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Archaeological Society > Exhibitions and sources of financing January 20, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Archaeology Greece, Arts Exhibitions Greece.
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The first exhibition planned for this year will document how archaeological exploration began in the Cyclades, by showing artifacts and photographs along with a number of manuscripts by archaeologists as well as material from exploration on Delos and Rineia.

“We will show how exploration began and how it became established, as well as reports by archaeologists. What they did, what they found, what hindered them, their adventures and problems caused by local villagers, something like a diary,” Petrakos said.

The second exhibition is of drawings by Anastassios Orlandos, some of the loveliest preserved in the society’s archives. Petrakos describes these as “beautiful paintings which should be seen by architects,” adding that the exhibition of watercolors of ancient art objects will surely be of interest to artists.

Later in the year another exhibition will display the miracle of preserving the frescoes at Akrotiri, 40 years after Spyros Marinatos began excavating here, work that is being continued by Christos Doumas.

The Internet portal with photographs from the society’s unique archive, incorporated into the Information Society program in the EU’s Third Community Support Framework, is in progress.

“We have received quite a large sum but not as much as we should have,” Petrakos said. “The society is not pleased.”

Another of the society’s obligations is to publish reports. The second volume on Elefsis is under way, as are those on the excavation of Pancratos. Another 16 excavations and explorations are also in progress but policy is to restrict them because “if we keep digging we would never publish anything. A book remains forever, the antiquities could be lost,” Petrakos said.

Related Links > http://www.archetai.gr/site/eng_page_uc.html


Archaeological Society bought the sites it intended to excavate January 20, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Archaeology Greece.
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A tomb on Rineia, an island near Delos which served as a cemetery (below)

A tomb on Rineia, an island near Delos which served as a cemetery.

“One of the most important moments in the history of the Greek state was the founding of the Archaeological Society in Athens in January 1837,” said its current general secretary, Vassilios Petrakos, a member of the Athens Academy.

“Inspired by the romantic classicism of an overseas Greek, Constantine Bellios, a group of scholars headed by Alexandros Rizos Rangavis and Kyriakos Pittakis founded a society for ancient artifacts, the country and science,” Petrakos added.

Their main purpose was to discover ancient ruins in Athens and to preserve them as well as possible. During the first half of the 19th century, only low-rise buildings went up in Athens and so the society wasn’t concerned about overbuilding. Because it did not have state powers, the society had to buy the sites it excavated.

Their work was visible for all to see. At the Acropolis for example, medieval buildings and others dating from the Turkish occupation were demolished. Heinrich Schliemann paid for the Frankish tower at the Propylaea to be demolished. Excavations on the southern side of the Acropolis reached from the Asclepeio to the Herod Atticus Theater. At Kerameikos, the gravestone of Hipparete, the granddaughter of Alcibiades, was found.

In Elefsina, houses and football fields were bought to save the Temple of Demeter, and the famous excavation of the five royal tombs at Mycenae was begun at Schliemann’s own expense.

The Archaeological Society, apart from the battles it fought, often bought shares; they did so notably in Tanagra, where antiquities smugglers rented properties so they could dig undisturbed and legally.

The Society bought the antiquities in order to save them. In other words, it was often forced to make many such purchases in order to ensure valuable artifacts at risk of being spirited out of the country stayed in Greece. A typical example was the marble statue of Poseidon from the island of Milos.

Delos > Bringing ancient civilization to light January 20, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Archaeology Greece, Arts Exhibitions Greece.
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The Greek Archaeological Society marks its 170th anniversary of excavations by featuring a series of vibrant exhibitions over the next two years

 The ancient temple on the Aegean island of Delos. The ancient temple on the Aegean island of Delos is seen above. (Photo from the Greek Archaeological Society’s archives.)

Without the excavations it has carried out in Athens and elsewhere in Greece, our perception of the country’s archaeological map would be quite different. Many monuments would have been destroyed and information on others would have been limited.

Athens still has remnants of ancient civilization, including the Acropolis, Philopappou Hill, the Roman Forum and Hadrian’s Library, the Pnyx, Observatory Hill, Kerameikos and Lycabettus, thanks to the Greek Archaeological Society, which has also excavated at Mycenae, Sesklo and Epidaurus.

The Society has every good reason to celebrate this year, its 170th anniversary. It’s an opportunity to look back at some of its work, which is recorded in its archives and library and is continually being updated. These rich files are considered comparable to that of the great old foreign archaeological schools here, including the French, British and American schools.

