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3D video capture, transmission and display conference February 16, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Shows & Conferences.
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A conference on the capture, transmission and display of 3D video will take place on the island of Kos, Greece, from 7 to 9 May. The event is organised by the EU funded 3D-TV Network of Excellence (NoE).

The objective of the conference is to bring together researchers and developers from academia and industry with diverse experience and activity in distinct but complementary areas.

For further information, please visit > http://www.3dtv-research.org

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EasyCruise this summer to the Greek Islands February 16, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in News Cruises.
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EasyCruise is charting a new course this summer, taking its no frills concept to the Greek Islands.

After a successful season in the Caribbean, easyCruiseOne will be shipping out to sail the exalted waters of the Aegean sea this summer sailing the Greek Islands. Starting with its final Caribbean cruises, it also adding more polish to its itineraries introducing Greek inspired spa services.

EasyCruise’s concept is to sail bright and early, arriving in a new port by late-morning, giving passengers the chance to enjoy both the day and nightlife on land. In addition, passengers can join the cruise where and when they want, subject to a two-night minimum, with a 14-night maximum stay. Airfare is not included.

The Greek Islands itinerary on easyCruiseone sets sail on May 31, 2007 from Athens for $282.00 per person, double occupancy for a ten night vacation in an ocean view cabin. Ask for the code Greece 10. Must book by September 30th. Reservations can be booked at www.easycruise.com or through your travel agent.

Archaeologists discover theatre in Athens February 16, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Archaeology Greece.
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Sections of an ancient Greek theatre were discovered on Thursday during construction work in an Athens suburb, archaeologists said.

Until now, only two such buildings were known in the ancient city where western theatre originated more than 2,500 years ago. Fifteen rows of concentric stone seats have been located so far in the northwestern suburb of Menidi, according to Vivi Vassilopoulou, Greece’s general director of antiquities.

“Another section appears to lie under a nearby road,” she said. “The remains were discovered during excavation work, supervised by archaeologists, for a new building,” Vassilopoulou said. “But it is still very early to offer any conclusions.”

The structure has not yet been dated, and further details are expected to emerge following a full excavation. Menidi is thought to be built over the ancient village of Acharnae, the largest of a string of rural settlements outside ancient Athens. Ancient writers mention a theatre at Acharnae, but no traces of it had been found until now.

The village was linked with Dionysos, the ancient god of theatre and wine, as the Athenians believed that ivy, his sacred plant, first grew there. Built in semicircular tiers on hillsides, ancient theatres were monumental, open-air structures that could seat thousands of spectators.

Theatre first emerged as an art form in late 6th century B.C. Athens, where ancient playwrights competed for a prize during the annual festival of Dionysos, in whose cult the art originated. The works of Sophocles, Aeschylus, Euripides and Aristophanes were performed in the theatre of Dionysos under the Acropolis.

Originally a terrace where spectators sat on the bare earth above a circular stage, it was rebuilt in stone during the 4th century B.C. and could sit up to 14,000 people. Another smaller theatre has been discovered in southern Athens.

Athenian architecture in the spotlight February 16, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Architecture Greece, Greece Athens.
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A new project, part of an international network, plans for specially designed guided tours of the capital

olympiccomplex.jpg  The Maroussi Olympic Complex and Santiago Calatrava’s designs are included in the walks.

Whenever architect Minas Papadakis happened to host friends from abroad in Athens, he faced a chronic problem. His friends wanted him to instruct them on strolls through the city that would acquaint them with the unknown aspects of contemporary Athenian architecture. But guided tours would only go as far as the Byzantine era and did not offer anything in languages other than Greek. 

So he was obliged to create a personal guide that had to include all of the capital’s particularities, the buildings that are spread out across the vast city, instead of being concentrated in small groups, as is the case in other European cities, as well as the difficulties of access and transport.

But the problems were solved when the Athens-based architect, who has an office in Kolonaki with colleague Tassos Apostolos, the two were awarded the first prize in the competition for the restoration of the Alana in Thessaloniki’s suburb of Toumba, came across the network for architect guides.

This network, www.guiding-architects.net, includes 15 European cities, Hamburg, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Berlin, Vienna, Zurich, Copenhagen, Lisbon, London, Munich, Bregenz, Oslo, Porto and Stockholm. Professional architects run guided tours in their cities, focusing on contemporary architectural production. At the latest meeting, which took place in Porto, network representatives decided to include Rome and Athens in the program.

