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PM`s press conference for the first 100 days of the government

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) The year 2010 was the time for Greece to make a new start and major changes, Prime Minister George Papandreou stressed on Wednesday during a press conference held to mark the completion of 100 days since PASOK was sworn in as the new government.
“It is time to change everything, to turn the crisis into an opportunity.
We have already shown that we are capable of doing this, that we can be leaders and not laggards,” Papandreou said, emphasising that the government was determined not to fall into the inertia of its predecessors and had already made important changes at every ministry, while several deep reforms were now in the process of being introduced.
Among these he listed the effort to establish a new taxation system, overhauling the social insurance system, and initiating a debate on local administration reform and a new electoral law.Reviewing his government’s course during the first 100 days, he admitted that some mistakes have been made but stressed that the government is prepared to take corrective action when this proves necessary.
“We are determined to do the things for which we were elected by Greek men and women.
It is this that gives us the strength to not back down,” he underlined, and urged everyone to join the “democratic front” in order to democratically restructure the country.

El Greco Paintings on display in New York

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) The Onassis Cultural Centre in New York presents an extraordinary group of 15th and 16th century paintings, including early works by El Greco.
Under the title “The Origins of El Greco” the exhibition features 46 exceptional works from public and private collections in Greece, Europe, the United States and Canada, many of which have travelled to the U.S. for the first time.
Tracing the cross-currents of Byzantine and Renaissance influences in the workshops of 15th and 16th century Crete the show is the first to focus on the evolution of the multifaceted relationship of Cretan painters with Western art during this rich period.
The exhibition will run until February 27, 2010 and will be officially inaugurated on December 8, by Culture and Tourism Minister Pavlos Geroulanos and the Archbishop of Crete, Irineos.

Greece’s New Parliament Sworn in

Greece's new 300-member parliament that emerged from the October 4 general elections was sworn-in on Wednesday morning, in a special ceremony in the unicameral House. (ANA-MPA/Aliki Eleftheriou)

Greece's new 300-member parliament that emerged from the October 4 general elections was sworn-in on Wednesday morning, in a special ceremony in the unicameral House. (ANA-MPA/Aliki Eleftheriou)

(ANA)  Greece’s new 300-member parliament that emerged from the October 4 general elections was sworn-in on Wednesday morning, in a special ceremony in the unicameral House.  The swearing-in took place after the traditional blessing, officiated by Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens and All Greece.  “I swear in the name of the Holy Consubstantial and Indivisible Trinity to keep faith in my Country and in the democratic form of government, obedience to the Constitution and the laws and to discharge conscientiously my duties,” the MPs pledged, with the exception of PASOK MPs Nikos Sifounakis, Maria Damanaki, Spyros Kouvelis and Maya Tsokli, and the MPs of the two Left parties, while the two Muslim deputies elected on the main opposition PASOK party’s tickets in Xanthi and Rodopi took a similar oath with their hand on the Koran.  The MPs of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE), with the exception Liana Kanelli, did not take a religious oath, while the MPs of the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA parliamentary alliance) did not attend the religious party of the ceremony.  The KKE and SYRIZA parliamentary groups submitted letters to the parliament presidium endorsing a political oath instead of the religious oath, which is set out in the Greek constitution.  Ruling PASOK holds 160 seats in the new parliament, followed by main opposition New Democracy (ND) with 91 seats, the KKE with 21 seats, the Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) with 15 seats, and SYRIZA with 13 seats.

