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Bonhams’ Greek sale achieve world record prices July 14, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Arts Auctions.
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Yiannis Morales (b 1916), “Composition,” 1965, achieved $968,384, making it the highest price ever paid for a work by a living Greek artist at auction. Theofilos Hadjimichalis, “Katsantonis in the Ravine near Pende Pigadia” fresco, realized $568,742, a world record for the artist.

The tenth Greek Sale at Bonhams’ 101 New Bond Street gallery on May 15 achieved $7.6 million and broke a number of world records for Greek artists.

The sale of predominantly Twentieth Century Greek art featured more than 200 pictures and sculptures by the very best Greek artists, including Yiannis Moralis (b 1916), Theofilos Hadjimichalis (1867–1934), Nikos Engonopoulos (1910–1985) and Constantinos Volanakis (1837–1907). Top prices were led by the modern and contemporary Greek art in the sale, with no fewer than five paintings topping $495,360.

A painting by Moralis from 1965 titled “Composition,” which was estimated to sell for $258/356,500, achieved $968,384, making it the highest price ever paid for a work by a living Greek artist at auction.

Accepted as being the greatest living Greek artist, Moralis’s monumental piece, 35½ by 86½ inches, simply called “Composition,” is a revival of the archetypal universe of an Ionian frieze or a Doric metope. Architectural motifs portray fragments of an ancient Greek temple or neoclassical Athenian mansion and the artist has combined these with austere horizontal and vertical lines from which the human form appears, a young woman and a loving couple embracing.

Another Moralis picture was the third highest price at the sale, making $638,000 for an image titled “West Side Room.” The previous top price for a Moralis work was $616,400 at a Sotheby’s sale.

A Bonhams’ spokeswoman, Titi Terpsichore, said, “This sale indicates that the market for Greek art continues to grow and also shows strength in depth. The sale topped the last Greek sale at Bonhams by more than $1.9 million, with 90 percent sold following a very successful preview at Art Expertise in Athens, Bonhams’ local agents. Buyers were almost exclusively Greek, with 500 bids left before the sale.”

A world record price was also achieved for one of the most significant items in the sale, a fresco “Katsantonis in the Ravine near Pende Pigadia” by Theofilos Hadjimichalis, which has been in a private collection for 40 years. The painting pays homage to Katsantonis (1873/5–1907/8), one of the great figures of prerevolutionary Greece, who was a constant source of inspiration to Hadjimichalis. It is one of just a few surviving murals by the great Twentieth Century artist. At the sale, it achieved $568,742, the best price for this artist.

Originally, Hadjimichalis had produced the work for the wall of a coffee shop in the village of Parkoila on the Greek island of Lesvos, where it remained for 30 years, accumulating soot and smoke residue from the coffee shop’s stove, gas cooker and cigarette smoking patrons. In the early 1960s, the work was transferred onto canvas and subsequently restored by an Athens National Gallery expert.

Another Twentieth Century artist, Nikos Engonopoulos, also achieved a strong price at $250,000, a distinctive nude, the bold Hero (Philopemen), which was painted in oil in 1957.

Prices reported include the buyer’s premium and have been converted from British pounds to US dollars. For information, www.bonhams.com or 20 7468 8229/8259.


Greek festival returns for 28th year July 14, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Greek Diaspora Festivals.
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It will be fast, but it won’t be fast food.

Organizers of the annual Greek festival in Schererville are catering to their customers’ needs this year by setting up a drive-through for people who want traditional food but can’t stick around to eat it. The 28th annual Greek Festival, hosted by St. George Greek Orthodox Church of Schererville, will be open from noon to 10 p.m. It begins Thursday and runs through Sunday. The theme is “Alpha to Omega … The Best Greekfest ‘Evah'”

The festival will offer an assortment of cuisine, including barbecued lamb, shishkabob, Athenian chicken, gyros and Greek village salad. The homemade Greek pastry table will include baklava, galaktoboureko, diples and loukoumades.

Food is served in the air-conditioned banquet hall, but outdoor dining also is available. The fest will have bars indoors and outdoors. The fest will include rides, bingo and a raffle with a $10,000 first place prize.

On Thursday, people can register to win a chance at the Greek Fest version of the Deal or No Deal game. On Friday, veterans who show proof of service will receive 10 percent off the total cost of food. From 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, family-oriented activities will be offered.

The celebration will conclude at 9:30 p.m. Sunday with a fireworks display. The church is at the intersection of 77th and Lincolnwood avenues in Schererville. For more information, call (219) 322-6165.

Greek eleven-day festival in Laval, Canada July 14, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Greek Diaspora Festivals.
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Greek eleven-day festival celebrates St-Jean and Canada day > Festival is one of Quebec’s biggest Greek events taking place each year

Starting on the Saint-Jean holiday in late June, up to Canada Day on July 1, Greeks from Laval and all over Quebec had the opportunity to meet and relax in open-air surroundings, while enjoying some traditional Greek wine, loukaniko sausage and flame-broiled souvlaki. The Laval Greek Orthodox Community held its 2007 Greek Festival at Holy Cross Church in Chomedey recently for more than a week. The event attracted thousands of members of the Greek community.

