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Greece: Nikopolis: The City of Victory

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   Nikopolis (Greek for “city of victory”) is an ancient city in western Greece. It was founded by the Roman Emperor Augustus to commemorate his naval victory in Actium against Mark Antony and the Queen of Egypt, Cleopatra in 31 BC. Its strategic location at the edge of a gulf in the Ionian Sea made it an ideal place for the Romans to impose their dominance in the region. Nikopolis quickly became a commercial, port city, as well as an important religious capital, favoured by the emperor who had granted the city freedom and privileges. Augustus also established the “Actian” athletic games, and honoured the God of light, Apollo. The 8th century marks the beginning of the city’s decline. First it was looted by Arabs and Bulgarians and was finally destroyed in the late 11th century. It was only in the beginning of the 20th century that the city saw the sun’s light again when it was revealed through archaeological excavations. Among the sites excavated we find walls dating back to the Roman era, a theatre and an Odeon, baths, an aqueduct and a Roman house, all restored. Visitors can also admire a variety of findings in the local museum of Nikopolis.

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Greek NASA’s Scientist Honored

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)    On August 8, the Prefecture of Grevena will honour Thanasis Economou, a scientist whose name is linked with most of NASA’s 50 years if history. Born in Grevena Greece, Economou left the country in the early years after the WWII. In 1964, he finished his studies in nuclear physics at Charles University in Prague and in the same year, he joined the Laboratory for Astrophysics and Space Research at the University of Chicago, which he never left. Economou started working for NASA again in 1964, its youngest scientist at the time. As early as in 1966, he contributed to NASA’s missions to the Moon (1966-1968 ) and in subsequent endeavours such as NASA’s Apollo program (1961-1975). Throughout his career, he has developed tools and techniques that enabled several of NASA’s famous missions to be carried out successfully, such as the latest Mars Pathfinder mission (1993-1997). Today, Economou is pleased with his achievements and often says that when people ask him about the most impressive image of space, the answer he gives back is the Earth, adding that this valuable commodity that is called ‘environment’ is in need of our protection and respect.

Greek Islands: Sifnos / Cyclades

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)    A grey landscape of rock, broken up here and there by a gleaming white chapel, is the first impression on visitors as the ferry draws into the harbour of the island of Sifnos. On a plateau six kilometers from the port, one encounters a unique spectacle: the whole of the plateau is covered with sparkling white villages which virtually blend into one another. The island was famous in ancient times for the wealth, which came from its gold and silver mines and the quarries of Sifnos stone. It enjoyed great prosperity in classical times, as can be seen from its treasury, dedicated to Apollo at Delphi.     More info: Tourist Guide 

Greece returns stolen artcrafts

(ATHENS NEWS AGENCY-MACEDONIAN PRESS AGENCY)  Greece returned to Albania two ancient statues which were stolen from the neighbouring country 17 years ago and smuggled into Greece. The first statue is a representation of goddess Artemis, dated second century BC, and the second one of Apollo, from the second century AD. Minister of Culture Mihalis Liapis stated that “the statues were finally returned to their rightful owners”. Continue reading