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 New Acropolis Museum at the World Media

The Acropolis Museum OppeningThe Acropolis Museum, designed by architect Bernard Tchumi with Michael Photiadis and their associates, has been constructed to exhibit the unique finds and architectural sculptures of the Acropolis of Athens.  Its official inauguration took place on June 20, 2009 and was attended by Heads of States and Governments, Ministers and other officials from around the world. The Secretariat General of Communication – Secretariat General of Information operated the Press Center for the official inauguration from June 17 through June 20 and facilitated more than 400 journalists and photographers, representing95 Greek and 167 foreign Media.  The Acropolis Museum has a total area of 25,000 square meters, with exhibition space of over 14,000 square meters, ten times more than that of the old museum on the Hill of the Acropolis offering all the amenities expected in an international museum of the 21st century. The admission price for the museum has been set at one euro throughout 2009, while from 2010 the admission price will rise to 5 euros.  According to Culture Minister Antonis Samaras, the new Acropolis Museum received 90,000 visitors in the first seven days since its official inauguration on June 20. The average number of tickets for the e-ticketing section for the first five days reached 11,000, while visits to the museum’s website exceeded 260,000 from the Americas to Nepal and Mongolia.

World Media on the Acropolis Museum

New Acropolis Museum Welcomed Internationally

Acrop Museum(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  The New Acropolis Museum received more than 90,000 visitors during the first seven days since its official inauguration on June 20, while visits to the new museum’s website exceeded 260,000 from 169 countries, from the Americas to Nepal and Mongolia, Culture Minister Antonis Samaras announced during a press conference, a week after the celebrations.  The cost of the inauguration events, which were attended by several foreign heads of state and government, was far less than the anticipated sum of €3 million. The minister emphasised that the authorities’ target to attract attention through the international media was successfully met. According to Secretary General of Information Panos Livadas, 440 journalists representing 167 media organisations from 36 countries covered the event, producing over 760 news pieces.  Greek News Agenda: Special Issue- The New Acropolis Museum

New Acropolis Museum in Polish Media

“Rzeźby na przymusowym wygnaniu”

GRECJA OTWIERA MUZEUM I WALCZY O EKSPONATY

Acropolis Museum(tvn24.pl) Nowoczesne Muzeum Akropolu zostanie uroczyście otwarte w sobotę. Będą w nim prezentowane rzeźby i inne dzieła sztuki ze szczytowego okresu starożytnej demokracji ateńskiej. – Nie możemy dedykować tego wspaniałego, nowego muzeum całym sercem – żali się grecki minister kultury. Ateny bezskutecznie domagają się od Wielkiej Brytanii zwrotu części cennych eksponatów. FOR MORE

Elgin & the Meaning of the Acropolis

hitche(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  Christopher Hitchens, The Elgin Marbles: Should They Be Returned to Greece?, Verso, 1998 “In 1801 Lord Elgin, then British ambassador to the Turkish government in Athens, had pieces of the frieze sawed off and removed to Britain, where they remain. Here Christopher Hitchens recounts the history of these precious sculptures and forcefully makes the case for their return to Greece…” Eleana Yalouri, The Acropolis, Berg Publishers, 2001 “This book looks at the meaning of the Acropolis in contemporary Greece. How are global ideas adopted and adapted by local cultures? How do Greeks deal with the national and international features of their ancient classical heritage? How do the global cultural constructions surrounding the Acropolis become part of local practices which project Greek cultural difference?” Mary Beard, The Parthenon, Profile Books, 2004 “The ruined silhouette of the Parthenon on its hill above Athens is one of the world’s most famous images. Its ‘looted’ Elgin Marbles are a global cause célèbre. But what actually are they?”

The New Acropolis Museum

Making it as good as new…

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) Three days remain until the grand opening of the new Acropolis Museum, on June 20. Both the Museum’s organisation team and the Ministry of Culture are working closely to put the final touches on the surrounding area and of course, the Museum itself. The Acropolis Museum Website: www.theacropolismuseum.gr
• THE OPENING: June 20, a night to remember….
Fulfilling the core philosophy the ancient monument represents, the official inaugural event will not indulge in excessive or ostentatious displays, but will become a moderate festivity with artistic infusions. The guest list is long and comprises heads of state and government, royalties, top level officials, eminent academics and presidents of other museums. New technologies will be used to showcase the antiquities, acting as the “artistic event” of the evening. A dinner on the museum’s terrace will close the event and a cruise of the Saronic Gulf has been organized for the day after the inauguration ceremony for the heads of state and government attending. Tune online and watch the opening ceremony on June 20th. New Acropolis Museum Organising Committee: Preparing the museum

• THE MUSEUM
♦ A Museum of Sculpture and Light….

