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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

Greek Language Learning

On Line Learning
The Filoglossia+ consists of an educational multimedia CD-ROMs series for learning Greek as a foreign language, supported by English and addressed to beginners with little or no previous knowledge of Greek.
“Filoglossia” means fondness for language learning and the programme is mainly based on the communicative approach, focusing on the production and comprehension of both oral and written speech. “Filoglossia” is designed by the Institute for Language and Speech Processing (ILSP).

Looking Ahead
A new strategic plan for the support of Greek language learning in Greece and abroad was the focus of debates at an International Workshop on Greek Language and Linguistic Training, organized by the Centre for the Greek Language held from June 28 to 30 in Thessaloniki, with the participation of 60 Greek and Foreign linguists.
On the occasion, Education, Life-long Learning and Religious Affairs minister Anna Diamantopoulou said that the establishment of a National Council for the Greek Language would help draw a comprehensive strategy.
Creating an organization, similar to the German Goethe Institute or the British Council, which would operate with branches around the world could be an important vehicle to promote Greek language, culture, and history learning. The minister also announced that a conference is to be held in October focusing on the Education of the Diaspora.

• Learn a Greek Word Every Day!

It has been observed that relations of the Diaspora with the Greek language have been weakening over the years – especially with second and third generation migrants.
To help redress this, three friends from Chicago have designed an on-line Greek dictionary aiming to help English-speaking emigrants keep in touch with the language of the forefathers.
Greektionary.com was created to provide everyone with an opportunity to improve their Greek vocabulary on a daily basis.
Three words (beginner, intermediate and advanced) are chosen each day and displayed with their translations, pronunciation, examples, and recorded audio files (Mp3s). Those interested can sign-up and receive free Greek words everyday by e-mail!
(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)

Melina Mercouri: A tribute to the “last Greek Goddess”

Sixteen years have passed since Melina Mercouri, one of the great women of Greece, died on March 6, 1994. On the 16th anniversary of her death, as well as of International Women’s Day (March 8), the Eugenides Foundation is hosting an exhibition-tribute to the late, multifaceted actress and politician, emphasizing her relationship to education and culture. 
Internationally acclaimed actress, singer and politician, Melina was characterized by many as the epitome of womanhood, as well as the “last Greek Goddess.”
An ardent supporter of the repatriation of the Parthenon Marbles from the British Museum, Melina, as minister of Culture, openly claimed them and devoted herself to this goal.
The exhibition titled “Melina-Education-Culture” will run from March 9 to April 8. 
Melina Mercouri Foundation: www.melinamercourifoundation.org.gr
Greek News Agenda: Melina Mercouri: “Culture is Greece’s heavy industry

Papandreou at Conference on Progressive Governance in London

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) Prime Minister George Papandreou arrived in London yesterday and will be participating today at a Conference on Progressive Governance, on “Jobs, industry and opportunity: growth strategies after the crisis.”
The premier will speak at a panel on the theme “Europe after the global crisis: A strategic role for government,” together with his British counterpart Gordon Brown, Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero and Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg. 
While in London, Papandreou will attend a working luncheon with the British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and will meet with British Foreign Minister David Miliband.

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

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)]

British Foreign Minister on official visit to Greece

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)     British Foreign Secretary David Miliband, currently on official visit to Greece, held talks on Tuesday (26.5)  with Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis, Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis and leader of the opposition George Papandreou.  In statements after their meeting, Bakoyannis and Miliband said that the discussion covered a wide range of subjects, including the Cyprus issue, Turkey’s and the Western Balkans’ European perspective, as well as developments in the Middle East, Afghanistan and Pakistan, and climate change. Miliband stressed the need for a solution to the Cyprus issue “by Cypriots and for Cypriots” adding that achieving the desired solution would require courage and flexibility. He also praised Greece’s stance over the past 10 years with respect to European Union enlargement to Turkey and the western Balkans, describing it as “strong, clear and brave.” Kathimerini daily: British FM backs pact ‘by Cypriots

Treasures from Medieval Halkis

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)    A unique collection of Venetian medieval jewelry from Halkis is going to be presented for the first time before a scientific audience, on January 27 at the Gennadius Library of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens. The collection – the largest part of which belongs to the British Museum since the 19th century and smaller one to the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford – is to be presented at a lecture titled “A medieval jewelry treasure from Halkis in context.”  The presentation of the collection as well as its further study and publication will contribute to a better understanding and re-creation of life in the cosmopolitan Venetian fortress town of Halkis before its capture by the Ottomans in 1470.

