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Spanish design at Megaron November 23, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Architecture Exhibitions, Arts Exhibitions Greece.
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Lamps are one focus of the coming show

In the last two decades, Spanish design has emerged as a major international player, touching upon all facets of culture, ranging from film to architecture and from fashion to soccer.

The increasing influence of Spain will be reflected in a most lively way on the Athenian stop of a traveling exhibition titled “300% Spanish Design.”

Organized by the Sociedad Estatal para Exposiciones Internationales (SEEI), the exciting show will take place at the Athens Concert Hall as part of the Megaron Plus series. The exhibition was unveiled for the first time at the Spanish pavilion during EXPO 2005 in Japan.

Spanish design talent is currently competing against established players such as Scandinavia, Britain and Italy in the fields of industrial design, furniture design and graphics, frequently finding itself on the cutting edge of contemporary European style.

Curated by Juli Capella, “300% Spanish Design” focuses on three objects linked to daily life: chairs, lamps and posters. According to Capella, all the items going on display were selected according to their provenance, authenticity, utility and modernity. At the Athens Concert Hall, the 300 objects will be showcased in the ground-floor foyer from December 1 to December 30.

Athens Concert Hall, 1 Kokkali Street and Vasilissis Sofias Avenue, Athens, tel 210 7282333.


Greek witnesses attend first trial by video link November 23, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Police & Crime.
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Greek witnesses yesterday testified from Piraeus by live video link to a court in Finland hearing the appeal of a Greek shipping firm over the foundering of a vessel off Finland in 1993 which caused an environmental disaster.

It was the first time that witnesses in Greece have participated in a trial taking place in another country using the teleconferencing method.

The witnesses were linked up to a court in Torgu, Finland, using a video screen and speakers installed in a Piraeus courtroom. From there they responded to questions from Finnish lawyers in real time.

The teleconference method, used regularly by international corporate executives, is permitted according to a European Union regulation encouraging “cooperation among member states in the judicial process of civil and commercial cases.”

Feta cheese reputation at stake November 23, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Food Greece.
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Farmers called on the government yesterday to step up checks on the dairy industry to help protect the quality of feta cheese, which Greece has been awarded the exclusive right to produce by the European Commission.

Industry experts accused some dairy producers of making feta without sticking to the rules that specify that the cheese must be made of 70 percent sheep’s milk and 30 percent goat’s milk.

“Greek sheep and goat farming have large growth prospects if certain conditions are maintained,” said Athanassios Papatheodoros, head of sheep and goat farming at the Agricultural Development Ministry.

In October last year, a European court ruled in favor of Greece having the exclusive right to the feta name for the cheese in a decision which ended over a decade’s haggling among EU countries over the food label.

According to the Agricultural Ministry, there are 8.7 million sheep in Greece and 5.3 million goats. Greece has just over half of the goats in the EU, which has a total of 12 million.

After four years, museum council holds first session November 23, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Archaeology Greece, Architecture Greece.
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Culture minister sees need to to attract more Greek visitors

Members of the Central Council for Museums, founded four years ago to create a single policy for the country’s museums, met for the first time recently, bringing together senior Culture Ministry officials and state museum directors.

The head of the Organization for the Construction of the New Acropolis Museum (OANMA), Dimitris Pantermalis, took the opportunity to announce that work on the new Acropolis Museum will be finalized in March of next year.

The minimalist design of the building is carried through to the interior, which is not divided into separate halls. “It is a continuous walk, which has been estimated at three-quarters of an hour,” said Pantermalis.

In contrast to the state-of-the-art structure, Culture Minister Giorgos Voulgarakis told the council it was generally accepted that many of the museums already in existence around the country left something to be desired, while Greek attendance at them was very low compared to the number of tourist visitors. He outlined work being done around the country to improve museum infrastructure.

Altogether, there are 165 archaeological museums in Greece, two state museums of modern art and another 41 private ones, one state and 42 municipal art galleries, seven museums devoted to the theater, 60 to modern cultural heritage, 28 to science and technology, 54 to history, 25 to natural history and 10 to maritime history.

“However, seven in 10 Greeks say they hardly ever visit a museum,” said Voulgarakis. Referring to a survey by Metron Analysis for Highlights magazine in 2005, the minister said it was the considerable increase in the number of tourists in recent years that had “provided the challenge” facing the country’s museums.

Over the past three years, revenues from ticket sales have risen from 5,134,133 euros in 2004 to 6,857,012 euros in the first half of this year alone, he added.

“Therefore a unified state museum policy is more important than ever,” he said, particularly in view of plans for more venues in Didymoteicho, Thermi and on the island of Icaria, as well as further work on the Athens Byzantine and Christian Museum. He also said a contract had been signed for an extension to the Thessaloniki Byzantine Museum and new museums in Tegea, Arcadia and in Neapoli, Laconia. Work is under way on new museums in Pella, Thebes and elsewhere.