The New Acropolis Museum is a purpose built museum by architects Bernard Tschumi and Michalis Fotiades to house the archaeological findings related to the Acropolis Hill. It is located at the foot of the Acropolis (300 metres -980 feet-southeast of the Parthenon) and the total cost of the museum was €130 million.  The first Acropolis Museum was completed in 1874. Successive excavations on the Acropolis have uncovered many new artifacts which needed additional space for their housing. The initiative for a new museum coincided with Greece’s campaign over the return of the Elgin Marbles. Greece claims that the new museum offers both a technically and historically unparalleled shelter for the Acropolis’ treasures. Quoting the architect, “the museum appears effortless and almost undesigned.” The goal of the orchestrated simplicity is to focus the viewer’s emotion and intellect on the extraordinary works of art. Thus, the extensive use of glass in the Museum. The design allows for the free flow of natural lights into the museum spaces through 50 skylights, while the Parthenon gallery is flooded by light.
♦ Digital Parthenon
The museum’s crown jewel is the Parthenon gallery, where the entire frieze is exhibited in the same order and with the same directional orientation as when it adorned the monument. Visual contact from the gallery to the monument was set as a prerequisite and as a result, the visitor can now relish a breathtaking view of the Acropolis, the surrounding historic hills and contemporary Athens. Speaking to the Financial Times (June 4), the President of the museum, professor of archaeology Dimitris Pandermalis said that the “arrangement and labelling of sculptures, from the freize of the Parthenon to the dozens of free-standing pieces is designed so that people can wander around, stop and look, feel they are engaging directly with the antiquities.” Culture Minister Antonis Samaras stressed the importance of digital technology. “It has a big role to play in explaining not just the ancient world but modern Greek history. We would like to have visitor centres at the main sites that would use virtual reality to recreate scenes from daily life as well as the big battles,” he said. Ministry of Culture: www.parthenonfrieze.gr &  Play with the Frieze Acropolis Restoration Service: Let’s Go to the Acropolis! – Kits
A Symbolic Entrance Fee
Samaras announced that entrance to the museum will cost €1 for the first six months. 2,200 tickets will be on sale online (e-ticketing) for the first three days, while about 2,5 million visitors are expected every year.  The Acropolis Museum was recently selected as the main motif for a high-value euro collectors coins: the Greek Acropolis Museum commemorative coin, minted in 2008.  This coin was issued to commemorate the re-opening of the museum. On the obverse, a panoramic view of the Acropolis can be seen; the museum resides in the base of it.
THE SIZE: The largest and finest one of all…
The words describe the famous sanctuary of ancient Athens, the Acropolis, as it so happened that the Acropolis of the fifth century BC was the most accurate reflection of the splendour, power and wealth of Athens at its greatest peak.  The New Acropolis Museum is 25,000 square metres with exhibition space of over 14,000 square metres- ten times more than that of the old museum.  The glass encased Parthenon Gallery is 7.5 metres high and has a floor space of over 3,200 square metres. It hosts approximately 4,000 artefacts.  The museum will offer all the amenities of an international museum of the 21st century.

THE TECHNOLOGY: The Old Masters; how well they understood

Just as the ancient masterpiece prevailed upon its contemporary monuments worldwide in craftsmanship and technology, the New Acropolis Museum is also designed and constructed based on environmental friendly and functional novel techniques, becoming that as well a monument of dexterity and grace.  In particular, the Museum’s novelties focus on a shell of glass covering the Parthenon gallery which allows natural light, while protecting contents from radiation and maintaining a normal temperature.  The floors of glass – 5 centimetres thick – are designed to provide the visitor with a view to the 2.5 acre area of underground excavations. The special soundproofing materials and the anti- seismic construction standing on 92 pillars are designed to endure a quake measuring up to 10 on the Richter scale.

