens, which will also be addressed by Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis and Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas

New Members at Parthenon Sculptures Reunification

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   Switzerland and Finland are two new members of the International Association for the Reunification of the Parthenon Sculptures. This association, consisting of various national committees, has been formed with the objective of supporting the return of all the “surviving” Parthenon Sculptures in the New Acropolis Museum in Athens. The addition of the Finnish and the Swiss Committees brings the number of participants to 17, including countries like Germany, the USA and United Kingdom. The Chairman of the Association David Hill (Australia), underlined the fact that consistent expansion of the association membership – since it was formed in 2005 – is a powerful reminder of the widespread and growing support around the world for the reunification of the Parthenon Sculptures. More information: Marbles Reunited

The Marble Road to the Acropolis

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  The remains of an ancient road – used to transport marbles for the construction of the monuments on the Acropolis from Mount Penteli – was unearthed during excavations in the northern Athenian suburb of Halandri. The existence of the special road was known for some time but this is the first physical evidence of its actual course, which coincides with what Manolis Korres, professor of Architecture at the National Technical University of Athens had already depicted in a set of vivid drawings in his book “From Pentelikon to the Parthenon.” More information: Smithsonian Magazine – Unlocking Mysteries of the Parthenon Other Works by Korres: “The Stones of the Parthenon,” “From the Quarry to the Parthenon” 

Athens: Revamped Monastiraki Square

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  Athens residents as well as tourists can finally enjoy in full the newly refurbished Monastiraki square, at the heart of classical Athens. The square – at the foothill of the Acropolis, an intersection between the capital’s ancient heritage and its modern shopping centre which is always extremely popular with tourists – has undergone a thorough facelift that allows visitors to view, among other things, the bed of the ancient Eridanos (or Iridanos) River, while walking over a glass cover. Attiko Metro: Archaeological Excavations per Station

Admire the Propylaea after Restoration

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  The Propylaea, the 5th-century BC gateway to the Athens Acropolis has its own architectural significance and a long, stormy history that easily match that of the famous Parthenon. More than 16 years ago, a restoration project of the West Hall of the Propylaea began, and now visitors to the Acropolis can admire the structure, as the work is finally finished. Built by the architect Mnesicles beginning in 437 BC, the Propylaea’s construction was stopped five years later by the outbreak of the Peloponnesian War. Mnesicles is remembered as an innovative designer, whose construction, although never completed, continues to impress with its combined Doric-Ionic style, multi-level arrangement and unique symmetry. The function of the Propylaea changed later on, and underwent several changes, structurally. Now, after the intervention by state-of-the-art techniques, more than 1,200 fragments have undergone meticulous examination and repair, the scaffolding has been removed, visitors may admire the fine Ionic ornament. Athens Plus: Propylaea begins to emerge from restoration  (p. 12)

Snapshots from Greek History

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  Life Magazine’s historic photographic archive is now available on line through Google’s Image Search function. Out of 10 million photographs, Life Magazine (www.life.com) has already digitised 20%.  Photographs which revolve around Greece’s political, cultural and social life stretch through the period 1948-1968.  One may browse through the Life collection by theme (Civil War in Greece, Greek Children and Greek Tourist Story) or by keywords (Greece, Karamanlis, Acropolis, Callas, et al).  Secretariat General for Information: Feature Stories; Foundation of the Hellenic World: History of Modern Greece 

Preview of the New Acropolis Museum in London

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)     A presentation of the New Acropolis Museum, organized jointly by the Hellenic Foundation for Culture and the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) is taking place in London on December 2-3 (New Acropolis Museum: The London Preview). Professor Pandermalis, President of the Organization for the Construction of the New Acropolis Museum and Bernard Tschumi, lead Architect of the New Acropolis Museum will be guest speakers at the two-day event which will be held at RIBA’s Jarvis Hall, under the auspices of the Greek Ministry of Culture.  On December 3, Pandermalis and Tschumi will deliver a lecture on the “architectural challenge” that was the project of the construction of the New Acropolis Museum at a workshop intended for architecture students from all architecture departments in the United Kingdom.

