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Igoumenitsa finally gets museum February 20, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Arts Museums.
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The new venue will only be able to put on display 1,000 of its 14,000 archaeological finds

igoumenitsa1.jpg  igoumenitsa2.jpg  The new Museum will be open by the end of the year. At left, the archaeological sites of Elea and Doliani are part of a program which will work on the Thesprotian cultural heritage.

The northwestern city of Igoumenitsa has long been promised an archaeological Museum, but when the decision was finally made, the delays kicked in. Although the project started off back in 1999, it was only just recently that the study was eventually approved by the Central Archaeological Council (KAS). Still, even the new Museum will be too small to house all the exhibits of the Thesprotia province, which keeps surprising the local archaeological community with the discovery of new sites, one of which is at Ladohori.

The collection of the Igoumenitsa Museum comprises around 14,000 objects, yet visitors will only be able to see about 1,000. It is hoped that the museum will be open to the public by the end of the year, with exhibits ranging from the Middle Paleolithic period to late Byzantine times. “It is important to have an archaeological museum in the Greek hinterland,” said Garyfallia Metallinou, director of the newly founded 32nd Ephorate. So far, the Ragios Tower is the only archaeological site open to the public in the entire prefecture and, as far as cultural activities go, there isn’t even a movie theater.

The new museum is situated at the exit off Igoumenitsa toward Ioannina and was built on land provided by the Municipality. It is part of a wider program which aims to highlight the cultural heritage of Thesprotia, which further includes the development of other ancient sites, such as Elea, Gitani, Doliani (Fanoti) and Dymokastro.

The museum is an overall 2,214 square meters, with only 500 of those taking up the exhibition halls, it is hard to cram in the warehouses, the maintenance workshops and the offices.

The displays are spread across three different levels and divided into five basic units. The museum contains finds from the public life, war, religion and religious rites, private life and professions of the region. There is also a house reconstruction as well as a section dedicated to Thesprotia burial customs and local beliefs about death, one should not forget the area’s mythological connection to the rivers that led to Hades (the Underworld), the Acherondas and Kokytos. The study presented by Ourania Palli and Mariliza Lela was approved by KAS, with certain observations about its ability to withstand time. But the initiative to also create a touch display was praised.

Meanwhile, the ongoing works near the harbor and the Via Egnatia have created new needs and the new ephorate, which has been operating since September, is so far housed on the ground floors of two blocks of flats, with a lack of personnel or warehouses to store the antiquities. “We have been given some old, stone municipal buildings, but installing a simple alarm system is not enough to protect the antiquities,” said Metallinou.

The problem is pressing because the excavations keep producing new material. At the Via Egnatia alone there have been striking finds from the Paleolithic era, as well as 50,000 stone tools.


Satire meets song and dance at the Little Pallas February 20, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Arts Events Greece, Ballet Dance Opera, Stage & Theater.
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Eleni Gassouka’s Heroes perform every Monday and Tuesday.

You can make the acquaintance of the Heroes troupe every Monday and Tuesday night at the Little Pallas Theater. The group of young actors, which consists of Giorgos Kormanos, Thanassis Alevras, Matina Nikolaou and Maria Manioti, is staging a satirical show which moves from prose to singing and movement. The group’s driving force is dancer and choreographer Eleni Gassouka, who is credited with various noteworthy projects including the choreography of the 2004 Athens Olympics closing ceremony and her participation with the Agamoi Thytai music ensemble.

Gassouka appears with her Heroes for the second season in Athens. Following last year’s debut, the show underwent a refreshing facelift of the skits and cast, before taking on a difficult task, the group wants to make the audience laugh with clever satire and sharp commentaries on current affairs, accompanied by song and dance. Similar attempts have been accomplished by Agamoi Thytai, Giorgos Marinos, Jimmys Panoussis and the more recent Speira-Speira group.

The Heroes may not be the first group to stage such a show, but what they do have is a fresh outlook and plenty of talent, mostly in the skilled voices of Panos Mouzourakis, Constantinos Kotsadam and Vicky Karatzoglou. Except for a few awkward moments, the performance also provides ample laughter with its many memorable characters, including the gay man from Epirus, the prostitute who is after a television career on the popular soap opera “The Wedding Ring,” the Russian princess traveling with the trans-Siberian railroad, the Greek-Australian immigrant and the failed songwriter, who is also a favorite.

At the Little Pallas Theater, Spyromiliou Arcade and 2 Amerikis Street, Athens, tel 210 3210025. Mon & Tue, 9.15 p.m. Admission: 18 euros.

Promising indie-rockers play first Greek shows this week February 20, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Music Life Live Gigs.
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Ohio’s Jason Molina and Berlin-linked Melbourne band Devastations set to introduce their work in Greece 

Having surfaced in Melbourne in 2002 before moving to Berlin the following year, Devastations play Thessaloniki on Thursday and a double-bill in Athens on Friday with UK garage-rockers the Flaming Stars, a last-minute replacement for emerging New Zealand act the Veils.

Following in the footsteps of several preceding compatriot acts, such as the Birthday Party, a project that evolved into Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, the Go-Betweens and the Triffids, the contemporary Australian indie-rock trio Devastations opted to base itself in Europe not long after its debut album as a springboard for introducing its work to European audiences. The move, made in 2003, not long after the release of the trio’s debut album, has managed to generate praise for the band’s work from both peers and followers. As part of its European focus, the Australian band, whose dark-sounding style has prompted comparisons with acts such the Tindersticks, Madrugada and compatriot Cave, plays its first Greek shows this week.

