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A taste of Greece in Porto-Fino September 23, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Greek Taste World.
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The taste may not exactly conjure the wine-dark Mediterranean Sea shimmering beneath a brilliant blue Greek sky, but it’ll do for a great lunch.

If you haven’t yet, you need to try Porto-Fino’s Greek salad, a generous-sized concoction of three kinds of lettuce (iceberg, romaine and green-leaf), thick sticks of feta cheese, Kalamata olives, pepperoncini, green peppers, Bermuda onions, thick wedges of tomatoes and cucumbers, all sprinkled with oregano and fresh parsley.

And, of course, the homemade dressing, perfected by owner George Velitskakis, 30, and his father, who opened the small family restaurant 22 years ago.

Oh, yes, and it comes with four slices of crispy garlic bread, essential for soaking up the tangy dressing. This could be the only meal you’ll need for the day.

About 60 percent of the salads sold at the restaurant are the Greek salads, Velitskakis said. Porto-Fino’s is at 730 Ferry Cut-Off. Call 322-3330.

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Santorini celebrates book featuring its ancient past September 23, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Books Life Greek.
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Iris Tzachili’s new book on the history of excavations on the island of Santorini will be launched tomorrow evening in Oia.

The book “The Beginnings of the Prehistoric Aegean: Excavations on Thera and Therasia in the 19th Century” by archeologist Iris Tzachili is to be launched by the Community of Oia on Santorini tomorrow afternoon.

The book launch will be held against a backdrop of the famous Oia sunset, at the Aghios Georgios Festival House in Oia with a galaxy of speakers headed by Professor Christos Doumas, Director of excavations at Akrotiri, Thera, since 1975; Claire Palyvou, an associate professor of architecture at Thessaloniki University, and, naturally, the author, who is an associate professor of history and archeology at Crete University. The coordinator is Manolis Lignos, an author and the publisher of the Theran News.

The publication was subsidized by Kathimerini SA and the launch is being organized by the Oia Community Development Corporation. On Sunday, September 24, Santorini will be at its best, with Oia’s whitewashed houses spilling down the rocky slope facing the caldera.

The tourist hordes have thinned; the popular island is slipping back into the quiet season in its authentic, pure Aegean beauty. This weekend was chosen by the Oia community and its President Dimitris Halaris for the presentation of a book that honors archaeological research and its pioneers, a book that is a scientific study of the early history of archaeology in Thera’s network of islands that began in the 19th century.

The book is a collection of information about this research, aimed at presenting a picture of Theran society during the Bronze Age. The link with the past and the search through reports left by past researchers was undertaken by Tzachili at the urging of Professor Doumas, who has written the preface to the book, in which he congratulates the author and expresses his thanks.

Doumas also notes the vote of thanks that the archaeology community owes to the Therans, as well as to Aristides and Themistocles Alafouzos. This book, accessible not only to the archaeologist, researcher and scholar but to the layperson with an interest in the history of archaeological research in Thera and Therasia as well, fills once and for all what was a gap in the archaeology of the Aegean.

The new Thessaloniki City Hall September 23, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Architecture Greece.
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thessalonikicityhall.jpg  A new public space will link the two main blocks in Thessaloniki’s new city hall, currently under construction and due for completion in 2008.

When the foundation stone of Thessaloniki’s new City Hall went into place on September 5 in the presence of Public Works Minister Giorgos Souflias, it marked the end to a delay that had dragged on for nearly eight years. Work has begun, according to a plan designed by leading Athenian architects Tassos Biris, his late brother Dimitris and associates. The building is scheduled for completion in 2008.

The new City Hall will be on the corner of Vassileos Georgiou and Tritis Septemvriou streets in a central location already replete with notable architecture, including the Archaeological Museum designed by Patroklos Karantinos and the Museum of Byzantine Culture designed by Kyriakos Krokos. Though the proximity of two buildings of such symbolic significance from different eras is appealing, it did raise concerns for the architects who, in any case, have avoided creating a pompous ensemble.

“We wanted to design a non-invasive building complex that would have a direct connection to the city,” said Biris, “so we created an internal walkway between the two basic units of the complex that will join Vassileos Georgiou to the neighborhood to the rear.”

It looks more like a passageway, but it is a sizable outdoor area, which visitors can easily access. “It is both a courtyard and a garden with seats and greenery, and there is an amphitheater as well,” he said.

The two main buildings, loosely linked, are designated to meet different needs. The first, which overlooks the Museum of Byzantine Culture, will house all municipal authorities and services, while the second will be used for recreational and social activities.

The total area is 14,000 square meters, yet the building does not look massive due to the way it is shaped and distributed. Biris explained they had aimed “for the feeling of a complex rather than a single block.”

The laying of the foundation stone coincides with the completion of two more city halls, both in Attica: The new Gerakas City Hall (designed by the office of Dimitris and Liana Potiropoulou) and the new city hall in Peristeri.

Sadly, architecture is still undervalued in Greece. It is almost impossible to learn the names of the architects of the new city halls. Though municipal websites will mention the most minor politician who attended the inauguration ceremony, there is no reference to the people to whom we owe the design of the buildings. It’s like a cinema showing a film and failing to mention the director’s name.

Icon theft suspect arrested September 23, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Police & Crime, Religion & Faith.
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elonaicon.jpg  Greek police have recovered a priceless 700-year-old icon stolen last month in a daring raid on a cliffside monastery.

Authorities arrested a Romanian national in Iraklion, Crete, yesterday who is thought to be the head of a gang that allegedly stole a priceless icon from a monastery in Leonidio, in the eastern Peloponnese. He revealed that the icon of the Virgin Mary was hidden in a house south-east of the monastery in Elona.

