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Roman wreck may point to massive battle September 6, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Archaeology Cyprus.
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A shipwreck from the imperial Roman era, found off Cyprus, could lead to the discovery of vessels sunk in antiquity’s largest naval engagement, the Battle of Salamis in 306 BC, said an official statement on Thursday.

“According to historian Diodoros, it was somewhere in the area where in 306 BC the Macedonian King Demetrius Poliorketes triumphed over Ptolemy of Egypt in one of the largest naval battles of antiquity,” said Cyprus’ Antiquities Department.

More than 300 ships were believed to have been engaged in the battle that saw Demetrius capture Cyprus.

The Roman ship, dating from the first century AD, was discovered sunk off Cape Greco on the Mediterranean’s southeast coast during an underwater survey to determine the area’s long-term maritime history. Material found provided solid evidence of maritime traffic from the archaic or classic period.

The discovery had encouraged international archaeologists working in deeper waters offshore, and more extensive mapping of the wreck and the seabed is planned for next summer.

UPDATE > Cyprus to seek ancient shipwrecks > Cyprus is to launch sea surveys in an area where dozens of vessels led by warring successors to Alexander the Great are believed to have sunk in battle for control over the island in 306 BC.

Encouraged by the discovery of one wreck from a later Roman era, the survey slated for the summer of 2008 will extend into deep waters from the south-east tip of the island, known as Cape Greco, the island’s Antiquities Department said. “Cyprus is a crossroads and is very rich in ancient shipwrecks,” said Pavlos Flourentzos, director of Cyprus’s Department of Antiquities.

Historical accounts suggest that the Cape Greco region, a rocky outcrop between the now popular tourist resorts of Agia Napa and Protaras, saw one of the biggest naval battles of the ancient world. According to the ancient Greek historian, Diodorus of Sicily, in 306 BC Demetrios the Poliorketes (Besieger) triumphed over Ptolemy I of Egypt in a naval engagement off Cyprus, with dozens of vessels sunk as the result of combat.

“It is well known that there was a naval engagement in the region in 306 BC, so there is a potential of finding wrecks, or parts of wrecks, in deeper waters,” Flourentzos said. Ptolemy I, one of the generals of Alexander the Great, lost control of Cyprus for a period of 10 years after his defeat at the hands of Demetrios Poliorketes. Demetrios was son of Antigonus, a Macedonian nobleman who later ruled Asia Minor.

The Cypriot Antiquities Department announced on Thursday that an ancient Roman shipwreck, dated the 1st century AD, had been found in the same area. The extensive wreck, dating from the early Imperial Roman era, carried a mixed cargo of several amphora, predominantly jars from the southeast Aegean area.

Further mapping of the wreck would take place in 2008. Searches for better preserved shipwrecks would extend to the deeper sandy seabed which was suited to remote sensing techniques, the antiquities department said. Authorities said the projects were financially and logistically supported by the Institute of Nautical Archaeology, Texas A&M University, the University of Pennsylvania and the RPM Nautical Foundation.


Cyprus rural tourism event set for Paphos Castle on Saturday September 6, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Arts Events Cyprus, Cyprus Paphos, Tourism.
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Efforts are underway to establish Cyprus on the international tourist map as a destination offering a wealth of unique experiences beyond the traditional ‘sun, sand and sea’.

Within the framework of its “Rural Tourism Promotion Plan”, 50% funded by the European Regional Development Fund, the Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO) is planning a series of events in Cyprus and abroad to promote the many unique charms of rural Cyprus, such as natural attractions, local culture, traditional gastronomy and, of course, the legendary Cypriot hospitality.

A major CTO event offering a real taste of rural Cyprus will take place outside the medieval castle at Paphos harbour this Saturday, September 8. The event is an opportunity for visitors and local residents alike to have a good time and discover a few of the secrets of the countryside.

From 4pm to 10pm, everyone is invited to come along to the traditional village square being created for the event at Pafos’ beautiful harbour. It’s a chance for an evening in the country without leaving town with a variety of rural activities recreated on the coast, including traditional foods, wine tasting, traditional sweets such as loukmades, rural crafts and much, much more.

