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Greece`s Ottoman Past

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) Approximately six hundred relics of the Ottoman period were found in Greece, according to a research study, conducted by the Istanbul-based Marmara University Professor Neval Konouk, during the last 2,5 years, commissioned by the Turkish ministry for Foreign Affairs, in 2007. 

According to Dr. Konouk’s comments to the Turkish daily Aksam on February 8, the complete survey will take the form of eight volumes, when completed in 2015, and the texts will be in Turkish, English and Greek.  
According to her research, much more Ottoman relics have been preserved, than originally considered.
As Dr. Konouk noted, “a tenth of the Ottoman relics located in Greece, representing 600 cases in total, have been saved.”  
In a relative development, the Greek Ministry of Culture has published in Greek and English, a 494 – pages special volume, titled “Ottoman Architecture in Greece.”
Institute for Neohellenic Research: Ottoman Epigraphy; Foundation of the Hellenic World: Ottoman Period

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Architecture in Greece

» From Neoclassicism…

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) The Municipal Gallery in Piraeus features an architectural exhibition. (September 22-24).  Titled “Deus ex machine,” the exhibition presents Piraeus Theatre’s 19th century technologically advanced stage mechanisms. The exhibition forms part of the “Days of European Cultural Heritage 2009” series of events.   The Municipal Theatre in Piraeus, built between 1884 and 1895, is an exemplary monument of 19th century public building architecture in Greece, influenced by the neo-classical style of the French and German traditions.  City of Piraeus: www.pireasnet.gr; Oxford University Press: Neoclassical Architecture in Greece

» …to Modernism

The aesthetic profile of Athens changed considerably, following the architectural contribution of some inspired Greek architects of the inter-war era. A special tribute has to be paid to the so called “Generation of the 30’s.”  Thanks to their architectural designs, Athens started exhibiting a large number of modern buildings, eloquently fitting the style of the contemporary trends of art nouveau, art deco, modern classicism, the radical modern movement etc.   Many of the buildings of the 30’s which Athens boasted ceded their place to uninspired blocks of flats, thus changing the capital’s profile profoundly.

The buildings which were salvaged resist time and poor taste bearing testimony of a past –yet cherished- Athenian style.
Secretariat General for Information: Architecture Benaki Museum: Neohellenic Architecture Archives
Athens Architecture: www.culture2000.tee.gr

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

Athens by Sound

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)    Athens by Sound (www.athensbysound.gr) is the national participation of Greece in the 11th Biennale of Architecture in Venice, with general theme: “Out there. Architecture beyond building” held September 13 to November 23, 2008 (Preview Programme) The Greek participation has chosen to focus on the sound of the city, so as to bring forth the non-visual qualities of space. The aim is to transform the Greek Pavilion into an interactive experience that results in a sonic mapping of Athens – the ultimate metropolis of Greece. Through this interactive installation, the curators address the multi-dimensional nature of our relationship with the city and its people in our everyday experience, which involves the sum of our senses. Curators: Anastasia Karandinou, Christina Achtypi, Stylianos Giamarelos

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/

Greece: On tourism and property

The need to upgrade tourism as a product and the search for efficient methods of tourist development will be at the very centre of the 2nd International Tourism and Property Show scheduled to take place in Athens, from February 22 to 24. Held under the auspices of the Ministry of Tourism, the event will bring together firms from the construction and tourism sector as well as the insurance, real estate management, and architectural-engineering, decoration and equipment sectors along with public sector enterprises with the ulterior aim of becoming a frame of reference for Greek tourism and property businesses.