A Farewell to Greece / Αποχαιρετισμός στην Ελλάδα

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   In a letter published in Sunday “Kathimerini,” on December 28, 2008, Simon Gass, until recently British Ambassador to Athens, bids a warm farewell to Greece (pdf in Greek). 
“Write if you can on your last shell
the day the place the name
and fling it into the sea so that it sinks”
“Santorini -The naked child”- Giorgos Seferis 
In a few days, my wife and I are leaving Greece after eight blissful years in your country; first during the 80’s and the second time these past years. Greece has been good to us. […] 
Greece and its people exercise an intense influence on foreigners. British writer Lawrence Durrell wrote: “Other countries can make you discover customs, traditions or landscapes. Greece offers you something harsher: self-discovery.”  In Greece, us northern Europeans, leave behind some of our cold-blooded nature and reservation and become more extroverted, seeking the company of other people. […] 
We don’t think Greece has given us permission to leave the country indefinitely. When we do return, it will not be just for the peoples or the landscape, but because Greece is a country which we admire for many different things. 
“May there be many a summer morning when,
with what pleasure, what joy,
you come into harbours seen for the first time”
“Ithaca”- Constantine P. Cavafy  
Still, it won’t be Greece[…] 
Thank you, Greece.                 

Greek Professor Awarded the Title of “Commander” of the British Empire

grammenos-costas(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   Greek professor Costas Grammenos, Pro-Vice Chancellor of City School of London and chairman of the steering committee of the International University of Thessaloniki, is one of the personalities to whom Queen Elizabeth of England conferred titles and honourable distinctions for 2009. Grammenos was awarded the title of “Commander” of the British Empire for “his services in teaching and research.”  In 1994, Professor Grammenos was given by the Queen the title of “Officer” of the British Empire “for his contribution to teaching and the promotion of Greek-British relations” while in 1999, he won the highest academic title in Britain, that of “Doctor of Sciences.” He founded the International Centre for Shipping, Trade and Finance in 1983 – renamed the Costas Grammenos International Centre for Shipping, Trade and Finance

Southeastern Europe Faces a Real Danger of Desertification

(REEK NEWS AGENDA)   Southeastern Europe faces a real danger of desertification and becoming another Sahara Desert in 100-150 years, underlined Sir Nicholas Stern – the United Kingdom’s Head of the Government Economic Service and Adviser to the Government on the economics of climate change and development, during the presentation of the Greek-language Executive Summary of his Report at the foreign ministry on Thursday27 November 2008. The Stern Review is one of the most important documents to have been published in recent years on how to confront the greenhouse effect.  The review’s basic conclusion is that immediate action, on a global level, to deal with climate change is not only an environmental and social imperative, but is also dictated by economics. Sir Nicholas underlined that to deal with the desertification risk SE Europe can seek to become energy producer for the entire Europe by using solar and wind power. Addressing the event, Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis praised the contribution of the British government in the study of the economic dimension of the greenhouse effect and maintained that there is immediate need for an agreement to deal with climate change.  Stern Review: Final Report; Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Human Security Network Conference on Climate Change  

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.

Greek Translators Awarded by European Institutes

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)     Effecting closer contact between Greek and foreign literature, the European Translation Centre (EKEMEL), in collaboration with cultural institutes in Athens representing Great Britain (British Council), France (French Institute), Germany (Goethe Institute), Italy (Cultural Institute) Spain (Cervantes Institute) award Greek literature translators every year for their work on classic and contemporary foreign literature. On December 3rd, EKEMEL hosts a literature session in honour of the translators awarded at the Italian Institute in Athens. The award for best translation from English to Greek was attributed to Serafim Veletzas for the book “13 Objects” by Howard Barker. The award for best translation from French was received by Titika Dimitroulia for Viktor Serge’s “L’affaire Tulaev” (“The Case of Comrade Tulayev“).  The award for the translation from German went to Giorgos Depastas for Jelinek Elfriede (2004 Nobel Laureate in Literature) “Gier” (Greed), Nikos Pratsinis received the award in the Spanish category for Ferlosio’s (Cervantes Prize 2004) “Alfanhuí” and finally, in the Italian category, the award for best translation was bestowed on Panayiotis Skondras for Malaparte’s “Kaputt.”

Byzantine Encounters in Greece

 (GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   The British School at Athens is hosting a lecture on “Encounters of British Architects in Byzantium”  on November 19. The event is jointly organised by the British School and the British Hellenic Chamber of Commerce. After the lecture, there will be a preview of the exhibition, “The Byzantine Research Fund Archive: Encounters of Arts and Crafts Architects in Byzantium,” which has been shown at the Hellenic Centre in London, Edinburgh and Thessaloniki.

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