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Three centuries of Greek costumes as seen by travelers September 22, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Arts Events Greece, Arts Exhibitions Greece.
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Prints from the the John D. Koilalous collection are at the Benaki Museum

If it were not for the drawings that traveling painters to Greece produced from the 16th to the beginning of the 20th century, what local people dressed like, especially in the earlier period, would have remained largely unknown. In many cases, the initial drawings were later made into engravings, lithographs or etchings that were either presented on their own or printed in books or albums which were commissioned by private clients or publishing houses.

A large selection of this important documentary material is presented in “The Greek Costume, Printed Sources of the 16th – 19th century from the J.D. Koilalous Collection” at Benaki Museum in Kolonaki. Curated by Fani-Maria Tsigakou, the exhibition has been organized on the occasion of the donation that the collector J.D. Koilalous made to the Benaki of more than 500 printed images of Greek costumes.

The images are presented according to the region from where the costumes depicted originate. Displayed one after the other, like the open pages of a book, they afford valuable information about clothing as attributes of social class, profession, gender and taste.

However, those depictions should not be taken as exact documentations of Greek costume for, in varying degrees, they reflect the projections that western travelers made on what they saw. As the exhibition’s curator said, researchers should not rely on any one image as a source of information but make comparative studies to appraise the objectivity of an image and arrive at a a solid conclusion. Factors such as who the painter was, his skills as a painter and whether he actually visited a region or painted based on secondary images are important.

Many of the images reflect the rising interest in folklore that began in the 18th century. Others derive from the trend of orientalism. Many diplomats that were posted in the Orient, for example, bought local costumes and posed with them for their portraits. Several images in the Benaki exhibition are based on those portraits.

Most prints depict single figures but there is also a selection that documents banquets and festivities, although most prints are portraits of a single person.

The Benaki has printed a comprehensive, bilingual catalogue of the J.D. Koilalous exhibition.

“The Greek Costume” at the Benaki Museum (1 Koumbari street, Kolonaki, tel 210 3671000) to November 12.


Boutique draws in art world September 22, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Fashion & Style.
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The large retrospective of the Balenciaga collection at the Musee de la Mode et du Textile in Paris and the inspiring collection of Nicholas Ghesquiere have helped draw publicity to the Parisian couture house and render its collection one of the trendiest and most-talked about of the season. This is one reason that the fashion crowd may like to visit the refurbished Bettina boutique in Athens. Another is the fact that this Athens boutique, which carries well-known international designers such as Sophia Kokosalaki, Comme des Garcons and Junya Watanabe, is expanding its scope not just by including new designers and trendy brands but by also opening up to art-related projects.

Each season Bettina will host an art project and include in its premises works by international or Greek artists. Dimitris Antonitsis, an artist and curator, will be in charge of the selection.

Complementing the Balenciaga collection, the boutique currently hosts prints by Dutch photographer Inez Van Lamsweerde. Together with her partner in life Vinoodh Matadin and the M/M Parisian duo, van Lamsweerde has worked for the Balenciaga advertising campaign.

Future exhibitions that fall within the idea of marrying art and fashion, include a project that Greek fashion designer Angelos Frentzos has made based on the inspiration he drew from the work of artist Marc Bijl. Planned for the Christmas season, the exhibition will include women’s and mens’ clothing and accessories by Frentzos as well as works by Bijl.

Meletis Koropoulis, grandson of the boutique’s owner, aspires to give the boutique a livelier profile and attract a younger audience. For that purpose, he has included new designers and companies such as Superfine, Threeasfour, Jasmine de Milo, Casey Vidalenc, Anne Valerie Hash and Lorena Antoniazzi.

Alarm over extreme child porn September 22, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Police & Crime.
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A medical student who allegedly traded images of babies being sexually abused was yesterday charged with being a child pornographer by a prosecutor in Kavala, northern Greece, as experts expressed their shock at the type of material found in the 25-year-old’s possession.

The unnamed student was given 24 hours to testify before a magistrate after being handed the criminal charge of being involved in child pornography. He was also charged with circulating indecent images, which is regarded as a misdemeanor. Police seized from his home two computer hard drives which they say contained some 250,000 photographs and videos, including indecent images of babies. Officers believe the suspect was part of an international ring.

Officers said the student had no criminal record and his neighbors described him as being a “nice guy”.

Speaking at a conference in Thessaloniki on Internet safety, experts reacted to the uncovering of such hardcore child pornography.

“I thought that these kind of things did not happen in Greece,” said the head of the Greek Consumer Organization (EKATO), Tania Kyriakidi. She added that authorities should seek to punish people involved in the process of producing and selling the material, as well as those who purchase it.

Nikos Frydas, the director of Safenet, a self-regulatory body for Internet content which runs the Safeline.gr website said it is difficult to identify people who are involved in trading child pornography online.

“They usually trade in child pornography or carry out electronic crimes to make money,” said Frydas. “They may have some perversion but it is not always the case. They are not necessarily pedophiles, they are doing business.”

Frydas said there is no filter software which can totally guarantee that a child will not be able to access indecent material online. He said parents should be aware of how the Internet works and be prepared to report offensive sites to the authorities.

Bad diet and laziness harming our hearts September 22, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Health & Fitness.
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The unhealthy diet, sedentary lifestyle and heavy smoking embraced by many Greeks has resulted in the country rising from a low-risk area for heart disease to a medium-risk one, leading cardiologists told a press conference yesterday.

