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Extended visiting hours for museums and archaeological sites

Culture and Tourism Minister Pavlos Yeroulanos announced new extended visiting hoursof a number of museums and archeological sites in Greece on May 18.
The ministry said that the list will be further enriched in the future weeks, depending on the availability of staff.
The list includes some of the most popular sites and museums in Greece such as the Acropolis of Athens – Archaeological Site, which will be open from 8.00-19.00, all year round; the Thessaloniki Museum of Byzantine Culture; the Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki; the Archaeological Site of Philippi; the Archeological Museum and site of Mycenae; the Archeological Museum and site of Epidaurus; the Archaeological site of Mystras; the Archeological site and Museum of Afaia, Aegina; the Archeological Museum of Messenia; the Archeological site of Ancient Messene; the Catacombs on Milos island; the Herakleion Archeological Museum; the Archeological site of Knossos and the Spinalonga island on Crete.
The list also includes the Archaeological Museum of Drama; the Church of Panagia Kosmosoteira (Our Lady, Saviour of the World), in Ferres; the Grevena Archaeological Collection; the Museum of Asian Art, Corfu; the Archaeological Collection of Arta; the Byzantine Museum of Ioannina; the Ioannina Treasury; the Fortress of Ioannina; the Igoumenitsa Archaeological Museum; the Nekromanteion of Acheron; the Athanasakeion Archaeological Museum in Volos; the Archeological site of Nea Aghialos, Magnesia; the Byzantine Museum of Fthiotida at Ypati; the Monastery of Osios Loukas; the Corinth Archeological Museum.
Ministry of Culture & Tourism:  Brief Guides to Archaeological Museums in Greece Part I & Part II; YouTube: Culture in Greece [VIDEO] [Photo 3: The Nekromanteion of Acheron – Oracle of the Dead]


Athens & Epidaurus Festival 2010

It seems that ages have gone by since Maria Callas stunned the audience by performing ‘Norma’ at the Epidaurus theatre as part of events celebrating the Greek festival in 1960. The 2010 Greek Festival, which opens today, encompasses a variety of artistic expressions.  

Its aim is to present contemporary artists from around the globe and acquaint the world public with both innovative and pervasive trends of modern artistic creations. 
The festival spans from June to mid –August with old and new venues hosting the events, such as the Herodus Attikus theatre, the Benaki Museum, and the Building H at the Peiraios 260 complex.
This year music lovers will have the opportunity to enjoy Rufus Wainwright in a one-man-show on June 5 at the Lycabettus Hill Theatre.
In the first half, he will present his newly- released album, while in the second, he will play major hits from his entire career. 
Greek Festival: Programme & Greek News Agenda: Athens Festival 2009

Shops at Museums in Greece

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   Visitors may explore Greek history and art through a huge collection of items on sale at nine shops (www.museumshop.gr) of the Hellenic Culture Organisation located at museums and archaeological sites throughout the country. Divided into two main categories of replicas and modern applications, the items are of aesthetic value highlighting the timelessness and distinctiveness of ancient Greek civilization. The replicas of significant works of ancient art on display at Greek museums bear seals of authenticity and the signature of the Ministry of Culture. The items at each store are inspired by the artefacts on display at the museums. Visitors to the National Archaeological Museum and the Acropolis Museum may find replicas of masterpieces dating from prehistoric and classical times, while the Vergina Museum has items inspired from Macedonian works. Statues, pottery, portraits, coins and jewellery have all been made according to traditional and modern techniques. The other museums are: Delos, Epidaurus, Mycenae, Ancient Olympia, Knossos, and Delphi. [Photo: The Head of Aphrodite in Benaki Museum]

Dame Helen Mirren at Epidaurus Theatre

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  Following the instructions of Royal National Theatre’s artistic director Nicholas Hytner, Oscar-winning British actress Helen Mirren and co-star Dominic Cooper received widespread praise for Racine’s “Phedre” – based on Euripides’s play “Hippolytus”– performed on June 11 at the Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus, as part of the Athens and Epidaurus Festival. Phèdre, recounts the story of a queen’s destructive obsession with her stepson, filtered through the eyes of a 17th century French playwright and the freewheeling translation of a British poet, Ted Hughes.  The night of the performance, the theatre was filled with admirers of both Mirren and the ancient Greek drama, with visitors coming from Greece and abroad.   Epidaurus Theatre is to host other prominent artists this summer, including British director Sam Mendes and veteran French actress Jeanne Moreau in the coming weeks.  The Times: Dame Helen Mirren is worthy of the Epidaurus   Athens and Epidaurus Festival: www.greekfestival.gr

Athens and Epidaurus Festival Program

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   What is the Athens Festival & Epidaurus (www.greekfestival.gr)? A great celebration that has lasted 52 summers, and that has hosted some of the leading lights of theatre, music and dance.  It is a venture that, over the last two years, has taken on a youthful vitality, and openness. This year’s Athens & Epidaurus Festival is expected to outdo itself. Ambitious productions with actors of international calibre will be this year’s invited guests to Greece.  Athens and Epidaurus Festival: Programme 2009

World Media for Greece: In the Lap of the Gods

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  A year after the Greek fires halted her performance of Beckett, Fiona Shaw makes an emotional return to Epidaurus. In the first part of this article she talks about her experience in Epidaurus last August, when her performance was cancelled due to the official mourning because of the fires. In the second part, she shares the feelings brought about by the site of the ancient theatre and the performance of Beckett’s “Happy Days” to 6,000 attentive people. The Guardian: In the lap of the gods; Secretariat General of Information: World Media on Greece – Culture and Education

Epidaurus is Now a UNESCO World Heritage Monument

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  Epidaurus, a small, ancient Greek city in the Peloponnese is now a UNESCO World Heritage Monument. It was a small, ancient Greek city on an inlet of the Saronic Gulf, northeast Peloponnese. Reputed to be the birthplace of Apollo’s son, Asklepios, the Greek God of Medicine, Epidaurus was known for its sanctuary, as well as its theater with the wonderful acoustics. The Asclepieion at Epidaurus was the most celebrated healing center of the Classical world, the place where ill people went in the hope of being cured. The prosperity brought by the Asklepieion enabled Epidaurus to construct civic monuments such as the huge theater, renowned for its symmetry and beauty, which is used once again for hosting dramatic performances. Athens and Epidaurus Festival establishment  in 1955 placed ancient drama firmly centre stage and ever since, the theatre has been hosting performances every summer.


Summer Festive Times in Greece: The Renewing the Tradition

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)    What is the Athens Festival? A great celebration that has lasted 52 summers and has hosted some of the leading lights of theatre, music and dance. From Mitropoulos and Callas to Rostropovich, Pavarotti, Leonidas Kavakos and Dimitris Sgouros. From Theodorakis and Hadjidakis to Peter Hall, Noh theatre, Bunraku puppet theatre, and the Peking Opera. From Balanchine to Pina Bausch, and from Nureyev and Fonteyn to Martha Graham and Alicia Alonso.  The Odeon of Herodes Atticus, the heart and emblem of the Festival for more than half a century, is no longer its only venue. Two recent additions include Peiraios 260 which, with its two stages and its atrium, was latetly dubbed “the new star of the summer”, and Scholeion which has already become a by-word for its alternative events and workshops. Since 2007, “the Festival is travelling” with the mobile “Caravan Theatre” which takes to the streets in search of all those who cannot attend one of the Festival’s ‘permanent’ theatres. Events are also staged at  the Athens Concert Hall, the Benaki Museum and a number of theatres around the city. Continue reading