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Theater students go Greek May 26, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Hellenic Light Americas.
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Juniors and graduating college seniors from the theater division of Miami’s New World School of the Arts are performing Euripides’ Women of Troy this week in the land where the tragedy was born.

Faculty member and director Andrew Noble reports that the actors are toting their own costumes, which evoke the World War I era, on their flights to Greece. The company, which performed Friday on a beach outside Athens, goes on Sunday at the Anargyrious Theatre, which overlooks the Aegean on the island of Spetses; and Thursday at the Athens Centre in the Greek capital.

Kenneth McLeish’s translation of Euripides’ play is, Noble says, “an amazing document of what the collateral damage of war really means . . . The situation is for all time: the Holocaust, Croatia, Iraq, Africa.”

Tourists flock to northern Greece May 26, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Tourism.
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A great number of tourists from Serbia, Bulgaria and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) have flocked to northern Greece these past few days, crossing into Greece with coaches and private cars, Athens News Agency reports.

They took advantage of the three-day vacation period leading to the Holy Spirit religious holiday on Monday, May 28. The main bulk of the tourists headed to the shores of Pieria and Halkidiki.

A senior customs officer at the Serres border post told the ANA-MPA on Saturday that over the past two days, tourist arrivals from Bulgaria increased by more than 60 per cent compared to the previous weekend, while on Saturday, from 6 a.m. to 11 a.m., sixty coaches with visitors from Serbia and FYROM passed from the Evzones customs post.

Gods, Myths and Mortals: Discover Ancient Greece May 26, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Hellenic Light Americas.
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If your kids’ idea of an odyssey is transferring from the 6 train to the F train, or if the name Homer has them channel-surfing for “The Simpsons”, the new, $2 million exhibit at the Children’s Museum of Manhattan has a pantheon of ancient Greek gods to answer your prayers.

“Gods, Myths and Mortals: Discover Ancient Greece”, put together with help from present-day Greece itself, gives young Museum-goers a hands-on look at what it might have been like to go on Odysseus’ ancient Homeric journey.

But the interactive trip isn’t just hands-on, it’s body-and feet-on, too. There’s a Cyclops’ Cave complete with fuzzy, “talking” sheep that give hints on how to escape, a Sirens Karaoke Cove that gives new meaning to the lyrics “I will survive,” and a game that has participants rocking and rolling their bodies to steer an animated ship to virtual safety.

Need to blow off a little excess energy? A 13-foot-tall wooden Trojan horse towers over the exhibit. Kids and agile grown-ups, can crawl around the multiple levels inside and climb to the top for a bird’s-eye view of the 4,000-square-foot exhibit.

Elsewhere, a trio of Greek gods, Zeus, the chief god, Poseidon, god of the sea, and Athena, goddess of wisdom, hold forth in a temple, where they “discuss” their powers and responsibilities, and the accomplishments of the ancient Greek citizens who honored them. If you wonder which Greek gods your children resemble, hopefully not the god of tantrums, give them a personality test at one of the computer stations and have them answer riddles about the gods of Olympus.

Just as the ancient Greeks focused on to developing their minds and bodies, so does this exhibit, especially in the “Growing Up Greek” area. In the Home section, in ancient Greece, women and girls spent all of their time at home, children can don costumes or race Athena in a virtual step-by-step weaving contest.

Young athletes can get a workout in the “gymnasium,” where two mechanical arms on pedestals invite anyone, young or old, to compete in the ancient Olympic sport of arm wrestling.

For budding academic Olympians, an animatronic bust of Aristotle, complete with bobbing chin, is ready to test their mental limits with a game of 20 questions. But it’s not all about ancient times. Displays also show how those glorious days of a pre-Play-Doh Plato & Co. affect our lives even today.

Whether it’s the democratic method of voting, back then they used black and white pebbles in a bowl, a counting method modern voting machines still haven’t improved upon, or the design from ancient Greek pottery that adorns the rim of a diner coffee cup, reminders of ancient Greece are everywhere.

The ancients even had their own version of the computer: a complex interlocking-gear-driven artifact from circa 150 B.C., called the Antikythera mechanism, which was used by ancient navigators to calculate astronomical positions. A replica of the device is on display.

CMOM, 212 W. 83rd St.; $9. For more information, visit www.cmom.org or call (212) 721-1223.

Have you visitet MET’s Greek and Roman Galleries? May 26, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Hellenic Light Americas.
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For Museum-goers who remember the MET’s old galleries of classical art, the brand-new installation will come as little short of a revelation. Until now, only the tiniest fraction of the Met’s holdings were on view, and the display, scattered and often ill-lit, did not always rise to the merits of the art.

What emerges now is the realization that the collections, seen together, are more “world class,” than most of us ever imagined. The new installation centers around the Leon Levy and Shelby White Court, positively alive with sunshine thanks to the barrel-vaulted skylight that spans the courtyard.