Vatican Lends to Greece Parthenon Fragment

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   The Vatican has given a fragment of the Parthenon’s frieze to Greece on a one-year loan, fulfilling a request by late Archbishop Christodoulos to Pope Benedict XVI, and it is on display at the New Acropolis Museum in Athens. “This gesture sets an example for others to follow and finally restore the unity of the Parthenon Marbles,” Culture Minister Michalis Liapis said. The Vatican fragment follows the repatriation of the “Palermo fragment”, another piece of the Parthenon marbles which had been kept at the Museum of Palermo in Italy and which was returned to the Hellenic Republic on the occasion of the Italian president’s official visit to Greece in September. Kathimerini daily: Vatican lends museum Parthenon fragment; Greek News Agenda: Italian President in Athens International Association for the Reunification of the Parthenon Sculptures: www.parthenoninternational.org; Secretariat General of Information: World Media on Greece – Acropolis and the Parthenon Marbles

Official Visit of Greek Prime Minister to the United Kingdom

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)    Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis concluded an official visit to the United Kingdom yesterday (October 20-21). The premier was accompanied by Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis. Within the two-day visit, the Greek leadership met with Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, David Miliband.  Speaking to the press, Karamanlis announced that the financial crisis topped the agenda in the discussions he held with his counterpart. He highlighted Brown’s fruitful contribution to the amendment of the situation at a European level, however, he clarified that Greece will first seek to protect the most vulnerable social strata against the repercussions of the turmoil.  Other topics included the future of the European Union, mainly the Lisbon Treaty, but also the bilateral relations of the two countries with particular emphasis on the situation in the Balkans and Cyprus. With regard to bilateral relations, Karamanlis reiterated Greece’s claim of the Parthenon marbles and their return to the New Acropolis Museum.  Yesterday afternoon, Prime Minister Karamanlis held talks with main opposition’s conservative party leader, David Cameron.  Athens News Agency: Karamanlis discusses global crisis with Brown; Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Greece-United Kingdom bilateral relations 

Retrieved Artefacts @ New Acropolis Museum

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   Some 75 artefacts, including the magnificent 6th-century vessel known as the Euphronios crater, will be presented at an exhibition which will be inaugurated at the New Acropolis Museum (www.newacropolismuseum.gr) in September. The artefacts present a special interest because they constitute artefacts of Greek and Roman origin that were found on Italian soil, and were subsequently illicitly exported abroad. Eventually, American museums (The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles) returned the artefacts to Italy and were later displayed in Rome as part of the “Nostoi: Capolavori ritrovati” (Greek for ‘Homecomings’: Italian for recovered masterpieces) in the beginning of 2008. The same exhibition – the retrieved artefacts – will be hosted by the New Acropolis Museum. The opening is scheduled for September 23 and the exhibition will run until the end of 2008. Together with the artefacts offered by Italy, the exhibition will also comprise artefacts displayed in foreign museums and private collections which have recently returned to Greece permanently. The New York Times – Arts: Nostoi: Recovered Masterpieces

Modern Architecture in Greece

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   In his article for The Times titled “Athens welcomes the ghost of Phidias to new rooftop gallery,” Marcus Binney reports that the new rooftop gallery built to display the Parthenon marbles is one of the most beautiful exhibition spaces in modern architecture. Besides the Parthenon friezes, the new museum will also display the superb sculpture from the outside of the temple with the statues of gods, horses and chariots from the end pediments and other famous sculptures, such as the female caryatids from the Erechtheion and friezes from the Temple of Athena Nike. Secretariat General of Information: World Media on Greece – Highlights; Athens Architecture: www.culture2000.tee.gr/

The New Acropolis Muzeum: A Guided Tour

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  The Guardian’s Kevin Rushby
gets a sneak preview of the £100 million museum in 
Guardian’s Kevin Rushby  that aims to reunite the Parthenon marbles.
View the video at
New Acropolis Museum: a guided tour
(25.07.2008 )