ACROPOLIS: The lance of Athena’s statue was visible from miles away…

At the entrance of the Acropolis once stood an immense statue sculptured by Phidias, that of goddess Athena fighting in the frontline (Athena Promachos).  The colossal bronze statue is lost, but according to descriptions it was so large that ships approaching the coast of Attica could see Athena’s lance.  For the first time after 200 years of archaeological excavations at the on the rock of the Acropolis, all the significant findings will be displayed together in the one museum, telling the complete story of the Athenian Acropolis and its foothills.  Rich collections dating from prehistoric times through to the Archaic, Classical, Hellenistic and Roman periods and up to late antiquity (700 AD) will provide visitors with a comprehensive picture of the centuries-old human presence on the sacred site.  The sculptural decoration of the Parthenon, the Erechtheion, and the Temple of Athena Nike, (the four major monuments built on the Acropolis under Pericles), together with the Propylaea (entrance, the gates) comprise some of the most important Classical architectural sculptures.  Among these, the Parthenon frieze with the splendid portrayal of the Panathenaic procession, the metopes and the pediments, the famous Erechtheion caryatids and others.  Ministry of Culture: The Archaeological site of the Acropolis of Athens & The Acropolis Restoration Project National Geographic Channel: The secrets of the Parthenon VIDEO

WORLD MEDIA ON THE MUSEUM

The New Acropolis Museum has been in the spotlight of the foreign media for years. The media report on the museum making references to the historic resonance of the event, the artistic superiority of the museum’s building, as well as to the problems which emerged during its construction.  The Press also emphasises the international campaign over the repatriation of the Parthenon marbles showcased in the British Museum and Melina Mercouri’s personal contribution to the cause of the marbles’ reunification.

PROMOTION AROUND THE GLOBE

The new museum has helped revive the interest in Greece’s classical heritage.  The achievement of creating a new home for something which is considered part of Greece’s supreme legacy has sparked a series of cultural events almost in every continent.  From the United States to China, and from Athens to Helsinki foreign audiences have been offered a vivid, detailed and comprehensive presentation of both the Acropolis treasures and the new museum.  Secretariat General of Information: Press Center for the inauguration of the New Acropolis Museum & The Acropolis Museum: Press Kit

PARTHENON MARBLES: THE INTERNATIONAL CAMPAIGN
“In the name of the world’s cultural heritage…”

The movement to reunify the Parthenon Marbles, which are situated at the moment in the British Museum, has been gathering remarkable support worldwide over the years and especially during the last months. In fact, in view of the New Acropolis Museum’s opening, Greece’s claim for the restitution of the Marbles has grown all the stronger. Parthenon international“- an association of various national committees from different countries, the “American Friends of the New Acropolis Museumorganisation or the British campaign group “Marbles Reunited” are part of the international campaign sharing the same vision of the marbles’ return. On June 15, Parthenon International sent a letter to both the British Museum and the British Government, communicating their view on the matter.
Melina Mercouri: “Culture is Greece’s heavy industry”

Internationally renowned Melina Merkouri (1920-1994) was a towering figure of Greece’s cultural life of the 20th century. Daughter of an MP and grandchild of Spyridon Mercouris, a former mayor of Athens, the actress, singer and politician Melina Mercouri was an ardent supporter of the Parthenon’s Marble repatriation. As minister of Culture, Mercouri openly claimed the Parthenon Marbles and devote herself to it. Together with her husband Jules Dassin president of the Melina Mercouri Foundation until his passing away (2008), Melina Mercouri led a successful campaign, a fruit of which could be considered the New Acropolis Museum.  Melina Mercouri Foundation: www.melinamercourifoundation.org.gr You Tube: Melina Mercouri describes the Parthenon Marbles [Footage screened on the Greek television programme  “Erevna”  (=Research)]

