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Music > Eurovision Song Contest tickets and venue May 15, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Music Life.
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Ticket demand for the May 20 Eurovision Song Contest finals in Athens has exceeded all expectation, with tickets selling out in record time.

Nevertheless, there are still tickets available for the also glamorous semifinals and all the dress rehearsals. Tickets for the May 18 semifinals cost 50, 100, 150 and 200 euros.

Dress rehearsals for the semifinals are planned for May 17 (2pm and 9pm) and May 18 (2pm) with tickets costing 10, 20, 30 and 40 euros. The dress rehearsals for the finals will take place on May 19 (2pm and 9pm) and May 20 (2pm) and are priced at 20, 30, 50, 40, 70 and 90 euros (reservations on www.ticketstream.cz or www.eurovision.tv).

In the meantime, some 250 construction workers are putting the finishing touches on Eurovision’s venue at the Athens Olympics Sports Centre (OAKA). German company Procon and UK’s Stage One have joined forces under the supervision of set designer Ilias Ledakis to come up with a remarkable setting which combines high technology with elements of ancient Greek theatre.

Cow frenzy hits Athens May 15, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Arts Exhibitions Greece.
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Held in 33 countries since its launch in 1988, the open-air sculpture exhibition is parading free at the capital’s streets and squares

THREE months after its announcement the open-air sculpture exhibition CowParade is now the talk of the town. According to the organisers, the humorous sculptures have found spaces for display and the sponsors to undertake the cost of their creation.

A total of 757 proposals were submitted by March 10, the competition deadline. Seventy-seven of those selected have already been ‘adopted’ by sponsors, with very few left unclaimed. Participants range from well-established artists like Diamantis Aidinis, Paniaras and Maria Filopoulou to art students, poets and others with artistic edge, be it in painting and sculpture or graphic designing and photography. Some of the artists chose to cow-create in the privacy of their atelier, while others, in a more social mood, work under the same roof at the Cow Studio in Goudi’s Equestrian Centre. The studio is open to the public from 9am to 8pm daily and from noon to 8pm at weekends for those who wish to witness the creative process or photograph the sculptures.

AthensCowParade

Treating their 60kg model of a white cow (made of waterproof fibreglass) as their ‘canvas’, the artists decorate their model’s surface with colourful designs. The more adventurous convert them into coquettish socialites, evzones, ancient vessels, frogs and dogs. “The works ‘adopted’ by the sponsors were not selected on the basis of an artist’s signature,” said art critic Iris Kritikou. “They were singled out depending on their sense of humour and originality. In other cases it was their choice of name, their Greek theme or their ability to transform themselves into something else that counted.”

The imaginative sculptures, which are expected to serve as a major tourist attraction along with livening up the capital’s grey profile, are now lining the capital’s streets and squares. The cows will be on parade in Syntagma, Kolonaki, Klafthmonos and Kotzia squares, Eleftherias Park (next to the Athens Concert Hall), Korai and Voukourestiou streets and other places. The dressed-up bovines will also make their way to the National Library, some children’s hospitals (Agia Sophia, Aglaias Kyriakou), the Athens Municipality Technopolis, the Eleftherios Venizelos Airport and a few metro stations.

The CowParade’s official opening was on May 8. Upon the exhibition’s closure and following first-aid repairs by a special force of ‘cow doctors’ – in case of damage due to excessive admiration on the part of the public or instances of vandalism – the sculptures will be auctioned and part of the proceeds will go towards charity in support of the “Mazi gia to Paidi” (Together for the Child) non-profit organisation.

CowParade came to being in 1998, the brainchild of Walter Knapp, a Swiss decorator in search of a clever way to support Zurich’s artistic output. Since then CowParade exhibitions have been organised in Chicago (1999), London (2002), Dublin (2003), Stockholm (2004) and Moscow (2005) among others. Over 5,000 artists have joined CowParade since 1998 and over 4,000 sculptures have been created to date. Held under the auspices of the Athens Municipality, the Athens CowParade (on the net: www.cowparade.gr) is co-organised by Asset Ogilvy Public Relations and Goldair. Apart from Athens, in 2006 CowParade shows will be held in Edinburgh, Lisbon, Wisconsin, Denver, Buenos Aires and Boston.