Youngsters are particularly at risk as many habitually consume junk food in front of the television, doctors said ahead of World Heart Day on Sunday. According to experts, the average 18-year-old has been bombarded with up to one million advertisements for convenience food.

Switching to a diet rich in fruit and vegetables and eating meals with the TV turned off will help reduce risks of heart disease, doctors said.

Kiosks with information about heart problems will be set up in Athens, Thessaloniki and Patras on Sunday.

Greek News > In Brief September 22, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Lifestyle, Living, Transport Air Sea Land.
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Researchers’ night

Dozens of university professors and researchers are to participate in shows and other activities in Athens and on the islands of Aegina and Kea this evening as part of a an annual European Union initiative called «European Researchers’ Night» and aimed at promoting a research career to youngsters. The pedestrianized walkway of Dionysiou Areopagitou in the capital’s center is to host performances involving music, theater and even cooking to inform the public about the research sector and woo potential recruits.

Children’s playground

The Athens-Piraeus prefecture opened the gates yesterday to a newly built 1,350 square meter children’s playground in Holargos, northeast Athens. The park, located on the corner of Anastaseos and Artemidos streets, cost some 305,000 euros.

Commuters, civil servants asked to leave their vehicles at home today

Travel on all forms of public transport is free today to mark World Carfree Day. Commuters will also be able to enjoy music from speakers set up at stations across Athens’s public transport network. Deputy Interior Minister Apostolos Andreoulakos yesterday sent out a circular appealing to ministers and civil servants to leave their cars at home and use public transport to set the example for car-dependant citizens.

The Hellenic Museum and Cultural Center September 22, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Hellenic Light Americas.
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The Hellenic Museum and Cultural Center is a National Museum and the only one of its kind in the United States. Founded in 1983, the Museum first opened its doors to the public in 1992, and has moved twice before coming to its final “temporary” home at 801 W. Adams Street, on the fourth floor of the Greek Islands building in the heart of Chicago’s Greektown.

At the Hellenic Museum, you’ll find the archival collection of Greek Immigrant Experience, a series of full-scale recreated scenes revealing the life and history of Greeks in America since the turn of the century. The Museum’s stated purpose is threefold: to document and preserve the history of the Greek immigrant experience in America; to provide a venue for the cultural aspirations of the contemporary Greek American in the visual, literary and performing arts; and to showcase and perpetuate the celebrated Hellenic culture of antiquity that is the Greek heritage.

Other revolving exhibits highlight the contributions of the Hellenic people in the performing and visual arts. Treasures include tapestries, embroidery, pottery, paintings and sculptures dating from the Byzantine period to the present. The Hellenic Museum opened its doors on May 8, 1992 and since then has already grown to the point where an entirely new, free- standing facility is in progress to accommodate the growing need for cultural programming, performance and exhibition space. Public programs include lectures, music and dance concerts, and demonstrations in folk art.

Related Links > http://www.hellenicmuseum.org/

He’s no Greek god but could play one on TV September 22, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Hellenic Light Americas.
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Hellenic Museum’s new effigy looks the part of the Athenian warrior it depicts

Chicago will welcome an effigy of Aristionos Erlonadistolokleos Friday, a sculpture of an ancient Athenian warrior with handsome ringlets, a dashing helmet, what looks to be a formidable spear and a limited appearance schedule for now.

The Hellenic Museum and Cultural Center, 801 W. Adams St., will unveil the bas-relief Friday.

But because the museum doesn’t have room in its temporary fourth-floor digs above the Greek Islands restaurant, the replica of the 500 B.C. Greek soldier will be hidden away until 2008, when the museum opens in a bigger, permanent location two blocks away.

Kathy Kalesperis Smith, director of operations for the museum, said the sculpture looks like a “typical Greek god,” but is actually a copy of a grave marker for a real man, Erlonadistolokleos, who lived and died 2,500 years ago.

The 6-foot-tall gift from the Greek Ministry of Culture arrived in a crate from Greece Wednesday and will be unveiled in a private ceremony Friday by Greek Minister of Culture George Voulgarakis. After the morning ceremony, there will be a brief period of public viewing, ending next week. After that, the bas-relief will be put in storage.

The gray funerary stele doesn’t fit in with modern pieces currently on exhibit at the museum, said museum spokeswoman Irene Metropulos. The center features a permanent exhibit on the Greek immigrant experience and a rotating exhibit called “Road to Rembetika,” about Greek blues music.

It is likely the relief of Erlonadistolokleos will come out again when the museum moves to a four-story 40,000-square-foot former hardware store, at the corner of Van Buren and Halsted Streets. It is scheduled to open in late 2008. “Then he’ll be a staple of our exhibit,” Metropulos said.

The donation of the replica, made of a hard plaster, was supported by Andrew A. Athens of the United Hellenic American Congress, and was a surprise, Metropulos said. “We got a call late last week saying a statue was coming,” she said. “It was all very sudden, and exciting.”

Visitors who want to get a “sneak peek” of the stone soldier should visit before Wednesday, when the museum will put him away in storage until room is made in a new exhibit.

Where: The Hellenic Museum and Cultural Center is at 801 W. Adams St., 4th floor.

Hours: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays. Admission is $5. Phone number: 312-655-1234.