Four interesting archaeological exhibitions will be taking place over the next two years, beginning this month with a show on the Cycladic civilization in the basement of the Society’s Headquarters at 22 Panepistimiou Street in Athens. For the first time, drawings by the archaeologist Anastassios Orlandos will be shown, along with impressive watercolors of ancient sites. There will also be an exhibit with images of excavations at Akrotiri on the island of Santorini, marking the 40th anniversary of the work begun by Spyros Marinatos.

Visitors flock to Museums January 20, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Arts Museums.
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The number of visitors to Museums and archaeological sites last year likely reached a record high of more than 10 million, officials said yesterday as they revealed an imminent 1 billion euros investment program.

The Culture Ministry said that the number of people visiting ancient sites rose by 9.2 percent in 2006 from 2005. Visitors to Museums went up by 7.4 percent.

“We expect this trend to be strengthened, given that some significant developments have yet to be completed, such as the new Acropolis Museum, and some have just been completed, such as the Archeological Museum in Thessaloniki,” said the Ministry’s General Secretary Christos Zachopoulos.

The Ministry said that it has secured around 1 billion euro to spend from now until 2013. Much of this will go to protecting and improving archaeological sites.

Greek scientists > Vegetable can be used as sunscreen January 20, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Health & Fitness.
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A strain of the common bean which grows in the mountains of Serres and Drama in northern Greece is an effective sunscreen when mashed into a pulp, a group of scientists in Thessaly revealed yesterday.

Laboratory tests on genetic tissue show that the mashed pulp of the bean offers significant protection against the sun’s rays but further tests need to be conducted before the bean can be marketed, the scientists said. Greek and foreign firms have already expressed interest in the northern Greek bean.

The Greeks wade in Formula1 January 20, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Racing & Motors.
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Greece’s plans to host a Grand Prix took a big leap forward on Saturday when Greek President Karolos Papoulias signed a decree which will allow investors to seek funding from the Greek development ministry.

The government appears to believe that a Grand Prix will help to boost the country’s tourist revenues, an important source of earnings for the country. 

The local automobile club has been working on a plan to build a track at Orchomenos, 75 miles northwest of Athens on land that was allocated to the idea as long ago as 1992 but the authorities were not willing to help with the funding beyond agreeing to upgrade the road network around the town.

According to our sources, interest for a Formula1 racetrack has already been expressed by a number of  parties from Patras, Viotia and Crete. One of such companies, Aftokinitodromio Patras SA, has announced their plans for submitting a feasibility study to the Greek National Tourism Organisation in order to obtain required  governmental approvals for constructing a Formula1 racetrack at Rentes Chalandritsas in Patras.

Visions of light January 20, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Hellenic Light Americas.
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Chashasma presents Visions of Light, a solo exhibition of the acclaimed Greek sculptor Antonia Papatzanaki.

Visions of light exhibits Papatzanaki’s signature wall-reliefs, which represent her production of the last decade, and an installation of new Plexiglas works. Her work is a constant dialogue between the artificial light of the work and the ambient light of the surroundings. The works function as a conceptual manifestation connecting sculpture, architecture, and the experience of light.

Papatzanaki’s works are geometric, and simultaneously intangible and vivid. Formally the work has two aspects; one linear-geometric and one natural-organic. Only the viewer’s physical movement can bring the work’s structure into unity, fully revealing its form.

Papatzanaki believes that light is possessed of qualities that provoke specific emotional responses and mental images. Light is a heavily loaded universal symbol; directly connected to life and metaphorically to truth. Without light most life and vision do not exist. The dual substance of light, mass and energy, corresponds to the duality of human nature as mind and body. Primordial light is the ultimate confine of our world. Light signals the rhythm of our life and the passing of time.

Antonia Papatzanaki, born in Chania, on the island of Crete in Greece, is currently living in New York City. Papatzanaki was educated in Athens, Vienna, and New York where she completed her MFA at Pratt Institute. She is the recipient of many awards and first prizes for public art work installations. Papatzanaki has exhibited her works in ten solo exhibitions and many group exhibitions in Europe and the United States. Works by Antonia Papatzanaki are in the Vorres Museum in Athens, the Contemporary Art Center of Rethymnon, in Crete, and in numerous private collections, while several public works are on permanent display throughout Greece. Her outdoor light installation Agora was exhibited at Battery Park during 2000-2001 as part of the Temporary Public Art Program of the NYC Department of Parks & Recreation.

Chashama supports emerging and underrepresented artists by providing one of the most elusive commodities in New York City: space to create. Chashama works with landlords and developers to identify underutilized real estate, which the owner is willing to donate on a short-term, temporary basis, preferring to see underutilized spaces put to good use, looked after and maintained while they are awaiting commercial tenants.

Related Links > www.chashama.org