“We are talking about Athenian architecture from the 1930s onward, when modernism started to gain its place in Greece. It is nice to be able to introduce an era of Greek architecture which is almost unknown to the foreign public, but also to locals,” said Papadakis. “We are also addressing Greeks. It would be great to include locals in our guided tours so as to clear up certain misunderstandings.”

Five different thematic tours are on offer: “1950s-1960s: Greek Modernism,” “Modern Regionalism,” “The Evolution of the Apartment Block,” “Architecture for Tourism” and “Highlights.” But these tours are only meant to facilitate those interested, who are free to create their own guided tour. The initiative has been welcomed by flat owners and managers, but access to schools has proved more difficult.

The guided tours, which are conducted in four languages, English, Greek, Spanish and Italian, are based on flexibility, which means that clients can also decide on the time schedule. “There are two-hour, four-hour and six-hour programs which can include one or more stops or even a meal,” Papadakis said. Prices also vary, depending on the time and the number of participants. A two-hour program usually starts from 100 euro. For further information, log on to www.arcult.gr or call 210 7291328.

A celebrated director is left out in the cold February 16, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Movies Life Greek.
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Theodoros Angelopoulos postponing filming of ‘The Dust of Time,’ the second part of his trilogy, as he awaits ministry green light

‘The Dust of Time’ the second film in director Theodoros Angelopoulos’s trilogy, ‘does not end with closure the way the previous one did. It is open… like a poem of tomorrow waiting to be read,’ he says. 

The title “The Dust of Time” seems to be a symbolically apt one for the second part of Theodoros Angelopoulos’s trilogy which began with “The Weeping Meadow” in 2004. The celebrated Greek filmmaker has made numerous attempts to begin filming over the past two years, but the financial burden of the production appears to be a bit too heavy for the Greek state. The 1 million euros in funding promised by former culture minister Evangelos Venizelos has yet to be handed over as it has got lost somewhere between the corridors of the ministries of culture and finance. The director, nevertheless, is persevering, driven by the principle that “cinema is not a profession; it is the breath, the serum of life.”

Angelopoulos has spent a lot of time traveling to Russia in search of the perfect location, to the Ural Mountains and the Siberian steppes. He scouts locations in snowstorms, wearing his hat and Montgomery coat, envisioning the scenes, images of “a big world.” A few days ago, he had a brief meeting with Jeanne Moreau in Paris. The reason for the meeting was a telephone call from Cannes Film Festival President Gilles Jacob. “He said, ‘We are celebrating 60 years of the Cannes festival and would like a small contribution from the directors we love; a three-minute film.’ ‘But Gilles,’ I said, ‘My clapperboard shot lasts three minutes!’”

Angelopoulos’s idea for the flash film is based on a dialogue between two films: his own “The Beekeeper” and Michelangelo Antonioni’s “La Notte.” “It is a dialogue between two people,” explains Angelopoulos. “The present Jeanne Moreau and the late Marcello Mastroianni.” The location is an old cinema in the north of Paris and the only Greek on the crew was photography director Andreas Sinanos.

The filmmaker is now in Berlin, holding talks with the German co-producers of “The Dust of Time” and two of the lead actors, Bruno Ganz and Willem Dafoe, even though he has not completely abandoned the idea of having Ethan Hawke play Dafoe’s role. The entire project is in a state of flux anyway, but there is one thing that is very steady about it, and that’s the director’s persistence to get it off the ground, any any cost.

The central character in Theodoros Angelopoulos’s trilogy, in both the first installment, “The Weeping Meadow” and the second, “The Dust of Time”, is Eleni. “Essentially it is a trilogy about Eleni,” says the filmmaker. “The third part of the trilogy will be about an absent Eleni. The second part is a precise continuation of the first film. The story begins in 1953, on the day Stalin died, and ends in the present, in 2007. Basically, it is about the relationship between past and present. The narrative is not linear as it was in the previous film; it is constructed on many different levels. The central axis of the story is a love affair. It is about a woman, played by Valeria Golino, who loved two men in her life, Harvey Keitel and Bruno Ganz, and they both loved her back until the very end. She is on a journey in search of one of them, while the other follows her wherever she goes. Ganz plays a German Jew who fled to the Soviet Union to avoid being taken to the concentration camps. There, in Tashkent, he meets Golino. They are both exiled to Siberia. They live together for several years, yet her mind is always on Harvey.”

