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A Fashion Museum to open in Greece November 14, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Arts Museums, Fashion & Style.
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Development Minister Dimitris Sioufas said on Monday that the Government was seeking to open a Fashion Museum in Greece.

The Museum would aim to link the Greek designing and output market with global trends in fashion in line with the internationalised business environment, Sioufas told a news conference.

In addition, the development ministry is seeking to provide Greek Fashion Week, which has been held four times, with steady and statutory backing, the Minister added.

Cypriot fashion designer Erotokritos was one of the participants at the 4th Greek Fashion Week featuring Spring-Summer 2007 collections organised last month by the Panhellenic Association of Fashion Designers at the Zappion Hall in Athens.

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Bonhams expects new world records at Greek Art sale November 14, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Arts Auctions.
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The fusion of skills and cultural sympathy in Greek art comes together powerfully in a painting “The Sultan’s Favourite” by Theodore Jaques Ralli, one of the many stunning images by Greek artists on view at Bonhams next Greek Sale on December 12 in New Bond Street.

Ralli, awarded the Legion of Honour by France, used the skills of the Dutch Realist School to capture the magic of Turkish harem life.

The painting is estimated to attract bids in the region of £40,000 to £60,000. Ralli was one of those artists who consistently managed to sell their work even before they were completely dry, a fact that explains why the National Gallery in Athens has so few of his works.

This ninth Greek sale at Bonhams since the first one in 2002 is expected to break a number of new world records for Greek artists, says Philippe Glyptis, of Art Expertise in Athens, agents for Bonhams. Prices have risen consistently since these sales have been held in London. Estimated prices in this sale range from £600 to £180,000, this top price being for “Summer” by Yiannis Moralis (born 1916).

Among the 213 items for sale at least four are tipped for record prices. These are lot 69, by Nicolaos Lytras, Shores of Tinos (£40,000 to £60,000); Lot 104, The Sailor by Nikos Engonopoulos (£80,000 to £100,000); Lot 135, The Abduction of Aegina by Nikos Nikolaou (£28,000 -£35,000) and Lot 162, Summer by Yiannis Moralis. (£130,000 – £180,000).

A further highlight of the sale is lot 25 by Nicholaos Gyzis, a work given by the artist to his friend, the well established German artist, Eduard Kurzbauer. Titled “Spring” it is estimated to make £40,000 to £60,000. Writing of this artist N. Misirli notes: “Gyzis, a visionary by nature, was distinguished by an idealistic outlook on life, evident throughout his oeuvre and especially in his allegorical compositions. “ This view received fresh impetus after his first visit to Greece after seven years in Germany, was made in 1872 and was a life-changing experience. He noted both the everyday things of life in Greece and he also envisioned the enternal intangibles that a few sensitive souls can detect.

In this sale there are a number of artists whose work will in effect be rediscoveries, including work by Spyridon Yiannaris, lot 73; Spyridon Yiannoukakis lot 99; Jason Molfessis lot 140 and George Lolossidis lot 141.

But without doubt the wonderful Ralli picture, The Sultan’s Favourite, is one of the most beautiful and seductive Greek paintings ever offered at auction. This painting, lot 14, is from the collection of Ivada Parker of Los Angeles, California.

The Sultan’s Favourite is immersed in an atmosphere of romantic mysticism and eroticism. bathed in a translucent light enfolding the shores of the Bosphorus and the skyline of Constantinople dominated by the domes of the Agia Sofia and the Blue Mosque.

The Sultan’s Favourite reclines in a small canoe-like vessel trailing her fingers in the waters of the Bosphorus. This harem beauty confronts the viewer inviting you into a dream world of water myths. In reality such pleasure trips made the harem buzz with excitement. The harem woman, poet and musician, Layla Saz described just such an exquisite outing and adventure in an interview recorded on the last day of her life. Her words echo what the Sultan’s Favourite might well have said of her boat trip.

“Our real joy was the simplicity of nature. We would run away from the noise of the city and throw ourselves in the water. There were hundreds of kayiks and women in silk and diaphanous veils like apparitions. I can never forget those beautiful days. The crystal voices of the singers licked the shores of the Bosphorus, trembling and dying into the water.”

Urban night scenes November 14, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Arts Events Greece, Arts Exhibitions Greece.
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Leonard Cohen’s ballad “Ain’t No Cure for Love” is the inspiration behind the latest work by Marie Perrakis, which is currently being presented in the artist’s one-woman show at the Aigokeros Gallery. “Ain’t No Cure for Love” which is also the title of the show, includes around 20 large oil paintings showing urban night scenes, mostly high-rise buildings that remind one of New York City, Perrakis spent a couple of years in Manhattan.

Presented as a series, the works suggest a lonely, nighttime promenade through a fictional city in search of companionship, and for the lost love that Cohen’s song speaks of. Perrakis captures the anonymity and loneliness of urban life as well as the growing need for emotional fulfillment. In several of the paintings, the artist has used tiny lightbulbs instead of color to suggest the light that comes from apartment buildings.

Perrakis has also used mixed-media techniques before in her work but is mainly a painter. She studied macroeconomics and specialized in statistics but later entered the Athens School of Fine Arts where she studied painting and took courses in photography, sculpture, set design and mosaics.