The other side of the family affair (dark side) May 15, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Police & Crime.
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Myconos child porn exposed

According to a police statement issued last saturday, Authorities arrested two businessmen on the popular island of Myconos in connection to running a child pornography site.

The two unnamed suspects, both aged 40, were charged with distributing child pornography and with profiteering.

The site was allegedly encoded with software (diallers) that was used to tap into visitors’ computers and use them to make international calls which would be charged to the person who had been viewing the site.

Authorities confiscated, among other things, two computers and four hard disks. The details of 18 credit cards and eight bank accounts were also discovered.

Police said they found tens of thousands of digital files containing videos and photographs of children in hardcore sex scenes.

Myconos is one of the most popular holiday destinations in Greece.

It’s a family affair in Greece and Cyprus May 15, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Living.
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According to an EU survey, Cypriots are the most likely people in the European Union to get married, whereas Greeks seem reluctant to tie the knot but are unlikely to get divorced once they have walked down the isle.

Timed to coincide with the International Day of Families today, the survey by Eurostat found that there were 7.2 weddings per 1,000 people in Cyprus, the highest in the EU. In Greece there were 4.2, the third lowest.

According to the poll, both Greeks and Cypriots stick to traditional values once they are married. Greece had the third-lowest divorce rate (1.1 per thousand people) after Ireland and Italy. In Cyprus, only 3.3 percent of children were born out of wedlock and in Greece this figure reached 4.9 percent, the two lowest rates in the EU, where nearly a third of the 4.8 million children born in 2004 came from unmarried couples.

Music > Eurovision Song Contest 2006 in Athens May 15, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Music Life.
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The countdown has begun for the Eurovision Song Contest 2006, this year hosted by the City of Athens.

The semifinal is next Thursday, May 18, at the OAKA Olympic Sports Complex’s indoor basketball stadium. So far the weather hasn’t been favorable and rallies have regularly closed off downtown Athens. But the banners have gone up with the Eurovision logo and the sponsors’ names along Vassilissis Sofias and Kifissias avenues, recalling past glories when the Olympic Games were held in Athens back in the summer of 2004, and creating a sense of anticipation.

Foreign journalists are in town — 1,600 are expected, and 400 Greek journalists have already been accredited. A vast press center is ready for them. Observers from the US have come to see how the contest works, presumably because they have something similar in mind.

As last year’s winner of Eurovision — with Elena Paparizou singing “My Number One” by Christos Dantis and Natalia Germanou — Greece is organizing this year’s contest. Anna Vissi will perform Nikos Karvelas’s song “Everything,” which is a firm favorite to win. ITV showed Vissi live from the Acropolis, talking about the return of the Parthenon marbles.

She also told Ben Shepard on Good Morning TV that she thought Greece would do well in the final. Shepard’s show is watched by six million viewers a day, so if that isn’t everything, it certainly is a lot. A seasoned performer with a powerful stage presence, Vissi believes Greece will win again: “I’m looking forward to the big night of May 20 more than ever before,” she said.

Work is still in progress on the stage with its high-tech lighting and sound systems. Designed by Ilias Ledakis, the stage is being constructed by the German company Procon with the British company Stage One. In yellow T-shirts, accreditation on lanyards around their necks, cheerful, polyglot young volunteers escort the foreign artists and journalists around the venue. Nightly parties will build up the atmosphere.

The first, organized by Athens Mayor Theodoros Behrakis and ERT (The Greek National Radio and Television) President Christos Panagopoulos, is Monday at 9 a.m. in the forecourt of the Zappeion Mansion, with special guest star Sakis Rouvas. Tuesday the party moves to Technopolis, Gazi, with Vissi and “Everything,” and on May 18, after the semifinal, EBU and ERT are partying at Euroclub, where the winners can rejoice and the losers can forget their woes.

We wish to all contesting countries Good Luck!