Those in Ioannina and Nikopolis have been completed, while the Hania and Messara archaeological museums are on the drawing board, as are those in Alexandroupolis and Megalopolis, as well as improvements to the museums in Aghios Nikolaos, Crete, and in Sparta.

Two directors discuss road movies November 23, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Movies Life Greek.
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Wenders, Salles: A decade apart but of similar minds
Two directors discuss road movies at Thessaloniki International Film Festival

Separated by both a decade and a continent, filmmakers Wim Wenders, aged 60, and Walter Salles, 50, are nevertheless linked by the road. The German and Brazilian directors met at the John Cassavetes movie theater during the Thessaloniki International Film Festival on Tuesday to deliver a master class on the subject that unites their work: road movies.

The number of films made and their stature may not be equal, the first has created an entire school of moviemaking and left his indelible mark on world cinema, while the latter transcended the borders of his country just recently with “The Motorcycle Diaries” and “Central do Brasil”, but their appearance together in front of a huge and mostly youthful audience made for a very enlightening two-hour master class.

“Will you take the wheel first?” Wenders asked Salles. “No, you go ahead,” said the younger man, making his reticence clear at the end of the class by saying: “When I was asked to speak along with Wenders, I asked to be given a place in the audience. I have to say that ‘Alice in the Cities’ was one of the movies that defined my relationship with cinema,” he said.

On that note, the two directors showed, and talked the audience through, selected scenes from their films: Wenders mostly spoke on “Kings of the Road” (a black-and-white film which follows a film projector mechanic traveling through West Germany along the East German border), while Salles extensively presented “The Motorcycle Diaries” (a road movie based on the early travels of Ernesto “Che” Guevara through Latin America).

“The first on-the-road legend,” said Wenders, “was written by Homer and he was Ulysses.” His historical retrospective of the road movie leapt across the decades to come to the ground-breaking Lumiere brothers and the birth of cinema, which, Wenders said, changed humanity because “we began seeing things through images.”

The German filmmaker also discussed the importance of cinema to him: “For me, the camera has always been identified with freedom. Being outside and making a film go together for me. What am I doing out there? The horizon is the only answer. When you reach it, you realize you have another horizon ahead of you. In road movies, the road is the subject.”

For Salles, the first road movies he saw were ethnological documentaries like “Nanook of the North.” “Borders are not just external, but internal also,” said Salles. “In my films, I try to describe the crisis of a country along with the crisis of the individual. You can’t shoot a road movie in the same way as a classic narrative picture,” he said.

Wenders ended the class by addressing Salles and saying: “I think that deep down inside we are both documentary makers after all. Personally, I would prescribe it for all directors. I would forbid them to do narrative film before making a documentary.”

Related Links > http://www.filmfestival.gr/2006/index.php?pg=main&ln=en

Chen Kaige to receive award in Greece November 23, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Movies Life Greek.
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Chinese director Chen Kaige will receive an award for outstanding achievement at the 47th Thessaloniki Film Festival in Greece, the event organizers announced yesterday.

Chen Kaige will be honored with the Golden Alexander Special Award along with renowned German director Wim Wenders at the awards ceremony on November 26.

Twenty-two movies will be aired as part of a special out-of-competition session at the festival, including Chen Kaige’s masterpiece “The Emperor and the Assassin”.

The Thessaloniki International Film Festival has become the Balkans’ primary showcase for new and emerging filmmakers, as well as the region’s leading film festival.

Chinese actress and director Xu Jinglei has also been invited to sit on the jury of this year’s event.

Restaurant offers ‘Greek food fast’ November 23, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Greek Taste World.
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Greece is the word >
A new restaurant on Eighth Street East is serving up a variety of Greek fare, quickly.

“Our slogan is eat authentic Greek food fast,” said managing partner Nicole Wrubleski. OPA! Souvlaki of Greece, which opened in late August, serves up souvlaki, wraps, pitas, salad and gyros.

“Our Greek salad is just to die for. It’s one of most the popular items,” Wrubleski added. The 32-seat restaurant offers food to eat in, take out or to have delivered. Wrubleski said the restaurant is catching on with local customers. “It’s fast. My staff is friendly. We’re always happy,” she said.

There are OPA! eateries located throughout Canada, with another location operating in the Midtown Plaza in Saskatoon. Calgary-based Franworks is the franchising company for OPA! Souvlaki of Greece, and Wrubleski said the head office decided to open Saskatoon’s newest location on Eighth Street East.

The restaurant is open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and from noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday.

Address: 2311B Eighth St. East Telephone: 477-7734