Related Links > http://www.visitcyprus.org.cy

Mall of Cyprus to open end-September September 6, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Architecture Cyprus, Shopping.
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A 100 million euros investment by Shacolas owned ITTL > The Mall of Cyprus, the biggest shopping mall on the island, will open its doors for business on September 27 promising to change the retail trade environment and incorporating many new features.

“It’s a dream come true,” said entrepreneur Nicos Shacolas at the official launch of operations of the Mall of Cyprus, which has become a reality after 26 years of planning, hard work, huge investments and most of all vision. “The idea came to me while on a visit to Canada where I was impressed by the shopping malls there and after I came back to Cyprus, I started work on the project,” said Shacolas at a press briefing in Nicosia on the launch of operations.

The Mall of Cyprus is the flagship of the Shacolas Emporium Park spanning an area of 27.000 sq. metres, which will house 31 shops, ten cafés and fast food restaurants, five cinema screens, a children’s playing ground and parking space for 1,500 cars, of which 1,100 are covered. The Mall of Cyprus will also house the first Carrefour store to open in Nicosia. Next door, IKEA will open its own store this week on land leased from ITTL, the owners of the mall.

“IKEA will pay ITTL a royalty based on sales or a guaranteed rent, whichever is higher,” said Shacolas who also thanked the owners of Zara in Cyprus who are opening eight shops, the Fourlis Group, K-Cineplex Cinemas and other partners including McDonald’s, Pizza Hut, TGI Fridays, Gloria Jeans Coffees and Starbucks franchise operators who have rented space at the mall.

ITTL Chairman Kyriakos Christophi said the Mall of Cyprus cost the Group 100 million euros in investments in addition to the land, which was financed through the German Eurohypo Bank and by own funds committed by the Shacolas Group.

Mall of Cyprus General Manager Marios Chyromerides said the project took three years to complete and incorporates state of the art systems and is environmental friendly. Chyromerides said the shops within the mall will operate the same working hours according to the relevant legislation in place but the cafes, restaurants and cinemas will be open from 9am until 1am.

These include Debenhams and Next, Carrefour, Zara and Zara Home, Bershka, Pull & Bear, Mango, Intersport (Fourlis), Public, Early Learning Centre, a Food Court with TGIF’s, kiosks and speciality shops. Adjacent to the Mall of Cyprus is the DIY Home Centre that has already become a focal point for shoppers. Shacolas said every effort is being made to convince the authorities to agree to extended shopping hours for the benefit of consumers, who will want to enjoy the Mall of Cyprus experience.

Cushman & Wakefield, one of the world’s largest real estate consultancy firms are the managers of the mall. Company representative Philip Evans said vision, planning, implementation based on knowledge and experience as well as co-creation of value are the key ingredients to having a successful shopping mall. The Mall of Cyprus will create value for the local area, for the city of Nicosia and for the whole of Cyprus, he said.

Another newcomer to Cyprus that will be making a debut at the mall is Public, the books, music, games and peripherals store that already operates three outlets in Greece and plans to open the Nicosia store by the end of the year. The 1,900 sq.m. store will include sections for books, music, audio and video CDs and DVDs, computers, mobile phones, photography and gaming.

The holding company, PublicWorld SA, has already hired as many as 180 staff for all levels of work, from mid-management department heads, to marketing and sales, as well as engineers, cashiers and store keepers. Public also attracts customers through its marketing gimmicks such as ‘in-store’ events, music downloading and surfing the Internet.

Andrew Thomas > the next new tennis star for Cyprus September 6, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Tennis Squash.
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Sydney-born junior defects to Cyprus > Tennis Australia is ruing the defection of local junior Andrew Thomas to Cyprus.

andrew_thomas.jpg  Although Thomas is still listed on the ITF website as an Australian, he has been playing the junior boys’ singles tournament at the US Open in New York this week as a Cypriot.

