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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

Greece`s presentation by the Greek Embassy and the Press Office at the European Information Centre in Warsaw (19/3/2010)

A presentation of Greece by the Greek Embassy and the Press Office in Warsaw took place at the European Information Centre of the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the 19th March 2010 (www.cie.gov.pl).
Various aspects of Greece were presented by the Deputy Head of Mission, Paraskevi Charitidou, and the Press Attache, Maria Mondelou.
The audience, 70  students of higher secondary schools of Warsaw, was informed about Greece`s geostrategic position, its political system, the participation in international organizations, such as the EU and the NATO, the Greek Presidencies in the EU.
A brief presentation of the Greek history, mainly during the modern and contemporary period, was followed by characteristic examples of Greek culture, in the fields of literature, poetry, music, theatre and cinema.
Views of the New Acropolis Museum were presented, as well as Greece`s request for the restitution of the Parthenon Marbles.
During the discussion, the students were informed about Greece`s foreign policy, the situation of the Greek economy, tourism, the educational system and the scholarships offered for foreign students. They were, also, particularly interested about the image of Poles in Greece and their life.
 The European Information Centre, that invited the Greek Embassy to make the presentation of Greece, organizes annually discussions with representatives of the EU member states.

Centrum Informacji Europejskiej  

Spotkanie z przedstawicielkami Ambasady Grecji
 19 marca 2010 r. w Centrum Informacji Europejskiej MSZ odbyło się spotkanie uczniów XL Liceum Ogólnokształcącego im. S. Żeromskiego oraz LXXV Liceum Ogólnokształcącego im. Jana III Sobieskiego w Warszawie z przedstawicielkami Ambasady Grecji. Ambasadę reprezentowały Pani Paraskevi Charitidou, zastępca szefa misji oraz Pani Maria Mondelou, Pierwszy Sekretarz w Biurze Prasowym Ambasady Grecji w Warszawie.
Prelegentki omówiły historię i system polityczny Grecji oraz aktualne działania Grecji w Unii Europejskiej. Opowiedziały również o warunkach studiowania w tym kraju i stypendiach dostępnych dla polskich studentów. Podczas prezentacji został wyświetlony krótki film o Atenach.
Po wykładzie miała miejsce dyskusja, w czasie której przedstawicielki Ambasady odpowiedziały na liczne pytania publiczności dotyczące stereotypów o Polakach, greckiej kultury, popularnych Greków, kryzysu gospodarczego, relacji z Turcją, aktualnego sporu między Grecją i Byłą Jugosłowiańską Republiką Macedonii przed Międzynarodowym Trybunałem Sprawiedliwości oraz doświadczeń czterech prezydencji Grecji w Radzie Unii Europejskiej.
W spotkaniu uczestniczyło ponad 70 osób.
(Polish text by www.cie.gov.pl)

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

500.000 Visitors at the Acropolis Museum

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) According to the Ministry of Culture, the latest numbers show that within the first two months of its operation (June 21-August 26), the new Acropolis Museum has so far attracted more than 500, 000 visitors, 60% of whom were foreigners.  Meanwhile, within the same timeframe, 409,000 users from 180 countries accessed the Museum’s webpage. As of September, the Museum launches its educational programmes destined to both pupils and teachers.  The opening of the Museum as well as its first days of operation, together with background information on the campaign for the restitution of the Parthenon Marbles received extensive coverage by foreign media.

During the opening, 440 reporters representing 167 media from 36 countries visited Athens to cover the event. As a result, from May to September, some 1,000 news items have been produced.  Secretariat General for Information: World Media on Greece – Acropolis & Parthenon Marbles; Greek News Agenda:Special Issue- The Acropolis Museum

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 Black Parthenon

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   Black Parthenon is a public art installation at Federation Square, Melbourne, by artist Konstantin (Kon) Dimopoulos. It concerns cultural appropriation, and in particular the Parthenon Marbles, calling for their return. Black Parthenon uses various levels of scaffolding around which black perforated cloth is used as cladding to create an architectural imprint, a silhouette of the Parthenon.  During the day the installation is a black funerary altarpiece that reflects a sense of loss; a void in the national psyche of countries which have had cultural icons and treasures taken away from them.  At night Black Parthenon explodes into vibrant white and blue light, the Parthenon’s iconic simplicity illuminating the surrounding darkness.  Black Parthenon, is part of a larger forum and programme calling for the return of the Parthenon Marbles to Greece.  Secretariat General of Information: Hellenic Culture Abroad- Exhibitions- Black Parthenon Installation, Melbourne, Australia & International Campaign to Return the Parthenon Marbles to Athens

The Acropolis Museum Officially Inaugurated

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) The New Acropolis Museum was officially inaugurated on Saturday evening (20.6) during a ceremony that brought together Greek and foreign dignitaries, boosting hopes that the purpose-built museum’s opening will mark a “reverse countdown”  towards the reunification of the Parthenon Marbles.
“Today, the most important sculptures of the Parthenon can be viewed together. Some are missing. It is time to heal the wounds of the monument with the return of the marbles where they belong” said Hellenic Republic President Karolos Papoulias in his address at the opening ceremony. Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis stressed that the new museum “is the achievement of all Greeks, for the entire world to enjoy. It is the property of universal culture”.  On his part, Culture Minister Antonis Samaras expressed optimism that the [pieces] that are missing, those that were taken apart 207 years ago will return.

