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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

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Greece @ China’s Cultural Year

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   Greece relishes international attention by being the honoured country for this year’s Cultural Year in China (www.greece-china.com). Culture Minister Mihalis Liapis on Sunday inaugurated the International Olympic Truce Centre exhibition at Beijing’s Hellenic House (“From ancient Olympia to Beijing 2008 – forty Greek and forty Chinese artists discuss the Olympic Truce” ) in the presence of former International Olympic Committee president Juan Antonio Samaranch. The “Agon” exhibition by the National Archaeological Museum, initially held in Athens during the 2004 Olympic Games, presents themes from the athletic events of the ancient Olympic Games, along with the whole context of poetry, theatre and artistic competitions held from time to time at the major temples throughout the Greek world (Beijing’s Capital Museum). Dimitris Papaioannou, director of the 2004 Athens Olympic Games opening ceremony, brought his adapted version of ancient Greek tragedy Medea to Beijing (Grand National Theatre in Beijing on August 1 and 2). Greece will be the country of honour at the 15th International Beijing Book Fair to be held early September 2008. Greece is the fourth country after France, Russia and Germany to be receiving such an honourary invitation. Within the same framework, China will be the country of honour at the Thessaloniki International Book Fair in 2010.

From Athens 2004 to Beijing 2008

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  In 2004, the Olympic Games returned to Greece, the country of their birthplace, and Athens, the city of their revival in modern times. In 2008, Beijing is hosting the Olympic Games for the first time in its pioneering history as a seat of authority and government as well as culture and learning. Greece and China have benefited from a favourable development of friendly cooperation cooperation in political, economic, and cultural affairs. On the political side, top government officials have paid many visits to China, the latest being the one of President Karolos Papoulias last June. Concerning economic prospects, Greece can constitute a potential base of operations, from where China could expand its business in the EU, the Balkans and the Mediterranean. Shipping leaves much room for economic cooperation and the latest Cosco Pacific Ltd’s deal over Piraeus port inaugurates a fruitful synergy in the broader field.   Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Greece’s relations with China; mediainfo2004.gr: From Athens 2004 to Beijing 2008; Press and Communication Office – Beijing: www.grpressbeijing.com  
                                                     Greece @ 2008 Olympics
Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis, Culture Minister Michalis Liapis, Athens Mayor Nikitas Kaklamanis, and General Secretary of Information Panos Livadas are in Beijing for the Olympic Games. Greece will participate in the XXIX Olympic Games of Beijing with 156 athletes, 84 men and 72 women. 22-year-old gold medal winner in the 2004 Olympic Games judoka Ilias Iliadis will be the flag bearer of the Hellenic delegation during the Opening Ceremony, at the Olympic Stadium. Hellenic Olympic Committe: www.hoc.gr; SportInGreece.com: Olympics 2008

Irene Papas Honoured in Rome

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   Veteran Greek actress Irene Papas was honoured with the “Rome Prize” on July 14 at the Ostia Antica ancient theatre outside the Italian capital.  Excerpts of the actress’ well-known films were shown before the presentation ceremony. “I do not know whether I should laugh or cry, I can only say that Athens will always be my mother, but Rome is at the same time my second mother, by my own choice,” Papas said. Culture Minister Mihalis Liapis, who paid an official visit to to Rome, attended the ceremony.