New Acropolis Museum: Tour of the permanent collections

Karyatides(ANA-MPA) The New Acropolis Museum, which will be officially inaugurated on Saturday, contains five Permanent Collections: The Acropolis Slopes, divided into sub-categories on The Settlement, and The Sanctuary; The Acropolis during the Archaic Period, with sub-categories on The Hekatompedon, The Ancient Temple, abd The Votives; The Parthenon, with sub-categories on The Monument, The Metopes, The Pediments, and The Frieze; Other Monuments of the Classical Acropolis, with sub-categories on The Propylaia, The Temple of Athena Nike, and The Erectheion; and Other Collections, with sub-categories on The Sanctuary of Artemis Vravronia, The Votives of the Classical and Hellenist Periods, and The Votives of the Roman Period. ANA-MPA takes its readers on a tour of the collections, in three parts, leading up to the official opening. The Museum opened its electronic gates (www.theacropolismuseum.gr) on Monday.
New Acropolis museum viewed from AcropolisTHE ACROPOLIS SLOPES
The first gallery of the Museum houses finds from the slopes of the Acropolis. The gallery’s glass floor affords views to the excavation, while its upward slope alludes at the ascent to the Acropolis. In antiquity, the slopes of the Sacred Rock constituted the transition zone between the city and its most famous sanctuary. This was the area where official and popular cults, as well as large and small sanctuaries existed alongside private houses.
The Settlement
Among the sanctuaries, or at a slightly lower level, archaeological excavations brought to light parts of the urban fabric of ancient Athens and gave evidence of its almost uninterrupted settlement from the end of the Neolithic period (about 3000 BC) until late antiquity (6th century AD). Houses and workshops, roads and squares, wells and reservoirs, as well as thousands of objects left behind by the local people in antiquity all provide valuable insight into the past. Most finds are made of clay, as objects made of other perishable materials have been lost to us, while the most valuable objects have been looted. The finds include tableware and symposium vessels, cooking pots, perfume holders, cosmetics and jewelry containers, children’s toys and others.
The Sanctuaries
The slopes, caves and plateaus of the Acropolis hill were sacred to gods, heroes and nymphs. The south slope was home to two of the most important sanctuaries of the city, those of Dionysos Eleuthereus and Asklepios. It was also the site of several other temples, smaller in size, yet of great importance to the Athenians. At a short distance from the Sanctuary of Asklepios was a small open-air temple dedicated to the Nymphe, who was the protector of marriage and wedding ceremonies. There, the Athenians dedicated the nuptial bath vases, as well as other votive offerings, such as perfume bottles, cosmetics and jewelry containers and symposium vases.
THE ACROPOLIS DURING THE ARCHAIC PERIOD
parthenonThe period throughout the 7th century BC, until the end of the Persian Wars is called Archaic. This period is characterized by the development of the city-state and the development of democracy. It is also characterized by great achievements in the economy, art and intellectual life. In the early 6th century BC, the cult of Athena Polias on the Acropolis continued to be pursued in her late-geometric temple. In 566 BC, the tyrant Peisistratos re-organized the Panathenaia, the greatest festival in honor of the Goddess. It is possible that at that time, for reasons of political propaganda, a large temple was erected at the site to be occupied later by the Parthenon. This temple is the Archaic Parthenon or Hekatompedon, dedicated to the military facet of Athena Parthenos, the patron divinity of the city.
The Hekatompedon
The earliest building known on the Acropolis was the Hekatompedon or Hekatompedos neos – meaning 100 feet long, and comes from an inscription referring to the layout of the sanctuary. It is thought that the building was built on the site, later occupied by the Classical Parthenon. The fragments of poros architectural members and sculptures uncovered to the south and east of the Parthenon, reveal that the Hekatompedon was a Doric peripteral temple. The lioness pediment is distinguished by its high-relief carving and its striking size. It depicts a lioness with an unusually bushy mane, rearing on its hind legs and tearing apart a calf. It is believed to have adorned the east pediment of the temple. Two compositions belong to the west pediment. The one to the left depicts Herakles on his right knee, wrestling with the Triton, a creature with a body of a man ending in the scaly tail of a sea monster. The group to the right is the Triple-Bodied Monster, a composite creature consisting of three male figures conjoined at the waist. Each figure holds an object in its left hand: the first has water, the second fire, and the third a bird (symbolizing air).
The Ancient Temple
The Gigantomachy pediment belongs to the decoration of the Old Temple of Athena. It has been argued that the Temple had an earlier building phase (570 BC), involving the poros sculptures that are now assigned to the Hekatompedon, while the marble sculptures were associated with a renovation by the sons of Peisistratos. It is possible, however, that the Temple was built and given its marble sculpted decoration in the last quarter of the 6th century BC. The compositions of the pediments consist of larger than life-size statues, carved in Parian marble, which are attributed to the workshop of an important Athenian sculptor, either Antenor or Endoios.
The Votives
From the time of Peisistratos onwards, the site of the Acropolis began to fill with votive offerings, offered to the Goddess, both as tokens of respect and as marks of financial and artistic development. These important offerings were mostly statues meant to please the Goddess. The human form was at the core of artistic pursuit, and its depiction resulted in technique perfection. On the Acropolis, statues and other expensive artefacts were commissioned by members of aristocratic families and wealthy professionals, manual workers, as well as women, such as washer women and bakers. Clay plaques depicted Athena either as Promachos, fully armed and resting one foot on a chariot, or as Ergane, seated and spinning.
Ministry sponsors children’s film dedicated to the New Acropolis Museum
The education ministry on Wednesday announced that it will debut a children’s film dedicated to the Parthenon atop the Acropolis, entitled “The Parthenon and its Sculptures”. The film will be shown primarily within the New Acropolis Museum’s main atrium, as the entire museum will officially be inaugurated on Saturday. MORE PHOTOS. Continue reading