Thomas has advanced to the final 16 and was to play the No.11 seed Thomas Fabbiano for a place in the quarter-finals. While TA wishes the 17-year-old well, behind the scenes there are serious doubts he has made the best choice.

“While we respect his decision, Tennis Australia is extremely disappointed Andrew Thomas has chosen to play for Cyprus,” chief executive Steve Wood said.

Thomas, who was born and raised in Sydney, is a former world under-14 champion and was to be offered a full-time scholarship worth $125,000 by the Australian Institute of Sport for coaching, accommodation and travel costs.

His mother, Coral, was born in Cyprus and his father Tom’s grandparents are also from the island. Thomas has previously been a hitting partner for Cyprus’ greatest tennis export, 2006 Australian Open runner-up Marcos Baghdatis.

Wood said Baghdatis and the Cyprus Tennis Federation had provided funding for Thomas’ US Open campaign since TA had turned down his request for a cash hand-out. “Cash hand-outs do not support the philosophy of our program, which is about resourcing environments and funding opportunities,” Wood said. “In Andrew’s instance those opportunities have included and, form permitting, would have continued to include, international tours and playing with representative teams.”

Thomas is ranked 27 on the ITF rankings. There are four Australians in the top 25 but two, Greg Jones and Brydan Klein, move into the seniors next year when they become 19.

Thomas told Sydney radio station 2GB that playing Davis Cup for Cyprus was his aim. “I’m seeing Marcos now in world group two and looking to get in world group in the next couple years,” he said. “I like the environment in Cyprus; small community, nice people. I love it there, so I will probably head back there. Also Tennis Australia have not been supporting me as much in the last couple years, so I decided to play for Cyprus.”

TA spokesman Darren Pearce said in Melbourne that there had been “substantial amounts of money” spent on Thomas’ career, but it would not seek any recovery of funds. Three Australian juniors are into the final 16 at Flushing Meadows.

Historic building is restored to its original elegance September 6, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Architecture Greece, Arts Museums.
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Historic building is restored to its original elegance > Work on 19th-century Schliemann house completed

numismatic_museum.jpg  Work on the Iliou Melathron, which houses the Numismatic Museum in Athens, promises an exciting aesthetic return to late-19th-century architecture.

The restoration of the Heinrich Schliemann residence, or the Iliou Melathron, which houses the Numismatic Museum of Athens, to its original condition promises an exciting aesthetic return to late-19th century architecture. Work on the building is in its final stages and the scaffolding is about to be removed.

“The restoration work to the interior is even more impressive than the work done on the facade,” the Museum’s Director, Despina Evgenidou, said.

A walk through the Museum’s gardens reveals a new cafe set up for visitors. Also there are the building’s statues awaiting their original roof-top spots along the cornice. Also being restored, the cornice of this impressive building, which was designed by the German architect Ernst Ziller in 1878, should come as pleasant surprise for many Athenians. Originally, there were 24 statues, commissioned from a Vienna studio. Statues were commonly used in Athens in the late 19th century to adorn buildings.

The sculptures selected by Ziller and Schliemann, the 19th-century explorer-archaeologist who resided in the building, were good-quality copies of well-known Roman, Hellenistic and neoclassical era sculptures. “Most of the originals have been saved, which allowed us to proceed with the creation of copies for 10 of those,” said Evgenidou. Ziller and Schliemann worked closely on the entire building’s design. The new copies were made using specially refined cement that was colored like the ceramic originals.

In the 1930s, a statue had fallen from the building’s cornice onto the footpath below which prompted the removal of the remainder as a safety precaution. The removed statues remained in storage, but the decision to completely restore the historic building brings them back out into the light.

The return of these statues brings back some of the aura and glamour of Athens’s neoclassical era. Most of the buildings of the time, which were adorned with sculptures, have been demolished. Recently, sculptures were reinstated on the roof of the Presidential Mansion, in accordance with Ziller’s plan for the building. The sculptures that graced the Archaeological Museum’s cornice, but were removed following the major earthquake in Athens in 1999, have yet to return.

