Tribute to poet Odysseus Elytis

On November 2, 2011 Greece commemorates the 100th anniversary since the birth of poet laureate Odysseus Elytis. To mark the centenary of his birth, 2011 has been designated as Elytis Year by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism. Odysseus Elytis was born in Heraklion, Crete on November 2, 1911 and died in Athens on March 18, 1996.
A major poet in Greek language, Elytis is also one of the outstanding international figures of 20th-century poetry. Elytis’ poetry has marked, through an active presence of over forty years, a broad spectrum of subjects with a rarefied and passionate stylistic touch. The first collections of poetry (Orientations, 1939, and Sun the First, 1943) are joyous and radiant, celebrating the Greek landscape as an ideal world of sensual enjoyment and moral purity.
His experience of the war in 1940s marks a departure from the sunny atmosphere of his early youth and poetry, colouring his long poem Heroic and Elegiac Song for the Lost Second Lieutenant of Albania (1943). The attempt of Elytis to identify himself with the nation and speak for himself and also for his country reaches its peak with Axion Esti (‘Worthy It Is,’ 1959), his central and most ambitious work for which he was awarded the 1979 Nobel Prize for Literature.
His experience of the war in 1940s marks a departure from the sunny atmosphere of his early youth and poetry, colouring his long poem Heroic and Elegiac Song for the Lost Second Lieutenant of Albania (1943). The attempt of Elytis to identify himself with the nation and speak for himself and also for his country reaches its peak with Axion Esti (‘Worthy It Is,’ 1959), his central and most ambitious work for which he was awarded the 1979 Nobel Prize for Literature.

Centenary Celebrations
The Athens Concert Hall is paying tribute to Odysseus Elytis by holding a two-day (October 31 to November 1) international conference titled Odysseus Elytis: The 20th century in the poetry of Elytis. The poetry of Elytis in the 21st century, exploring new approaches in the interpretation of his work.
On November 2 and 3, there will be an event of original music by George Kouroupos under the title Odysseus Elytis’ This Small, this Great World!, with poetry and prose set to music, representing the main facets of the work of Odysseus Elytis: lyricism, a restless spirit of inquiry, courage, spirituality, sensation and true emotions. Continue reading

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Lighting the way to 2010 Youth Olympic Games

The official ceremony for the Lighting of the Olympic flame that will burn at the inaugural Youth Olympics Games in Singapore will take place today (July 23) at Ancient Olympia.
In the presence of International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Jacques Rogge and Minister of Culture Pavlos Yeroulanos, the priestess will stand in front of the 2,600 year-old Temple of Hera and by using a concave mirror will light a silver torch with the sun’s rays.
As soon as the flame is lit, the Journey of the Youth Olympic Flame will begin travelling in five cities across the globe: Berlin, Dakar, Mexico City, Auckland and Seoul.
Yesterday, a successful rehearsal was conducted and hundreds of tourists, visiting the site where the Ancient Olympics were held from 776 BC to 393 AD, witnessed the event. The first ever Youth Olympic Games will be held from August 14 to 26 in Singapore.
Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Tourism: The Archaeological site of Olympia
(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)

Greece: Commemorating the Fall of the Berlin Wall

» Tear Down the Last Wall!

Two decades have elapsed since November 9, 1989, when the border separating Western from Eastern Germany was effectively opened.

Prime Minister George Papandreou attended the events, commemorating the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, held yesterday in Berlin. The premier called for the last wall still dividing a European city, Nicosia, to be brought down and stressed that “as Greeks and Europeans, we can shout: Tear down the last wall, the one that divides Cyprus into two.” In Berlin, Papandreou held also a meeting with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, during which they discussed issues of mutual interest. Kathimerini daily: PM sets sights on Cyprus wall

» “Breaking Down Walls, Building Bridges”

In Greece, the 20th anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall was commemorated in a special event, titled “Breaking down walls, building bridges” on November 8 at the City of AthensTechnopolis.

The President of the Hellenic Republic, Karolos Papoulias, Alternate Foreign Minister Dimitris Droutsas and the German Ambassador in Greece Wolfgang Schultheissaddressed the event, stressing the great importance of the fall of the Berlin wall, which has become the “symbol of freedom for all humanity.” The event organised under the auspices of the German Embassy in Athens. Droutsas also addressed the OSCE event celebrating the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall in Vienna on November 6.

» Conference: The Image of Germany

Τhe Association of Greek Press Attachés and the German Embassy in Athens are holding, on November 12, a conference titled “The public image of Germany,” at the Amphitheatre of theTheocharakis Foundation.

The event is being held on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the establishment of the Federal Republic of Germany, the 20th anniversary since the fall of the Wall and 10th anniversary since the transfer of the country’s capital from Bonn to Berlin.
Experts from Germany and Greece will discuss how the image of Germany has changed over the years, from the establishment of the Federal Republic of Germany, until the fall of the Berlin Wall and the restoration of the unity of the country [Programme, in Greek]. Government Spokesman George Petalotis will address the event. International Communication Policy Forum: “The Public Image of Germany

Greek Filmmakers to be Honoured at Berlin Film Festival

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   Two film directors, Theodoros Angelopoulos and Costas-Gavras will be two of the honoured personalities in this year 59th Berlin International Film Festival. Multiple-award winner Angelopoulos will present his new film ‘The Dust of Time” on February 12, while Gavra’s “The Eden is West” will be screened at the closing ceremony. Berlin Film Festival, also known as Berlinale is one of the most important cultural events on the international film industry’s calendar and always draws worldwide attention. Representing Greece, Panos Koutra’s film “Strella” will be screened in the Panorama section of the Festival.

Acropolis Exhibit in Berlin

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) An exhibition titled “The Restoration of the Acropolis and the New Acropolis Museum” at the Berlin Pergamon Museum presents: the restoration and preservation works carried out on the monuments of the Acropolis, the new Museum created in Athens to house the exhibits, and representative finds of the excavations in the area of construction of the new museum. The display includes original ancient works found at the site of the new museum, such as portrait busts of Aristotle and Plato, statues of Isis Panthea as well as Zeus. The display runs from March 6 to May 25, and will then travel to other international cities, including London, Vienna, and Washington.