“Parthenon marbles were looted” he said “but this looting can be redeemed and repaired today. The Acropolis Museum is a moral force that attracts the marbles back to where they belong.”  Following the ceremony, the distinguished guests –amongst whom were EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, UNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura, the Presidents of Cyprus and Bulgaria, Demetris Christofias and Georgi Parvanov, several Prime Ministers and Culture Ministers- were given a tour around the museum by Prof. Dimitrios Pandermalis, president of the new state-of-the-art facility. World Media on Greece: www.minpress.gr; Google News: Greece’s Acropolis Museum Greek News Agenda: Special Issue – The Acropolis Museum

The New Acropolis Museum: Opening Online

Fanfare as Acropolis Museum opens

(BBC NEWS)  A glamorous ceremony was held as the long-awaited Acropolis Museum was officially opened in Athens.  (VIDEO)
The modern glass and concrete building, at the foot of the ancient Acropolis, houses sculptures from the golden age of Athenian democracy and offers panoramic views of the stone citadel where they came from. FOR MORE

Greece urges return of sculptures

(BBC NEWS) The Acropolis was lit up as the new museum opened in style. VIDEO Greek President Karolos Papoulias has renewed his country’s call for Britain to return sculptures removed from the Parthenon in Athens 200 years ago.  At the opening of the Acropolis Museum, Mr Papoulias said it was “time to heal the wounds” of the ancient temple. FOR MORE

New Acropolis Museum opens with lavish party

(ASSOCIATED PRESS / By NICHOLAS PAPHITIS) The Acropolis Museum Oppening ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Gods, heroes and long-dead mortals stepped off their plinths into the evening sky of Athens on Saturday during the lavish launch of the new Acropolis Museum, a decades-old dream that Greece hopes will also help reclaim a cherished part of its heritage from Britain. The digital animated display on the museum walls ended years of delays and wrangling over the ultramodern building, set among apartment blocks and elegant neoclassical houses at the foot of the Acropolis hill. The nearly euro3 million ($4.1 million) opening ceremony was attended by some 400 guests, including European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, UNESCO Director-General Koichiro Matsuura, and foreign heads of state and government. Conspicuously, there were no government officials from Britain, which has repeatedly refused to repatriate dozens of 2,500-year-old sculptures from the Parthenon temple that are held in the British Museum.  President Karolos Papoulias said Greeks think of the Acropolis monuments as their “identity and pride,” and renewed the demand for the missing marble works, displayed in London for the past 200 years. “The whole world can now see the most important sculptures from the Parthenon together,” Papoulias said. “Some are missing. It is time to heal the wounds on the monument by returning the marbles that belong to it.” Culture Minister Antonis Samaras said the sculptures “will inevitably return,” but ruled out Greece acknowledging the British Museum’s legal title to the works — as requested by officials in London as a precondition for any loan. FOR MORE

Old Videos

The concept of the Acropolis Museum. (VIDEO)   Preparing the exhibition: The new Acropolis Museum . (VIDEO)  Preview of Acropolis Museum (VIDEO)

The BBC for the Openning

(BBC NEWS) News has posted a slide show of the new Acropolis Museum, which opened to the public today (title link). The marble statue of a youth on the right is the famous Kritios Boy (c.480 BC) so named because it is attributed to Kritios. This statue is the earliest known example of contrapposto (counterpoise) a term which refers to the off-centre weight shift of a statue to produce a more natural and relaxed pose. (Praxitelles’ Apollo Watching a Lizard is a fine example of contrappostoCLICK). The Kritios Boy was unearthed in Athens in 1865. Despite its monumental appearance, it is less than 4 feet tall. FOR MORE

New Acropolis Museum the perfect home for Elgin Marbles, say Greeks

(BBC NEWS) Workmen were putting the finishing touches yesterday to Ancient Greece’s newest and most extravagant showcase, the New Acropolis Museum, due for a fanfare-filled inauguration today. But conspicuously absent are the very relics which the €130m futurist building was expressly designed for: the Elgin Marbles.    The airy top floor of the 25,000 square metre museum, offering an unparallelled view of the Parthenon atop the Acropolis a couple of hundred yards away, has been reserved for when the Marbles — as many Greeks devoutly hope — return.  Yet as dozens of dignitaries arrived for the opening that Antonis Samaras, the Greek Minister for Culture, promised would be “a magical atmosphere with musical surprises”, it seemed likely that the Parthenon Hall, as the glass-domed top floor is called, would remain empty for a considerable time to come. FOR MORE

Acropolis museum raises Marbles’ hopes

(BBC NEWS) As the new Acropolis museum opens in Athens, Frank Partridge investigates whether the long-running dispute between Britain and Greece over the Parthenon Marbles will be resolved. Museums are not renowned as places of high drama, but everything about the glassy, angular structure that has appeared at the foot of Acropolis Hill is dramatic. The design is provocative, the contents breathtaking, and its showpiece gallery is intended to deliver a cultural and political thunderbolt as powerful as anything the goddess Athena once threw. FOR MORE