Evgenidou, of the Numismatic Museum, said the dates for the installation of the sculptures and the restored museum’s official inauguration have yet to be set. “It’s important for us that the number of visitors from abroad has risen significantly,” said Evgenidou. At present, restoration work is being completed on the second floor. Wall paintings and mosaics were restored with great care by the Culture Ministry’s division for monument restoration.

The condition of the garden, an integral part of the building’s overall plan, is also being improved. Quite soon, this garden and its new cafe will in combination form a very pleasant Athenian corner.

The Numismatic Museum, 12, Panepistimiou Street, Athens, Tel: 210 3643774, 210 3612190, 210 3612519, Fax: 210 3635953

Related Links >


Tribute to history of Greek television and radio September 6, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Arts Exhibitions Greece, Media Radio TV.
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actors_recording.jpg  Actors (l-r) Despo Diamantidou, Dimitris Papamichail and Melina Mercouri recording.

This year’s Thessaloniki International Fair exhibition will recall memories from Greece’s radio, television, cinema and music history. The exhibition, which will open next Saturday at Thessaloniki University’s Tellogleion Foundation for the Arts, it will be the seventh exhibition to be held there, bears the title “Thessaloniki Broadcasts: Radio, Television, Film – The Pioneering Role played by TIF Thessaloniki International Fair and ERT Greek Radio & TV.

The display will feature a wealth of photographic, visual and sound material, the highlight being the piano that distinguished composer Manos Hadjidakis used to play at ERT. The material is provided by ERT, TIF, the Film Museum, the Christos Tsigiridis Radio Museum and individuals. The focus will lie on TIF which hosted Greece’s first radio broadcast during its 1926 first run, inspired by Christos Tsigiridis, and will highlight the history of institutions closely related to TIF, such as ERT and the Thessaloniki film and song festivals. During the 25th TIF in 1960, the Public Power Corporation (PPC) held the first TV broadcast and TIF also embraced the Thessaloniki Film Festival and the Greek Song Festival.

The exhibition will include equipment used during the 20th century, from production to broadcasting, photographs recording the development of ERT, photographs from well-known Greek actors who took part in the historical radio show “Theater on the Microphone,” portraits of actors and singers who made the cover of the Radio Program magazine, rare documents, newsreels, documentaries and ERT tributes to the city of Thessaloniki.

“The exhibition hopes to refresh the memories of the older generation and to convey these experiences to the younger generation in an appealing manner. Young people should have fun by learning creatively so that they can come up with future ideas and suggestions,” said the general secretary of the Tellogleion Foundation board of directors Alexandra Goulaki-Voutyra.

The display, coordinated by journalist Yiannis Chrysafis, will be enriched by educational activities, experimental workshops for children and more. It will run to January 13.

A tight victory for Greece over Serbia September 6, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Basketball.
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Dimosthenis Dikoudis fired holders Greece to a nail-biting 68-67 extra-time victory over Serbia at the European Championship late on Tuesday.

Greece looked to have opened up a winning margin with two seconds left in normal time when Serbia’s Milan Gurovic sank a spectacular three-pointer to level the scores at 56 apiece. Panathinaikos forward Dikoudis steered Greece home with a game-high 20 points, landing a crucial jump-shot from outside the arc with 40 seconds to go in extra time, leaving the Serbs with four points to make up.

The victory put Greece into the second phase along with Russia from Group A after both registered 100 percent records. Russia thrashed Israel 90-56 earlier on Tuesday.

Greece and Russia were scheduled to meet later last night for Group A’s top spot. Earlier yesterday, Israel edged out Serbia 87-83 to snatch third place in Group A and a berth in the next phase.

The top three sides from the four sections enter a second phase of two groups of six. In Group B, world champions Spain made sure of their place in the last 12 with a 93-77 win over Latvia that was tougher than the scoreline suggests.

Memphis Grizzlies forward Pau Gasol was again top scorer for Spain with 26 points and nine rebounds.