Her solo exhibition at the Aigokeros Gallery shows the artist’s interest in exploring different themes and putting across a different mood each time.

Paintings by Marie Perrakis at the Aigokeros Art Gallery, 45 Xenocratous street, Kolonaki, Athens, tel 210 7223897, through November 22. Open Monday-Friday 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; Wednesday and Saturday 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

A futurist with a heart for history November 14, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Music Life Live Gigs.
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Contemporary jazz singer Vanessa Rubin on the past’s inspiration, ahead of her Greece shows

‘I don’t like talking political or sociological theories. I’m more interested in whether a listener has a special listening experience. The most important thing of all is to be able to listen to music without prejudice. It may sound idealistic, but, if you think about it, that’s how everything began,’ says jazz singer Vanessa Rubin.

She plays at Thessaloniki’s Mylos Club on Thursday before starting a weeklong series at the capital’s Half Note Jazz Club on Friday.

She grew up to the sounds of Count Basie, Ray Charles and Motown Records, studied journalism and worked as a high school teacher for a living. But her musical talent and devotion to the field eventually brought her to the forefront among contemporary jazz singers. Vanessa Rubin earned her reputation singing jazz standards, material by Sting and Stevie Wonder, and collaborating with jazz greats such as Lionel Hampton, Kenny Burrell, Jean «Toots» Thielemans and Herbie Hancock.

Rubin is set to perform a series of shows in Greece, beginning with one performance this Thursday at the Mylos Club in Thessaloniki, followed by a week at the Half Note Jazz Club in Athens, from Friday through November 23. 

World Diabetes Day November 14, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Health & Fitness.
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Special kiosks to give free blood tests

Nine special kiosks offering free blood-sugar tests and advice about diabetes will be open from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. today in various parts of Athens, including in Syntagma and Omonia squares, on the occasion of World Diabetes Day.

Doctors will be on hand to answer questions at the booths, which have been set up by the Health Ministry.

Exhibition of Piet de Jong works in Athens November 14, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Arts Events Greece, Arts Exhibitions Greece.
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An exhibition featuring the works of noted 20th century artist Piet de Jong, best known for his celebrated watercolor illustrations of antiquities and artifacts uncovered at numerous archaeological excavations around Greece before and after WWII, opened at the Benaki Museum’s Pireos Street Annex on Monday.

The exhibition consists of roughly 150 watercolors and ink drawings by de Jong, a British national who was also an architect, with detailed illustrations of finds from the American School of Classical Studies at Athens’ excavations at the Agora.

According to the Benaki Museum, other watercolors depict sites at the Palace of Minos at Knossos, the Palace of Nestor at Pylos, Corinth, Mycenae, Eleusis and elsewhere, as well as caricatures of the great archaeologists of his day.

“Piet de Jong’s decades of work in Greece were testament to the scholarly commitment of many peoples from many countries to the study of ancient Greece; and the development from that study of ideals that are fundamental to modern life and thought. Tonight, therefore, we appreciate one man’s work, but through that work we continue to learn and appreciate the work and contributions of the ancient world,” US ambassador to Greece Charles Ries said during a brief address inaugurating the exhibition.

The exhibition, entitled “Piet de Jong: The Ancient Agora and the Art of Antiquity”, is organised by the American School of Classical Studies at Athens and the Benaki Museum, and sponsored by the Institute for Aegean Prehistory (major sponsor) and the US embassy in Athens (sponsor). It will run until January 7, 2007.

E-commerce in Cyprus November 14, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Internet & Web.
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Broadband home use rises
Anyone searching the internet from Cyprus for a computer lately cannot fail to have spotted www.cyprus-pc.com, but according to new data from the Statistical Service, this pioneering online retailer is the exception rather than the rule.

Only 7% of Cypriot enterprises that use the internet actually accepted orders via the internet in 2006, although this was higher than the 5.1% reported in 2005 according to the annual ‘Information and Communication Technologies Usage and E-Commerce in Enterprises’ survey.

At the same time, a parallel household survey found that only 6.7% of individuals ordered products over the internet, although this was higher than the 5.1% recorded in 2005. These individuals ordered mainly books, magazines, newspapers and e-Learning material.

More e-government
While e-commerce remains tiny, businesses are interacting more with the government online. Business using the internet for interaction with public authorities (mainly obtaining information) increased from 39.5% in 2005 to 44.3% in 2006.

More generally, computer and internet usage in business is widespread: 94.5% of enterprises used a computer in January 2006. Among small enterprises of 10-49 employees which is around 95% of all enterprises in Cyprus, there was an increase in computer usage from 92.8% in 2005 to 93.6% in 2006, as well as in internet usage, from 82.1% in 2005 to 83.7% in 2006.

Broadband home-use rises
The survey on households found that there was a significant increase, from a very low base, in internet connections via broadband, from 4.5% in 2005 to 12.1% in 2006, while the proportion with any kind of internet access from home rose from 31.7% to 36.7%.

The total percentage of households with a computer was 51.9% in 2006, while 40.9% of individuals aged 16-74 used a computer and 33.8% used the internet during the first quarter of 2006.