“A child is born and grows up in Brooklyn, New York, where he becomes a film director and tells the story of his own life and that of his parents. In fact, he makes a film of the story,” explains Angelopoulos.

Filming of “The Dust of Time,” however, has been canceled several times already and these delays are beginning to hurt the production. “The Greek side is not behaving at all well,” said Angelopoulos. “There is a strange silence, and I’m not at all sure what it means. I have a written commitment from the Ministry of Culture regarding funding. I have a contract with former culture minister Evangelos Venizelos for three films. I had asked current Culture Minister Giorgos Voulgarakis to honor the contract and he assured me he would, and also told me to meet with Finance Minister Giorgos Alogoskoufis. We met and he agreed too. This happened last May,” said Angelopoulos. 

EU court rejects Greek WWII claims February 16, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Greece News.
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Europe’s highest court rejected arguments yesterday by Greek citizens seeking compensation from Germany for a World War II massacre in the northern Peloponnese town of Kalavryta.

The descendants of 696 people executed by the German army on December 13, 1943, brought the case to the European Court of Justice after Greek courts said they lacked jurisdiction.

The descendants, led by Irini Lechouritou, have been fighting since 1995 in Greek courts to secure compensation for financial loss, non-material damage and mental anguish. An earlier bid was rejected on the grounds that such cases could not be brought against a sovereign state.

The family members then took their case to an appeals court, which asked the European Court of Justice if the case could be considered under a 1968 convention on the enforcement of civil and commercial matters. However, the Luxembourg-based court ruled that military actions carried by state authorities do not fall within the scope of civil matters covered by the agreement.

“In the present case, operations conducted by armed forces are a characteristic emanation of state sovereignty,” the European Court of Justice said. “Consequently, a legal action such as that brought by Ms Lechouritou and other plaintiffs for compensation in respect of loss and damage caused by such operations does not fall within the scope of the Brussels Convention.”

The case is expected to now go back to the court in Patras for a decision. Relatives of Greeks killed by the Nazis have filed tens of thousands of lawsuits against Germany claiming reparations, but Greece’s highest court ruled in 2002 that such compensation claims against a foreign state cannot be heard in Greece.

Greek singer Haris Alexiou opts for rare live shows February 16, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Music Life Greek.
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At the Athens Concert Hall Haris Alexiou will perform songs from her vast repertoire.

Haris Alexiou has made up her mind. “I have decided to make rare live appearances and dedicate myself to my work,” she recently told a group of journalists gathered at a press conference, in view of five concerts she will be giving at the Athens Concert Hall.

“I went through the phase of singing at live music clubs; I’ve had my fair share and have nothing more to gain from this kind of wear,” she said, adding that the Athens Concert Hall appearances come as a special compliment.

“It is a great honor because those in charge at the Athens Concert Hall asked me to give a series of concerts based exclusively on my repertoire.”

Directed by Panos Papadopoulos, the concerts are part of the Athens Concert Hall’s special guest appearances. In “Haris Alexiou… Dreams, Memory in Song,” the prominent vocalist will present a panoramic musical journey spanning her entire career, ranging from “Mikra Asia” (Asia Minor) to “Vyssino kai Nerantzi” (Sour Cherry and Sour Orange). The Athens Concert Hall’s Friends of Music Hall will welcome well-known tunes written by remarkable Greek composers including Vassilis Tsitsanis, Manos Hadjidakis, Mikis Theodorakis, Mimis Kouyioumtzis, Manos Loizos and Giorgos Zambetas, among others, as well as Alexiou’s very own “Panselinos” (Full Moon). Alexandre Myrat will conduct the Patras Orchestra in the first four concerts. The final concert on March 3 will be under the baton of Anastassios Symeonidis.

At the Athens Concert Hall, 1 Kokkali Street and Vasilissis Sofias Avenue, Athens, tel 210 7282333. Tickets for the upcoming performances February 26, 27, 28 and March 2 and 3 are already sold out.