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International Court of Justice Ruling on Distomo Case

In an announcement, issued on February 3, concerning an International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruling upholding Germany’s position, that it enjoys state immunity from being sued in foreign courts by victims of Nazi atrocities during World War II, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs states that the Greek government will study this Judgement closely, in the light of its firm and longstanding position that the matter of German compensations remains open.
The judgement affects the case of the south-central Greek village of Distomo, where Nazi troops killed 214 civilians on June 10, 1944, one of the numerous instances of WWII atrocities in occupied Greece. The court case concerned the confiscation of German property on Italian soil for reparations to be paid to victims of Distomo.

  • MPs Raise War Reparations Issue

Meanwhile, in Athens, 28 MPs from PASOK, New Democracy (ND), Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) as well as independent deputies tabled a motion in Parliament requesting a discussion on issues concerning the so-called German occupation loan from Greece during WWII, as well as the issue of war reparations to victims of Nazi atrocities and stolen treasures from the country.
In a letter addressed to the presidents of competent parliamentary committees, the MPs called on Parliament to adopt a clear stance on this “crucial national issue.”
(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)

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Poems on the Underground – Greek contemporary poetry

The Press Office of the Greek Embassy in Warsaw promotes the contemporary poetry of Greece and participates to   “Poems on the Underground” events (6-30 September 2010).
“Poems on the Underground” (Wiersze w Metrze) has been inspired by other similar projects  in many cities: Dublin, Paris, New York, Barcelona, Stockholm, Stuttgard and Moscow, organised for the first time in London in 1986.
Wiersze w Metrze promotes contemporary European poetry in public city spaces, through happenings, haiku competition, poetry city game and a performing poetry festival.
Many cultural institutes and embassies participate to the project, which takes place under the auspices of the the mayor of Warsaw, Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz.
Greek contemporary poetry will be represented by two acclaimed poets, Kiki Dimoula and Nasos Vagenas.
Kiki Dimoula has recently been awarded the European Literature Prize for 2010. Her poetry has been translated into English, French, German, Swedish, Danish, Spanish and many other languages.
Dimoula’s poetry is haunted by the existential dissolution of the post-world era. Her central themes are hopelessness, insecurity, absence and oblivion. Using diverse subjects and twisting grammar in unconventional ways, she accentuates the power of the words through astonishment and surprise, but always manages to retain a sense of hope.
Nasos Vagenas, professor of Theory and Critique of Literature in the Department of Theatre Studies of the University of Athens, in 2005 was awarded with the State Poetry Prize for his poetic collection ‘Stefanos’.
His poetic work includes the books: ‘Field of Mars’, ‘Biography’, ‘Roxani’s Knees’, ‘Wandering of a non-traveller’, ‘The Fall of the Flying’, ‘Barbarous Odes’ , ‘The Fall of the Flying B’, ‘Dark Ballads and Other Poems’, ‘Stefanos’.
His poetry has been translated into English, German, Italian, Dutch, Romanian, Serbian.
Two poems of Kiki Dimoula and Nasos Vagenas have been translated in polish language for “Wiersze w Metrze” by the professors and students of the Department of Greek Studies of the University of Warsaw (Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies “Artes Liberales”).

Giorgio De Chirico Art Centre in Volos

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) The Giorgio de Chirico Art Centre is located in the centre of the city of Volos, Greece’s third-largest port city, where the famous Italian painter was born in 1888.

The Art Centre, located on a pedestrian road next to the Municipal Conservatory, is housed in a new glass building that has been named after the Surrealist painter who was the founder of the “scuola metafisica” (metaphysical school) art movement.
The ground floor, mezzanine and second floors of the Art Centre, which was inaugurated in September 1990, house the Volos Municipal Art Collection.
The latter includes more than 400 paintings, sculptures, hagiographies, ceramics, mosaics and artistic photographs, as well as periodical exhibitions, and a small library.
The other two floors house the Alexander Damtsas Museum, a permanent exhibition of the Volos-born art aficionado’s collection comprising some 500 paintings and gravures by mostly Greek artists representing all the important art styles from the late 19th century to date.
Athens News Agency: The Giorgio de Chirico Art Centre, a cradle of culture in the heart of Volos

1st Italian Film Festival in Thessaloniki

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)    The 1st Italian Film Festival opened at 21 May and will run until May 27 at the ‘Olympion’ venue in Thessaloniki. The films will then be shown in Athens from May 28 to June 3. The festival is organised by the Thessaloniki Film Festival, in collaboration with the Greek Film Centre and the Italian embassy in Athens. 

Greece, France, Italy: Master’s in European Culture

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   Strengthening European identity through higher education, a consortium of three universities in Greece, France and Italy join forces offering a master’s course in European literary cultures. Supported by EU’s ‘Erasmus Mundus” programme -a project aiming at engaging students and scholars in cooperation and mobility in the field of higher education- the “European literary cultures” course focuses on the study of European languages and literature. The universities participating are the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, the University of Bologna, the University of Haute-Alsace and the University Marc Bloch in Strasburg. The course foresees a study period of two years in two or three participating universities, with lessons taught in French, Italian and Greek. European Commission-Education & Culture DG: Master’s Course in European Literary Cultures

Vatican Lends to Greece Parthenon Fragment

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   The Vatican has given a fragment of the Parthenon’s frieze to Greece on a one-year loan, fulfilling a request by late Archbishop Christodoulos to Pope Benedict XVI, and it is on display at the New Acropolis Museum in Athens. “This gesture sets an example for others to follow and finally restore the unity of the Parthenon Marbles,” Culture Minister Michalis Liapis said. The Vatican fragment follows the repatriation of the “Palermo fragment”, another piece of the Parthenon marbles which had been kept at the Museum of Palermo in Italy and which was returned to the Hellenic Republic on the occasion of the Italian president’s official visit to Greece in September. Kathimerini daily: Vatican lends museum Parthenon fragment; Greek News Agenda: Italian President in Athens International Association for the Reunification of the Parthenon Sculptures: www.parthenoninternational.org; Secretariat General of Information: World Media on Greece – Acropolis and the Parthenon Marbles

Retrieved Artefacts @ New Acropolis Museum

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   Some 75 artefacts, including the magnificent 6th-century vessel known as the Euphronios crater, will be presented at an exhibition which will be inaugurated at the New Acropolis Museum (www.newacropolismuseum.gr) in September. The artefacts present a special interest because they constitute artefacts of Greek and Roman origin that were found on Italian soil, and were subsequently illicitly exported abroad. Eventually, American museums (The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles) returned the artefacts to Italy and were later displayed in Rome as part of the “Nostoi: Capolavori ritrovati” (Greek for ‘Homecomings’: Italian for recovered masterpieces) in the beginning of 2008. The same exhibition – the retrieved artefacts – will be hosted by the New Acropolis Museum. The opening is scheduled for September 23 and the exhibition will run until the end of 2008. Together with the artefacts offered by Italy, the exhibition will also comprise artefacts displayed in foreign museums and private collections which have recently returned to Greece permanently. The New York Times – Arts: Nostoi: Recovered Masterpieces