The art on view includes some of the very best antiquities to be found in this hemisphere. Among these are a newly reconstructed Etruscan chariot and the famed Sardis Column, which curator Carlos Picon calls, “the grandest example of ancient classical architecture in America.”

The dancing youths, the bearded philosphers, the sarcophagi and the hundreds of painted pots are surely splendid, but perhaps they will not be surprising to some viewers.

What does promise to take even the most jaded visitor’s breath away are the remains of some of the most fragile relics of the ancient world, like the stuccoes of angels and above all the sublime frescoes that cover entire rooms and that have been exhilaratingly re-created in the galleries of the Met. In these rooms, antiquity is not merely represented: It is resurrected.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Fifth Avenue at 82nd St.; (212) 535-7710.

Panacea in Manchester > where Greece is the word May 26, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Greek Taste World.
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It’s never short of a few Greek God wannabes of its own, so it’s quite fitting that trendy bar and restaurant Panacea is going for an all out Grecian theme.

On Sunday night the John Dalton Street celeb-haunt will be providing a Greek feast “Fit for the Gods” for guests while entertainment comes in the form of bouzouki players and zorba dancing.

And celebwatchers might want to keep a close eye on the venue over the weekend, as we hear a high profile showbiz party is being planned at the nightspot.

There is no doubt why Panacea is famous being a footballers’ favourite venue: this is a smart place for smart people. Stylish and cool, the interior, designed by Bernard Carroll, is opulent and comfortable at the same time. Leather sofas, marble tables and angle light-settings give this bar an aura of celebrity chic, especially during the weekends, thanks to well known DJs.

Cocktails are all excellent, but the house special is the Panacea Cosmopolitan. If you have a very sweet tooth and expect to feel guilty the morning after, you must try delicious puddings of New York doughnuts with jam and caramel dipping sauces. You can always invest an hour more at the gym or on the football field!

Panacea Bar & Restaurant, 14, John Dalton St, Manchester, Lancashire M2 6JR, England. Tel: 0161 8330000. http://www.panaceamanchester.co.uk

UEFA Champions League > future ticket measures May 26, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Football.
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Champions League Final problems prompt rethink about ticket measures

European soccer’s governing body, UEFA, has vowed to tighten security at next year’s Champions League in Moscow after there was trouble in Athens with fans getting into the Olympic Stadium on Wednesday lacking or with forged tickets.

“Next season, we will have tougher measures for the final in Moscow,” UEFA spokesman William Gaillard told Reuters. “We may look at the idea of people only being given a visa if they have an official match ticket.”

Meanwhile, British Ambassador Simon Gass met with Police Chief Anastassios Dimoschakis yesterday to discuss the problems with the security measures for the final.

98 tonnes of cans cleared… > Cleanup crews in Athens collected 98 tonnes of beverage cans left behind by Liverpool and AC Milan fans during their stay in the city for Wednesday’s Champions League final, a city official said yesterday.

“From Tuesday onwards, we collected seven truck-loads of beer cans,” the official told private Flash Radio following AC Milan’s 2-1 win. “Each load is fourteen tonnes…and because beverage has a certain effect on bodily functions, we had to wash many areas with shampoo afterwards,” he added.

Thousands of fans, mainly Liverpool supporters, arrived in Athens without tickets and authorities created gathering areas in the city’s main squares to accommodate them. From the Zappeion gathering area alone, where a large screen was erected to show the final, cleanup crews collected two tonnes of beverage cans, the official said. “This has all gone into recycling,” he said.

Authorities in Greece feared incidents would break out between drunken Liverpool and Milan supporters during the week, and put 7,500 police officers on hooligan duty around the capital. But barring a brief scuffle between rival supporters at Zappeio on Wednesday night, the final passed without major incident. Police detained 230 fans found in possession of fake tickets but released them after questioning.

A rare painting by Gyzis in Greece for the first time May 26, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Arts Auctions, Arts Exhibitions Greece.
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gyzis_painting.jpg  “The Birth of Telemachos”, oil on canvas, 1884, by Nikolos Gyzis of the Munich School, sold on November 15, 2006, at Sotheby’s for 1 million euros.

The Royal Suite of the Grande Bretagne Hotel in Athens, hosted a work of art painted in 1884 by Nikolaos Gyzis to mark the birth of his only son and youngest child Honoufrios-Telemachos, a masterpiece that had passed into the hands of Americans, as an inheritance, who knew the value of the painting but not the name of the artist.

They sent a photograph of the painting to Sotheby’s in New York who referred it to the London office where the head of Greek Sales, art critic Constantinos Frangos, recognized it as the work of Gyzis (1842-1901).

The painting, which had never been brought to Greece but had been sold in Munich by the artist, was auctioned at Sotheby’s in November of last year, attracting a great deal of interest, and was bought by Athanassios Laskaridis, who with his brother Panos, are the main shareholders in the Grande Bretagne Hotel. Laskaridis said that the painting belongs to the Costas Laskaridis family and has been hung in the 400-square-meter dining room of the hotel’s Royal Suite. According to Frangos, the painting was sold for 1 million euros.