Greek Finance Minister at 10th Venture Capital Forum

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   Economic growth will come from within business activation and through collaboration between public and private sector, economy and finance minister Yiannis Papathanassiou said on Tuesday, addressing the 10th Venture Capital Forum organised in Athens by the Invest in Greece Agency in cooperation with the New Economy Fund (TANEO) and the PRAXIS network.  Papathanassiou also said that the government will continue to fulfil its duty with responsibility, adding that it was seeking consensus, unanimity and understanding at the national level.  In the framework of the country’s safe exit from the crisis, he said, businesses were called on to assume their significant role with new initiatives, a creative disposition, and investments in sectors on which growth in the new era will be founded. Ministry of Economy and Finance: Statement by Minister at 10th Venture Capital Forum (in Greek, 16.6.2009) 

www.The Acropolis Museum.gr

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   The website of the New Acropolis Museum is now open. (www.theacropolismuseum.gr). Visitors may take a virtual tour of the exhibition halls, learn the history of the museum and become more familiar with the cultural heritage of Greece from ancient times until today.   The e-ticketing service allows a prospective visitor to buy a ticket from anywhere in the world and choose the day and hour of the visit. During the first three days after the official opening of the museum – Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday (June 21, 22 and 23), the visitors will be able to buy tickets only online because the box offices will be closed. From June 21 to December 31, 2009, the cost of a ticket is a symbolic €1
Tune online and watch the opening ceremony on June 20th

New Vandalos Film: “My Life in Ruines”

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  Nia Vardalos’s new Greek-themed, Hollywood movie “My Life in Ruins,” will be released in Greece tomorrow (28.5); the world premiere took place in Athens on April 3, and was the closing film at the 8th annual Tribeca Film Festival in New York.   In the United States, the nationwide release is scheduled for June 5The film, featuring Vardalos as an archaeologist and tour guide, is set among ancient ruins and will be the first Hollywood production that secured a permit to film at the Acropolis site. The movie was partly sponsored by the Greek National Tourism Organization.   Greek News Agenda: “My Life in Ruins

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.  