Greece: Affordable Destination

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   Greece and Italy have topped this year’s list published by the UK Post Office as Europe’s most affordable destinations for families. In a recent report about ’sightseeing on a shoestring,’ the UK Post Office highlighted countries offering benefits for families travelling with younger children. Attractions in Greece offering special deals for families include the Acropolis, Knossos and Mount Olympus.  Xpatathens.com: Greece and Italy most affordable European travel destinations

Noc z Herbertem w Warszawy / Night with Herbert in Warsaw

Służewski Dom Kultury zaprasza serdecznie na „Noc z Herbertem” która odbędzie się 27. lipca o godz. 20:00 przy ul. J. S. Bacha 15. Bardzo duża część dzieła Poety poświęcona jest Grecji (wiersze, eseje, listy) – zachęcamy więc do obejrzenia spektaklu poetyckiego poświęconego kulturze helleńskiej. Grecja pojawi się w filmach, w koncercie muzycznym, tańcu. Zakończenie „Nocy z Herbertem” o 4 rano 28. lipca – dokładnie w dziesiątą rocznicę śmierci Autora „Labiryntu nad morzem”.  Dziękujemy za przybycie i wierzymy, że będziecie Państwo zadowoleni. Ewa Willmann – Dyrektor Służewskiego Domu Kultury Andrzej Jarski – reżyser. w.sdk.waw.pl                                            ENGLISH VERSION
Zbigniew Herbert (b. 1924) is one of Poland’s most outstanding post-war poets. In the poem an internal dialogue occurs between the poet and his conscience, or between the present and the past. We shall be pleased if You will be able to come to Służewski Dom Kultury the 27th of July at eight in the evening. Greece will be presented (films, theatre, music, dance, supper) and – we hope – our common “Night with Herbert” You will long remember. With kind regards and warm greeting! Ewa Willmann – Director Andrew Jarski – Author of the “Night”

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“Parthenon Marbles Reunited” Steps up Campaing

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   The campaign for the return of the Parthenon Marbles to Greece has moved up a gear with the appointment by Marbles Reunited of a full-time Campaign Director, Thomas Dowson, who will be based in the organisation’s office in London. Andrew George MP, Chairman of the organisation says: “When the New Acropolis Museum opens later this year, the absence of the marbles will be obvious for the entire world to see… We have appointed a Campaign Director to up our profile, to enable an alternative dialogue between Greece and Britain.”  Secretariat General of Information: World Media on Greece – Acropolis and the Parthenon Marbles; Reunification of the Parthenon Sculptures Campaigns: www.parthenoninternational.org; www.elginism.com 

French Special Editions on Ancient Greece

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   Two French magazines that enjoy wide readership – “Le Nouvel Obrservateur” and “GEO” –  have published special issues on Greece. “GEO” special issue (GEO Histoire No9), titled “La Grece Antique” is about the Hellenic world as the inventor of the polis, democracy, theatre and philosophy. The focus is on Greek civilization, culture, mythology and on geographical areas rich in cultural heritage such as Crete, Cyclades and the Peloponnese. In the editorial by Jaen-Luc Marty it is suggested that the definitive “summer journey” is a journey to the history of Greece, a land once inhabited by gods and heroes. The special issue of  “Le nouvel Observateur” ( 18.6.2008 ) is dedicated to the century of Pericles, featuring articles on the status of women in Athens, the building of the Acropolis, the sophists, the invention of democracy and the education system. Clause Weill in the editorial notes that the shortcomings of our contemporary political system and the need to understand what has gone wrong was the inspiration behind this special on the century of Pericles, a century described as a “momentum of democracy”. Secretariat General of Information: World Media on Greece – Special Reports

Olympic Flame handed from Greece to Beijing

(ATHENS NEWS AGENCY) The Olympic Flame was turned over to the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games organisers on Sunday 30 March afternoon during an internationally televised ceremony at Athens’ venerable Panathinaiko Stadium, the site for the first modern Olympic Games in 1896, essentially inaugurating the reverse countdown for the closely watched upcoming Summer Games. (The Beijing Olympic Torch Relay 2008: torchrelay.beijing2008.cn/en  ; Beijing 2008 Olympic Games: en.beijing2008.cn  ) Continue reading