Marbles Reunited

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  Marbles Reunited is a British, membership-based campaign organisation with offices in central London. It co-ordinates a campaign of activities to promote the case for the reunification of the Parthenon sculptures currently housed in the British Museum, and commonly known as the ‘Elgin marbles’, with the remaining surviving sculptures in Athens, Greece.  This campaign is based on the belief that the Parthenon sculptures are best seen and studied as a single collection within sight of the 5th century monument they were once an integral part of, namely the Parthenon. On this website one may find information on the reunification debate, background to the campaign and information as to the different ways in which individuals can express their support.  The Australian newspaper “The Age” ran an editorial titled “Britain runs out of excuses for keeping Elgin Marbles” on May 13, arguing that “with most Britons supporting the Greek claim, Britain ought finally to return its ill-gotten ‘marbles’ to where they belong.  

Greek President in Finland

papoulias1(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   Hellenic Republic President Karolos Papoulias had a meeting on Tuesday (5.5) with his Finnish counterpart Tarja Halonen in Helsinki.  Presidents Papoulias and Halonen discussed the global economic crisis, bilateral, international and European issues and according to Papoulias they “shared the same positions.”  The Finnish President backed the return of the Parthenon Marbles to Greece and the return of all antiquities that are being kept in third countries to their country of origin. On his part, Papoulias invited his Finnish counterpart to formally visit Greece and thanked Finland and the Finnish Committee for the Restitution of the Parthenon Marbles for their support. The Greek President will address a special event today hosted by the Committee.  Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation (ERT) – Greek President’s Speech in Finland; Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Bilateral Relations Greece- Finland  

New Members at Parthenon Sculptures Reunification

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   Switzerland and Finland are two new members of the International Association for the Reunification of the Parthenon Sculptures. This association, consisting of various national committees, has been formed with the objective of supporting the return of all the “surviving” Parthenon Sculptures in the New Acropolis Museum in Athens. The addition of the Finnish and the Swiss Committees brings the number of participants to 17, including countries like Germany, the USA and United Kingdom. The Chairman of the Association David Hill (Australia), underlined the fact that consistent expansion of the association membership – since it was formed in 2005 – is a powerful reminder of the widespread and growing support around the world for the reunification of the Parthenon Sculptures. More information: Marbles Reunited

The Marble Road to the Acropolis

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  The remains of an ancient road – used to transport marbles for the construction of the monuments on the Acropolis from Mount Penteli – was unearthed during excavations in the northern Athenian suburb of Halandri. The existence of the special road was known for some time but this is the first physical evidence of its actual course, which coincides with what Manolis Korres, professor of Architecture at the National Technical University of Athens had already depicted in a set of vivid drawings in his book “From Pentelikon to the Parthenon.” More information: Smithsonian Magazine – Unlocking Mysteries of the Parthenon Other Works by Korres: “The Stones of the Parthenon,” “From the Quarry to the Parthenon” 

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

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 

Modern Architecture in Greece

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   In his article for The Times titled “Athens welcomes the ghost of Phidias to new rooftop gallery,” Marcus Binney reports that the new rooftop gallery built to display the Parthenon marbles is one of the most beautiful exhibition spaces in modern architecture. Besides the Parthenon friezes, the new museum will also display the superb sculpture from the outside of the temple with the statues of gods, horses and chariots from the end pediments and other famous sculptures, such as the female caryatids from the Erechtheion and friezes from the Temple of Athena Nike. Secretariat General of Information: World Media on Greece – Highlights; Athens Architecture: www.culture2000.tee.gr/

“Parthenon Marbles Reunited” Steps up Campaing

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   The campaign for the return of the Parthenon Marbles to Greece has moved up a gear with the appointment by Marbles Reunited of a full-time Campaign Director, Thomas Dowson, who will be based in the organisation’s office in London. Andrew George MP, Chairman of the organisation says: “When the New Acropolis Museum opens later this year, the absence of the marbles will be obvious for the entire world to see… We have appointed a Campaign Director to up our profile, to enable an alternative dialogue between Greece and Britain.”  Secretariat General of Information: World Media on Greece – Acropolis and the Parthenon Marbles; Reunification of the Parthenon Sculptures Campaigns: www.parthenoninternational.org; www.elginism.com 

New Acropolis Museum: Video about the Construction and the Transport of the Exhibits

(ORGANISATION FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE NEW ACROPOLIS MUSEUM) This short video provides you with the opportunity to view the later stages of construction of the New Acropolis Museum through to its completion. Both the preparation and transport of a block of the Parthenon frieze is covered including the momentous occasion of its transport and arrival from the old to the new Museum: http://www.newacropolismuseum.gr/webnews/newslist.asp?offset=0&nid=44&lid=2  .  The childrens’s Book “The Museum and the Excavation: Now for young and old“: http://www.newacropolismuseum.gr/eng/ch_book_eng.pdf Continue reading