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Karaghiozis: “Inextricable part of Greek Culture”

Greece is planning to press its claims to Karaghiozis, a shadow puppet theatre character that UNESCO has deemed to be part of Turkey’s cultural heritage.
“Karaghiozis is an extricable part of our culture,” Foreign Ministry’s Spokesperson said, adding that UNESCO allows neighbouring countries to access the same commodity when it comes to intangible cultural heritage.
The issue has prompted an announcement by the Ministry of Culture, according to which, “it is commonly known and undoubted that shadow theatre refers to a cultural tradition which surpasses boundaries and spans through the Balkans, and the broader East, long time before the emergence of contemporary states.

Concerning the Greek version of Karaghiozis, it represents a vivid chapter of Modern Greek culture, which defends traditional values broadly cherished by the Greek people.”

Museum of Shadow Theatre: Museum of Shadow Theatre & Greek Shadow Theatre Group Athanasiou: Karaghiozis-History
You Tube: Karagiozis & Athens Plus (16.7.2010): Greece to stake its claim to Karagiozis show
(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)
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Lost for the Greek Shadow Theater

Shadow puppet theatre master, Evgenios Spatharis passed away on May 9, at the age of 85.

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   Spatharis was taught the art of shadow theatre by his father Sotiris and began his career during the German occupation. Since then, he gave numerous performances in Greece and abroad, participating in international festivals and conferences on shadow theatre. He was member of the Artistic Chamber of Greece, of the Institute of World Theatre (Unesco). In 1991 his Shadow Theatre Museum (“Spathario”) was established. Spatharis was well-known throughout Greece for his puppet theatre stories revolving around the hunchbacked character “Karaghiozis,” who came to represent the virtues and vices of the average Greek. Shadow theatre is thought to be from China or India and arrived in Greece in the mid-15th century. The “In praise of shadows” exhibition at the Benaki Museum (23/05/2009 – 26/06/2009) focuses on shadows, based on old and contemporary folk tales and on simple narratives expressed with economy of means.  This exhibition brings together key works by 8 contemporary artists from seven different countries, and two master filmmakers from the first half of the twentieth century.  The Washington Post – Greek puppet master Evgenios Spatharis dies at 85; Greek News Agenda – Karagiozis Shadow – Theatre