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National Theater of Greece presents “Electra” in New York October 6, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Hellenic Light Americas.
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National Theater Of Greece > “Electra” > The National Theater of Greece returns to Manhattan for the sixth time in 12 years, this time with a production of Sophocles’ “Electra”, directed by Mr. Stein and starring Stefania Goulioti in the title role. The play, which runs just under two hours without an intermission, opens on Wednesday at City Center.

Each of the three major Greek tragedians, Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides, wrote at some point about the cycle of violence and revenge that began with the Greek general Agamemnon’s sacrifice of his daughter Iphigenia in return for wind to help Greek ships sail to Troy and wage the Trojan War. Agamemnon’s wife, Clytemnestra, killed him in revenge, and several years later her son, Orestes, and daughter Electra conspired to avenge their father’s death. They killed both their mother and her lover, Aegisthus. Each writer handled the details of the story differently, and Sophocles’ version of the matricide is particularly noteworthy for its tender brother-sister reunion and the characterization of the oppressed and grieving Electra.

Mr. Stein, who was a founding member of the Schaubühne in Berlin in 1970 and its artistic director until 1985, has directed theater and opera around the globe, including influential and successful international productions, like his 21-hour staging of Goethe’s “Faust” in 2000. Last year he won an Olivier award for his production of “Blackbird,” by David Harrower, in London. 

“ELECTRA” Starts performances on Wednesday. Through October 14. The National Theater of Greece presents this ancient revenge drama. City Center, 131 West 55th Street, (212) 581-1212. www.nycitycenter.org; $35 to $80.


Cyprus police seize valuable ancient artifacts October 6, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Archaeology Cyprus, Police & Crime.
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Cyprus Police seized ancient gold and other artifacts dating up to 3,000 years back and arrested six suspected smugglers in a sting operation Friday, authorities said.

The antiquities, confiscated in the town of Limassol, include gold leaves and rings, two mediaeval gold coins and a bronze cross.

“It seems that the antiquities are of great value, both archaeological and financial,” said Pavlos Flourentzos, Director of the Cyprus Antiquities Department.

Police identified the suspects as four Cypriots and two Greek nationals, who were allegedly acting as middle men to sell the artifacts. Following a tip from Greece that Cypriot nationals were seeking to sell antiquities abroad, Cypriot and Greek police set up a sting operation on the island with an officer posing as a buyer. Police said the suspects were trying to sell the finds for €280,000.

UPDATE > Sunday 7th October, 2007

Police bust open illegal antiquities ring > Five men were arrested in Limassol in relation to investigations into an international network of illicit antiquities traders. Two Limassol homes were raided by police, who discovered an illegal hoard of great archaeological value.

“The finds are products of tomb-raiding by a group involved in illegal international antiquities trade,” said Police Chief Andreas Iatropoulos.

The suspects, three Cypriots and two Greeks, were arrested for illegal possession and trade of antiquities. Large collections were discovered in a garage in Ypsonas and a second house at Kato Polemidia. The raids were conducted by two officers of the Greek Police, the anti-terrorism wing of the Mobile Immediate Action Unit (MMAD) and officers of the Limassol Police Department.

Around 100 items were found at the Kato Polemidia house, ranging from the Paleolithic to the Byzantine period. Confiscated items include hundreds of gold coins, bronze coins, statues, gold, bronze and metal antique jewellery, bronze seals, sheets of gold and albums with pictures of archaeological finds. Approximately 40 more items were confiscated from the Ypsonas garage. An officer of the Antiquities Department is currently assessing the value of the finds.

“The confiscated items are of great archaeological value: they are a treasure. Only part of this collection would have been sold for 280,000 euro,” said Iatropoulos. The sale would have occurred yesterday morning, but was prevented by the police raids and arrests.
Investigations on the case began months ago when a Greek police officer informed police in Cyprus that a group of Cypriots possessed a large collection of archaeological finds and were seeking international buyers.

Cyprus police worked in cooperation with their Greek counterparts, and a Greek officer, experienced in similar cases, managed to infiltrate the illegal trade network. Pretending to be interested in buying Cypriot antiquities, he came to the island with two dealers, who lead the undercover officer to their Cypriot counterparts.

The three Cypriots run a tractor company, which police suspect was a front enabling them to identify and steal items of archaeological value. “This is not the first time they have done this. We suspect they have been previously involved in illicit antiquities trading,” Iatropoulos added.