Athens: A New Look for an Old City

Acropolis Museum

(photo: When it opens in June, the New Acropolis Museum will display treasures from the Parthenon /Cameron Hewitt) 
(www.minpress.gr / NBC, 28.04.09)  NBC’s Rick Steve reports on Athens’ dramatic change. The city of about 4 million has made a concerted effort to curb pollution, clean up and pedestrianize the streets, spiff up the museums, build a new airport, and invest in one of Europe’s better public-transit systems.  Athens still has its “big three” sights: the Acropolis, the Ancient Agora and the remarkable National Archaeological Museum. In June the fourth big sight of the city is opening – the New Acropolis Museum.
The new museum is a world-class space, custom-built to showcase the Parthenon sculptures, a state-of-the-art building worth a look itself.   Besides sightseeing, Athens is ideal for strolls and wanderings through the Plaka district, through the Monastiraki flea market and the Psyrri neighborhood. Read more…

Greek Photo-Art Travels to New York

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  Myrto Papadopoulos and Sirio Magnabosco – winners of the Cedefop/Thessaloniki Photomuseum awards for 2007 and 2008- are representing the Thessaloniki Museum of Photography at the New York Photo Festival which takes place in Brooklyn N.Y., from May 13 to 17.

Greece: Going Green Creates Jobs

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   Thousands of jobs are being lost globally, and environmentalists believe that countries could create new jobs – more than 150,000 employment opportunities in Greece – by investing in environmentally friendly projects.  Greenpeace representatives in Greece presented a report on May 7, demonstrating that between 98,500 and 155,000 jobs could be directly created by 2020.   “For every position created, another 1.6 jobs would be indirectly established,” said Greenpeace. Areas where people could be employed include expanding renewable energy sources, recycling and organic farming.  Greenpeace- Greece: Green development and new jobs (in Greek)  See also: Athens Plus: Global warming needs to be an election issue (8.5.2009, p.13)

Athens 2009: Something Old, Something New

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) NBC’s Rick Steve reports on Athens’ dramatic change. “The city of about 4 million has made a concerted effort to curb pollution, clean up and pedestrianise the streets, spiff up the museums, build a new airport, and invest in one of Europe’s better public-transit systems.  Athens still has its “big three” sights: the Acropolis, the Ancient Agora and the remarkable National Archaeological Museum. In June the fourth big sight of the city is opening – the New Acropolis Museum. It is a world-class space, custom-built to showcase the Parthenon sculptures, a state-of-the-art building worth a look itself. City of Athens: www.cityofathens.gr/en; Breathtaking Athens: www.breathtakingathens.com

Baroso at the New Acropolis Museum

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso visited (26.4) the New Acropolis Museum. Culture Minister Antonis Samaras and Professor Dimitris Padermalis showed him around the venue, which will officially open its doors on June 20. Barroso said that it was a great privilege to visit this important museum before its official inauguration.Today, after having met with Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis, Barroso will attend a two-day international conference on “Biodiversity Protection Beyond 2010: Priorities and options for future EU Policy” in Athens, which will also be addressed by Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis and Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas

Greek Foreign Minister D. Bakoyannis on Foreign Policy

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis referred to the “new multi-polar balance of powers” – which has taken shape since the fall of the Berlin Wall – as well as to the political framework created by the current world economic crisis, during an address on Monday at an event organised by the Constantine Karamanlis Institute of Democracy. The minister also expounded on the philosophy, the objectives and pursuits of Greek foreign policy which she termed a modern patriotic policy.  “In this political landscape, Greece proceeds with a foreign policy which is based on a broader consensus, follows a consistent national strategy, aims at placing Greece at the centre of decision making processes, enriches its potential with economic diplomacy activities and is being characterised by transparency, clarity and knowledge of international realities,” Bakoyannis noted.  Athens News Agency: FM on foreign policy