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Exhibition on antiquities theft in Italy November 5, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Archaeology Greece, Hellenic Light Europe.
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Exhibition on antiquities theft by The Hellenic Culture Foundation in Trieste > ‘History Lost’ currently on display at the Castello San Giusto in Trieste, Italy.

The Hellenic Foundation for Culture recently unveiled a major exhibition in Trieste, titled «History Lost: The Illicit Antiquities Trade and its Impact on Civilization,» held at the city’s historical Castello San Giusto.

Jointly organized with the City of Trieste, the exhibition presents the effects of the illicit trade of antiquities on our culture and civilization. It features copies of archaeological finds that have been returned to Greece over the past few years, after ongoing claims. These include a golden wreath from Macedonia and a marble head of the god Dionysus from Corinth, among others.

The display takes travelers on a journey from the looting of Baghdad’s Archaeological Museum and the destruction of statues in Cambodian temples to the sale of ancient artifacts from various Mediterranean countries to auction houses in the United States.

Its aim is to demonstrate that ancient finds are absolutely useless as knowledge of the past when they are cut off from the information on their homeland. The Foundation’s President, Professor Georgios Babiniotis, noted that the display is a contribution to the international society of culture, as illicit trade is worldwide and the loss of historical knowledge affects all of humanity.

The Hellenic Foundation for Culture has undertaken the initiative to present the exhibition in different cities abroad, namely in Lisbon, Paris, London and Berlin, among others.


On danger and temptation November 5, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Arts Events Greece, Arts Exhibitions Greece.
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Film works by London-based artist Maria Marshall are presented at the Potnia Thiron Gallery > Among is an image from ‘Sofikon-Epidaurus,’ the work that Maria Marshall filmed this past summer during the August wildfires.

An adolescent is kicking a ball against the walls of a whitewashed Catholic chapel: This image that is repeated in a loop in Maria Marshall’s “Playground”, one of the 35mm film projections shown in “Sirens,” the London-based artist’s solo exhibition at the Potnia Thiron Gallery, contains a paradox and puts across a feeling of ambiguity and tension. The sound of the ball bouncing off the ground is heard clearly and loudly yet the image does not show a ball but its shadow. Absurdity is coupled with tension. Kicking the ball appears both as the young boy’s pastime but also as a metaphor for aggression, an attack by man against the oppression of religion but also the assault of religion on man. The depiction of a church as a towering, ominous-looking edifice underlines that element of aggression and danger.

The image contains various layers of meaning. There is the attack on religion as a power structure but also the underlying idea that sport and religion are different yet equally strong forms of domination and control. Moreover, the fact that the boy is kicking a shadow and not an actual object can be taken as a metaphor of man trapped in his delusions and solitary existence. The strong sound of the boy’s breathing enhances the feeling of an inner state of mind.

In all of Marshall’s work, man’s psychology and emotional vulnerability are presented as if threatened by external factors, social conventions, institutions and different forms of authority. The tension is never quite vented, although the feeling that something is going to erupt at any moment is always present.

As the title “Sirens” suggests, her work is about lurking dangers, desire, seduction and temptation. Childhood innocence, a recurring theme in Marshall’s work, is intruded upon in “When I grow up, I Want to Be a Cooker” in which a 2-year-old boy is seen smoking a cigarette. It is threatened in “I Should be Older Than All of You,” a work that shows a young boy peacefully laying among coiling snakes. Is the boy unperturbed because he is unaware of the snakes? Or is his lack of agitation meant to suggest that childhood innocence is more noble and stronger than vice? As with many of her works, Marshall creates an ambiguity and sense of paradox.

Also on view is “Sofikon-Epidaurus,” a film that the artist made in Greece and for this particular exhibition. In the work, a woman rides a horse seven times around a Byzantine church encircling it with a red rope, the Three Taxiarchs Church in Sofikon. A similar act is recounted in “Farmakolitra,” written by the late 19th century novelist Alexandros Papadiamantis. Marshall was unaware of story. The artist’s intention is a statement about the dangers of religious intolerance and bigotry.

Marshall’s work is noteworthy for its visual elegance and rhythm. The use of sound is carefully thought out and part of the visual effect but there are also works where the absence of sound is equally powerful. Her work, which is included in museum collections such as that of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Guggenheim Museum or the Centre Pompidou, is a pleasant break from the average video art work, Marshall employs film yet a comparison with video art can be made, which is usually unattractive and tiring to watch.

“Sirens” at the Potnia Thiron Gallery, 7 Zaimi Street, Exarchia, Athens, tel  210 3307380, to November 8. Daily: 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. and Saturdays 11 a.m – 3 p.m.