In August, a 700-year-old icon, which is said to have the power to work miracles, was stolen from the cliff-side Elona Monastery.

Police said that they found jewelry and other items that had been placed on the icon as votive offerings at the home of the 28-year-old suspect in Crete. Additionally, footage of the Monastery was also found on the suspect’s video camera.

The icon was not located but investigations are continuing in Athens where it may have been taken in order to be sold. Two other Romanian nationals were also questioned in connection to the theft yesterday in Tripolis, in the Peloponnese, and Kavala, northern Greece. Police have also alerted their Romanian counterparts to be on the lookout for the icon which may already have been smuggled out of the country.

The celebrated icon, which some say has miraculous powers, symbolised Greek freedom during a 19th Century campaign to expel the Turkish Ottoman empire.

The icon was found secreted in a hole in a thick stone wall in the house where it had been stored. According to the Public Order Ministry, the painting had not been damaged despite being cut from its wooden frame during the robbery on 19 August.

The deeply religious and superstitious people who worship at the Elona monastery attribute the discovery to the power of prayer. The Panagia, as the icon is known, is said to protect the inhabitants of the region and to cure the sick.

Dimitris Tsigounis, the Mayor of Leonidio, the nearest town, said he was very happy that the icon had been found and promised a ceremony at the Monastery next weekend to honour its safe return.

Originally the police believed the icon had been stolen to order for a rich collector, or on behalf of someone who was sick and hoped to benefit from its reputed powers. But, according to local legend, the miracles only work if the icon is safe in the small stone chapel high in the mountains of the Peloponnese.

Thessaloniki International Film Festival September 23, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Movies Life Greek.
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47th  INTERNATIONAL THESSALONIKI FILM FESTIVAL
November 17-26 2006

The Thessaloniki International Film Festival (TIFF), spearheaded by President Georges Corraface and Director Despina Mouzaki, continuing its tradition of playing a major role on the world stage, has long established itself as South-Eastern Europe’s primary showcase for the work of new and emerging filmmakers, as well as the leading film festival in the region. Building on its success, TIFF will make its presence strongly felt at Cannes this year through several initiatives.

For the first time, TIFF will operate a pavilion at the International Village, in cooperation with the Greek Film Centre, providing Greek filmmakers a window on the world market. At the same time, it gives foreign filmmakers as well as buyers and producers the chance to get better acquainted with the Festival and all it has to offer. The TIFF-GFC pavilion will be available to all Greek film professionals for their business meetings, acting as a nucleus for the promotion of Greece and Greek cinema to the world.

A party hosted by TIFF for invited film professionals and journalists will be held at the Carlton Hotel, on Nikki Beach on May 23, at which part of the program of the 47th Festival will be announced.

Since its inception, the International Thessaloniki Film Festival has striven to present the most innovative independent films from around the world. The 47th edition will be held in Thessaloniki, November 17-26. The main sections of the festival remain roughly the same as in the recent past with the Official International Programme consisting of Competition and Out-of-Competition sections as well as Special Screenings.

The International Competition Section, programmed by Despina Mouzaki, caters to first or second features by new and emerging filmmakers. Fourteen to sixteen feature films will vie for the two main awards: the Golden and the Silver Alexander, each carrying a € 37,000 and € 22,000 prize respectively. Other awards include Best Director, Screenplay, Actor, Actress and Artistic Contribution plus the Audience awards.

For additional information > http://www.filmfestival.gr/index_uk.htm

Arts and Culture News > In Brief September 23, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Arts Events Greece, Arts Exhibitions Greece.
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Photo exhibition of “Che”

The Che Guevara Study Center is organizing a unique photograph exhibition, with photos taken by Che Guevara in his innumerable travels.

The exhibition is hosted at the St. Marcus Basilica in Crete, until the 28th of September. 238 photographs are shown from the years 1951 to 1963, along with different objects he used on his hobby.

The exhibition has already been presented successfully in Valencia, Rome, Denmark, Austria, Greece and Latin America.

“Praise to the Olive Tree” exhibition

On Tuesday September 19, the official opening of the exhibition “Praise to the Olive Tree” took place at the UN headquarters. The exhibition was opened by the UN’s Secretary General Mr. Kofi Anan, Greece’s Foreign Affairs Minister Mrs. Dora Bakoyiannis and Greece’s Minister of Culture Mr. Giorgos Voulgarakis.

The exhibition includes entities from the Greek mythology, the tree’s history in the Mediterranean and in relation with the Greek people, its significance to the economy, the diet and health of the people and its conversion to symbol and its reference in worship and art.

Lorka week at the book gallery

The Cervantes Institute in Athens, in collaboration with the Theatrical Museum, the Greek Spaniards Company and the Book Gallery, are organizing the “Federico Garcia Lorka Week”, from the 25th to the 30th of September in the Book Gallery, for the seventy years since his assassination.

During the tribute to the Spanish Literary, there will be a display of books and theatrical material as well as round table discussions.

There will also be on display, photographs, posters and theatre programs from Lorka plays performed in Athens, that were contributed by the Athens Theatrical Museum.

The cows were just snatched away

The cows that decorated Athens during the “Cow Parade” exhibition were so loved that at the auction for their sale they were just snatched away.

All cows were sold for 950.000 euro, money that will go to non profit organizations. The price of the most expensive one reached 21.000 euro.

Duran Duran in Athens September 23, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Music Life Live Gigs.
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After their triumphant show in 2005, Duran Duran are coming back to Greece for one concert on the 22nd of October.

It must be noted that on their previous visit, although they were scheduled to appear at the Lycabetus open-air theatre, they appeared at the Terra Vibe in Malakasa, due to unforeseen demand for the concert’s tickets.