Devastations open their Greek visit with a show in Thessaloniki this Thursday at the Mylos Club, and, the following night, play the capital’s Gagarin club.

The Athens show, a double bill, will co-feature British garage-rockers the Flaming Stars, a last-minute replacement for another emerging Antipodean act, the Veils, from New Zealand. The event’s promoter announced the Veils’ cancellation just days ago, citing the health problems suffered by one of the band’s members.

Devastations’ most recent album release, its second, strongly depicts the band’s experience in Europe, which the group has toured extensively, covering numerous cities stretching from Helsinki to Sarajevo.

Reflecting their away-from-home adventures, the album, titled «Coal,» was recorded at three locations, a concert hall in Prague, the former East Germany’s state radio-and-television facility in Berlin, as well as at a recording studio back home in Melbourne.

Sharing the marquee at the Australian band’s shows in Athens, the Flaming Stars were formed by Max Decharne, a former member of Gallon Drunk, who switched from drums to vocals and keyboards for his duties in the new band, formed in 1994. Most recently the band, a frequent performer in Greece, released a worthy compilation CD, «London After Midnight: Singles, Rarities and Barroom Floor-Fillers, 1995-2005.»

Jason Molina, another indie-rocker playing in Athens this week, also on Friday, at the Planet Music club, will perform in the country for the first time. It will close a European tour.

An Ohio-born singer-songwriter, Molina, whose material has often been compared to the moody feats of Will Oldham, as well as the celebrated veterans Leonard Cohen and Neil Young, has quietly put out a series of interesting projects since the mid-90s on the respected label Secretly Canadian, a pioneer on the indie-rock circuit.

Molina has worked under various monikers, including Songs: Ohia, between 1996 and 2003 before he renamed his project Magnolia Electric Co for a series of beguiling lo-fi Americana projects.

French newcomer outplays Baghdatis February 20, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Tennis Squash.
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Cypriot tennis player Marcos Baghdatis lost to unseeded Frenchman Gilles Simon in Sunday’s final of the Marseille Open in straight sets, 6-4, 7-6.

It was Simon’s first ATP title. He did not drop a single set in the tournament.

Greek Frigoglass starts China factory construction February 20, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Business & Economy.
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Greek Frigoglass company announced that a production unit is under construction in China.

China ICM Operations Director, Dimitris Valachis, stated at an interview to China Daily that the company’s production unit under construction in Guangzhou will become operational by November 2007, in line with the initial plan. The facility will have an annual production capacity of over 120 000 units to be directed locally as well as to markets in Asia, Africa and Europe. Guangzhou is located in south China and is one of the country’s  largest industrial zones.

Valachis also stated that the rising disposable income, the  better living standards, and the fast growing retail business in China, all suggest the area will cherish sustainable growth going forward.

Valachis added that the Guangzhou project will also enable Frigoglass to improve services to its global clients including Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Heineken, SABMiller, InBev, Nestlé, and Red Bull, all of which have already invested in China.

Note that Frigoglass announced its expansion to China in October 2006. It will finance the venture’s 15 million euros with cash and expects payback within 7 years.

Greek Archbishop wants history book rewritten February 20, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Religion & Faith.
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The head of the Church of Greece, Archbishop Christodoulos, has criticized the teaching of history to 12-year-olds, claiming they are not being taught about the impact of Ottoman rule, as Greece does not want to upset Turkey.

“Is it possible for other people to learn about our country’s history, philosophy and language but for us to discard this for the sake of friendship with any neighboring country?” said Christodoulos during his Sunday sermon.

A new history textbook for sixth-year junior high school students has sparked controversy since it was introduced some six months ago. Some people feel that it attempts to portray Ottoman rule in softer light.

The Archbishop claims the book overlooks the role of the Church in the 1821 uprising. He said Greece is trying to produce more “technocrats and engineers” and neglecting the need for children to be taught philosophy and history.

Read the upadated post entry of > February 20, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Cyprus Occupied.
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Read the updated post >


Plus here are some additional facts, just for the sake of refreshing memories >

On July 15, 1974, the Greek, dictator Brigadier Demetris Ioannides, initiated a coup against the government of Cyprus and tried to assassinate President Makarios. The coup was initially successful. The assassination was not. Nicos Sampson was installed as President by dictator Ioannides. Turkey used that fact to claim the right to invade under the Treaty of Guarantee, which she did on July 20, 1974, with the illegal use of American supplied arms and equipment, including planes and tanks, in violation of the U.S. Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 as amended. U.S. supplied arms can be used only for defensive purposes, not for aggression. The Treaty of Guarantee did not authorize the use of force by Turkey to invade Cyprus.

On July 22, 1974, a UN ceasefire was established which Turkey violated by bringing more troops and arms into the foothold she had established in the north, totaling about 4 percent of Cyprus’ territory. The Sampson government fell on July 23, 1974 and the legitimate government of Cyprus was restored with Glafkos Clerides as Acting President.

The UN negotiations on Cyprus were adjourned on July 30, 1974 and resumed on August 8, 1974. On August 13, 1974, Turkey issued a 36 hour ultimatum to Britain and Greece, co-guarantor powers, and proceeded to execute a massive renewed aggression on August 14 to 16, 1974, this time against the restored legitimate duly elected government of Cyprus and occupied an additional 1/3 of Cyprus for a total of nearly 40 percent of Cyprus. Kissinger encouraged Turkey’s aggression by having the State Department issue a statement on August 13 that the Turkish Cypriots needed more security.