The 11-day festival is one of the biggest Greek cultural events that takes place in Quebec each year. People arrive from as far as Ottawa and Toronto, eager to meet old friends and members of their families. In the last ten years, the Greek community in Laval has increased exponentially making it the biggest Greek concentration in Quebec. The Laval Greek Fesitval is considered less formal, but more conducive for a large number of Greeks to meet and chat at least once a year.

The festival’s roots date back to the mid-1970s. The current venue on Souvenir Boulevard was chosen because of the larger amount of space it offered, after the festival had been held for years at another nearby Greek church. All proceeds from each year’s festival support Greek educational needs in Laval, and charitable causes in the Greek community.

Hip-Hop superstar 50 Cent says > Cyprus, I’ll be there July 14, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Music Life Live Gigs.
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Multi platinum selling hip-hop superstar 50 Cent has personally confirmed that he will be performing in Cyprus two weeks from today.

Due to appear alongside 50 Cent at Medfest 2007 are R&B singer, songwriter, and record producer, Akon, reggae star Julian Marley and Alaine, Mutya and Sniper, featuring Memphis Bleek.

Rumours have been rife that the one-off performance, announced in May for Nicosia’s GSP stadium, would not actually take place. But in a personal video message released by organisers Medfest, 50 Cent said: “I’m coming to Medfest, the biggest music festival in Cyprus. I heard a rumour and they said that I’m not coming but it’s definitely going down, do you understand what I’m saying?”

He added: “Cyprus, I’ll be there so you be there on July 28. You make sure you’re there so you don’t miss the performance. It’s the performance of a lifetime for me because it’s going to be my first time out there and I’m going to make sure I put on a great show.”

A spokeswoman for the organisers yesterday said: “People on the island were saying that it would rain first before 50 Cent came to Cyprus and were wondering why such a huge star would perform here. We thought we’d quash these rumours and prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that he’s coming and excited to be coming.” She added that tickets were selling very well, “as an opportunity like this is once in a lifetime.”

50 Cent, who sits comfortably alongside the likes of Tom Cruise and Oprah on the Forbes Power List, will be performing an exclusive set showcasing tracks from his forthcoming album Curtis, as well as previous smash hits including Candy Shop, Just a little bit and In da club.

Based on the success of this year’s festival and the response from the public and businesses, the organisers hope to host the festival for at least another five years.
Booking the superstars has been made possible through contacts that members on the organisers’ team had made during their years in the industry working for Warner Brothers and MTV Europe.

Tickets can be obtained via Ticketweb and are also available directly from the GSP Stadium box office, and all other usual ticket agents. They are priced from £30. www.ticketweb.co.uk or www.medfest2007.com. Ticketweb, 0044 8700 600 100 (24hr); GSP Stadium, tel 22 874050.

Mmmm, bring on the Greek food in Elgin July 14, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Greek Diaspora Festivals.
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When summer turns a small patch of Elgin into a little Greek isle, it can only mean one thing: St. Sophia’s Greek Festival is cooking again.

St. Sophia Greek Orthodox Church is hosting its 29th Annual Greek Festival this weekend and, like most gatherings, the eats play a hefty role.

Authentic Greek delicacies and desserts Friday attracted residents and area office workers on their lunch breaks like a culinary siren’s song. On the menu, among other savory delights, were saganaki, an aromatic cheese flame-broiled in brandy and lemon; souvlaki, spiced pork tenderloin; karidopita, a walnut cake with spices and syrup; and, melomakarona, an oval cookie smothered in honey and nuts.

Dan Savas, co-chairman of the fundraising event’s organizing committee with his wife, Sieglinde, said it was the “perfect opportunity to share our culture” with the community. “We get to throw a party for Elgin, and what better way to do that with food, music and dance, right?” he said.

The Greek festival continues from 5 to 11 p.m. today and noon to 10 p.m. Sunday on the grounds of St. Sophia Church, 525 Church Road, on Route 31 north of I-90 in Elgin. Admission is $2.

Chapiters carrying Greek and Roman faces fount in Syria July 14, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Hellenic Light Asia.
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Lattakia Ruins Department in Syria, discovered in June six column chapiters and two seats in Hai al-Slaibia site in Lattakia, in addition to granite columns, three massive stone pieces adorned with unique vegetal and geometric carvings.

One of the chapiters depicts the Roman god of medicine and pharmaceutics Aesculapius, while the other depicts the Greek goddess of hunting Artemis, which was also known as Diana by the Romans and was a goddess of fertility in the East.

Two of the Corinthian columns were made from imported white marble, while the rest were made from sandstone. The site where these discoveries were made dates back to the Hellenistic and Roman era, the Syrian Arab News Agency reported.

Thales of Miletus July 14, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Culture History Mythology.
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Greek philosopher renowned as one of the legendary Seven Wise Men, or Sophoi, of antiquity. He flourished 6th century BC.

He is remembered primarily for his cosmology based on water as the essence of all matter, with the Earth a flat disk floating on a vast sea. Thales of Miletus is considered the father of physics.

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