The law stipulates that in cases where digging for construction purposes brings archaeological finds to the surface, there is an obligation to present these to the Antiquities Department.

This weekend on events > in Athens October 6, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Arts Festivals, Movies Life Greek, Music Life Greek.
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Mama Africa Festival > Athens > today Saturday
The Mama Africa Festival will reach its peak on Saturday, with live shows by Max Romeo, One Drop Forward, Michalis Tzouganakis and others, at the Petra Theater. The event further includes performances, African delicacies, exhibitions and much more.
At the Petra Theater, Damari Petroupolis, Athens, tel 210 5012402.

Nature Regrowth Event > Athens > today Saturday
The Bafi refuge in Parnitha will host a one-day conference on the Natural Farming method with clay seed-balls and how they can be planted on Greek mountains this Saturday, starting at 10.30 a.m. The method was launched by Japan’s Masanobu Fukuoka.
For information call 210 2469050 and 210 3833168.

Documentary Festival > Lavrion > to October 9
The 10th Mediterranean Documentary Festival will kick off at Lavrion’s Technological Park on Saturday. Apart from screenings of Greek and foreign films, the festival further features a concert by Savina Yannatou on Saturday, exhibitions and a discussion.
For information call 210 8253065 and 210 5033050-2.

This weekend on music > in Athens October 6, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Music Life Classical, Music Life Greek, Music Life Live Gigs.
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Manic Street Preachers > Athens > today Saturday
Rock band the Manic Street Preachers will give a show at Terra Vibe in Malakasa on Saturday. Tickets can be purchased at Ticket House, 42 Panepistimiou Street, Athens, tel 210 3608366 and at PMW, 66 Panepistimiou Street, Athens. Starts at 9 p.m.
At the Terra Vibe Venue, Malakasa Interchange, 37th km Athens-Lamia Highway.

Classical > Athens > Saturday and Sunday
The WDR Symphony Orchestra of Cologne will perform works by Mozart, Richard Strauss and Rachmaninov, conducted by Semyon Bychkov and joined by soprano Genia Kuehmeier, at the Athens Concert Hall on the weekend.
At the Athens Concert Hall, 1 Kokkali Street and Vasilissis Sofias Avenue, Athens, tel 210 7282333. Nearest metro station Megaron.

Byzantine Hymns > Athens > today Saturday
Tenor Mario Frangoulis and vocalist Dimitris Bassis will interpret Byzantine hymns and compositions by Nikos Skalkottas, Manolis Kalomiris and others at a charity concert with the ERT Greek Radio and TV Orchestra and Choir at the Herod Atticus Theater. For tickets, contact the Hellenic Festival, 39 Panepistimiou Street, Athens, tel 210 3272000.
At the Herod Atticus Theater, Acropolis, Athens. Nearest metro station Akropolis.

Contemporary > Athens > Sunday
Under the baton of Miltos Logiadis, the Orchestra of Colors will interpret works by Solon Michailidis, Costas Nikitas, Christos Samaras and others, along with vocalist Yiannis Idomeneos and pianist Vicky Stylianou, at the Benaki Museum Pireos Street Annex at 8.30 p.m. on Sunday.
At the Benaki Museum, 138 Pireos Street and Andronikou, Athens, tel 210 3453111.

Treasures from the Benaki Museum at Lisboa’s Gulbenkian October 6, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Arts Museums, Hellenic Light Europe.
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A selection from the permanent collection of the Benaki Museum is presented in “The Greeks: Art Treasures from the Benaki Museum, Athens” a survey exhibition on Greek history and civilization which has been organized by the Benaki and is hosted at Lisbon’s reputable Calouste Gulbenkian Museum.

The exhibition, which opened recently, includes 157 objects and follows the course of Greek civilization and history from prehistoric times to the country’s independence in the early 19th century.

It reflects the Museum’s extroverted policy of loaning its collections internationally and its effort toward encouraging cultural exchanges with Museums worldwide. After Lisbon, the exhibition will travel to Canada and, in 2009, to Chile. A similar exhibition was organized by the Benaki in Sydney two years ago.

Works from the Benaki Museum collection have traveled to Lisbon before. In 1999, the Velimezis Collection was presented at the Mosteiro des Jeronimos. The Benaki has collaborated with the Gulbenkian Museum in the recent past: The “Glass of the Sultans” exhibition that was hosted at the Islamic art branch of the Benaki Museum included holdings from the rare collection of Islamic art owned by the Portuguese Museum. A large exhibition on this well-known collection is scheduled for 2009 at the Benaki Museum.

The Calouste Gulbenkian Museum, Av. de Berna 45A, 1067-001 Lisboa, tel 21 7823000, fax 21 7823032. Metro: S. Sebastião or Praça de Espanha stations, Buses: 16, 726, 56, 718, 742.

Related Links > http://www.museu.gulbenkian.pt/mainb.asp?size=sup&lang=pt


Bejart Ballet returns to Athens with his favorite choreographies October 6, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Arts Events Greece, Ballet Dance Opera.
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Ballet Lausanne to perform highlights at the Pallas Theater > Maurice Bejart and his Ballet Lausanne will be presenting two performances at the Pallas Theater on October 24 and 25 that are dedicated to Greece and the Athenian public.

“L’amour – La danse” is a compilation of Bejart’s best choreographies, with music ranging from Berlioz and Mozart all the way to Mikis Theodorakis. The performances have been set up by the Hellenic Society for Disabled Children (ELEPAP), which is celebrating 70 years of operation this year.

Bejart, a living dance legend, is much loved in Greece, where he has appeared with his 20th Century Ballet at the Herod Atticus Theater. At the Pallas, the performances will allow fans to revisit the past and to celebrate with him his 80th birthday on the occasion of this retrospective.

For these two very special performances, Bejart has chosen to present highlights from the following: “Le sacre du printemps,” “Romeo et Juliette,” “Heliogabale,” “Le chant du compagnon errant,” “Sept danses grecques,” “Arepo” and “Brel et Barbara” for the first part of the program.

In the evenings’ second part, the audience will see extracts from “Rumi,” “Casta Diva,” “Romeo et Juliette,” “Entre deux guerres,” “I Was Born To Love You,” “Concerto 21,” “Und so Weiter,” “U2” and “The Show Must Go On.”

For information and tickets > ELEPAP, 16 Kononos Street, Pangrati, Athens, tel 210 7254726 and the Pallas Theater, 5 Voukourestiou Street, Athens, tel 210 3213100. Shows begin at 9 p.m.

The transformation of a city square > Monastiraki October 6, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Architecture Greece.
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Work has begun in Monastiraki Square > By next spring, construction teams are expected to have moved out and the newly revamped space opened to the public

monastiraki_square.jpg  monastiraki_square_today.jpg 

monastiraki_square_tomorrow.jpg  Monastiraki Square today and tomorrow. This week the site was fenced off and earth-moving equipment brought in. An architectural representation shows what the finished project, scheduled for next spring, will look like.

It’s the best news about the center of Athens to have been heard this year, work has begun on refurbishing Monastiraki Square. Four years of delays have led to an embarrassing situation for the city, but now an end seems to be in sight. The space has been barricaded off, leaving just two passageways to and from the metro station. Work will continue throughout the winter and will hopefully completed next spring.

According to the timetable, the contractor is obliged to hand over the project to the office for the Unification of Archaeological Sites of Athens (EAXA) in six months. The turning of the soil marks an end to the troubles of the winners of a Europe-wide competition for the project, architects Nikos Kazeros, Zinovia Kotsopoulou, Vasso Manidaki, Christina Parakente and Eleni Tzirtzilaki.

“It is important that the project that is to be finally constructed be very close to our original idea in the design”, said architect Kazeros.

Six years ago, the Central Archaeological Council (KAS) rejected the surface material proposed by the architects, an attractive mixture of marble and stone that was in keeping with the Mediterranean style of the district, full of people, movement, commerce and buildings. The architects had been asked not to use stones but tiles in Plaka’s streets and squares.

Four years followed in which nothing was done. Then the composition of KAS changed and the original design was approved after certain recommendations were made. The situation still remains uncertain with regard to tree plantings on the right hand side of the square. However, containers are to be built for new cherry trees, since the station does not allow for much more planting.

The area is not large but its symbolic significance and its monuments mean the changes will be extremely interesting. They include a large sunken space around the Pantanassa Church, a view of the bed of the Iridanos River that runs under the square and a new fountain on the site of the historic spring. The metro air vents will be disguised with structures, including sculptures, to blend in with the aesthetics of the square.