Harry Potter novel launched in Greek language November 5, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Books Life Greek.
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harry_potter_book.jpg  A makeup artist puts the finishing touches on a young girl’s witch ensemble in a central Athens bookstore on Saturday as part of a campaign to promote the release of J.K. Rowling’s latest Harry Potter novel.

The seventh, and final, volume of the British schoolboy’s adventures, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows”, is now available in a Greek translation three months after the release of the original in English. An Ancient Greek translation of the first Harry Potter book was released in 2004 in the UK.

Kenyans rule in Athens Marathon November 5, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Athletics.
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Kenya’s Hosea Kiptanui Kimutai crossed the finish line of the 25th Athens Classic Marathon to join his compatriot Benjamin Korir Kiprotich at Athens’s Panathenaic Stadium yesterday. Kiprotich won the race in 2 hours, 14 minutes, 40 seconds.

Kenyan runners dominated the annual Athens Classic Marathon yesterday, capturing the first six places of an event won by Benjamin Korir Kiprotich, who set a new course record of 2 hours, 14 minutes, 40 seconds. He ended 23 seconds ahead of the runner-up, Hosea Kiptanui Kimutai.

Last year’s winner, Henry Tarus, ended third in 2:15.57. A new track record was also set in the women’s category by Russia’s Svetlana Ponomarenko with a time of 2:33.19.

Though the number of runners rose slightly for this 25th edition of the race, offering organizers encouragement for efforts aimed at boosting its international profile, the race did not end without a blemish. Kenyan athlete Bett James Kipkemboi was injured when he collided with a tram in the final kilometer, outside the marble Panatheniac Stadium. He missed the turnoff into the stadium and ran into the tram, on an intercepting route, further down the road. Kipkemboi’s condition was described as serious. Late last night, a doctor at KAT hospital, citing orders from the organizers, refused to say more.

UN seeks FYROM break November 5, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Politics.
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Athens, Skopje must clarify priorities, ease bilateral tensions, envoy says

Athens and Skopje must clarify their priorities and defuse bilateral tensions before a compromise can be reached on their dispute over the official name of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), UN mediator Matthew Nimetz said in an interview published yesterday.

Nimetz, who met with Greek and FYROM envoys in New York last week, praised Greece’s positive stance and appeared to dismiss negative comments made by FYROM’s prime minister, Nikola Gruevski, on Friday.

Questioned about Gruevski’s refusal to consider an alternative to FYROM’s constitutional name, Nimetz said he would not respond to “reactions” until he had received “the official stances” of both countries to his latest suggestions.

Asked about Greece’s decision to consider a composite name for FYROM, which would clearly differentiate the Balkan state from the region in northern Greece, Nimetz said, “Greece wants to solve the problem, it is making a sincere effort in this direction.”

Nimetz said his chief aim was to determine the priorities of both governments to help him draw up a viable framework for “an honorable and fair solution” to the 16-year spat. “I asked both sides to examine all eventualities so that a solution can be found within a reasonable time frame,” the envoy said.

Nimetz did not give a deadline for a settlement but developments are expected ahead of a NATO summit in April, when the alliance is due to consider FYROM’s prospects for accession. Nimetz said he plans to visit both Athens and Skopje “in the near future” for talks with government officials.

In a related development, FYROM sources in New York said that Skopje is considering broaching the issue of the “Macedonian minority” in Greece.

A jewelry collection > “The Greek Sun” November 5, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Fashion & Style, Shopping.
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A jewelry collection > “The Greek Sun” > Some of Depy Chandris’s latest creations, link the past to the present.

In an exhibition organized by The New York Times, at their offices on Eighth Avenue in New York, along with the National Tourism Organization of Greece, Depy Chandris is to display her latest collection, titled “The Greek Sun” on November 26.

Unlike the rest of us Greeks, Chandris’s creations don’t need a visa to enter the United States. Depy, the youngest daughter of a Greek shipowner, has just arrived in New York wearing the jewelery she herself has made. She was discovered by Alexandros Iolas and Andy Warhol, who was an admirer of hers and used to pin notes on her creations with drawings and messages of love.

This is yet another chapter in the legend of Depy Chandris and her jewelry, that link past and future with the brilliance of the present.

PPC workers call off today’s strike November 5, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Energy.
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Workers at Public Power Corporation (PPC) yesterday suspended a decision to go on strike this month after the management of Greece’s biggest electricity producer said it would reconsider a plan to split up the company.

“All strike measures are suspended,” Public Power Union GENOP said in an e-mailed statement today. Workers won’t walk off their jobs on November 5, as previously planned, after management agreed not to take any decisions on the plan to divide up the company in a November 13 board meeting. “Instead, it was agreed there will be six months of discussions and studies on the purpose of restructuring,” the statement said.

State-controlled PPC said on October 27 that, as part of a new business plan, it was considering gradually splitting the company into six fully-owned units to comply with European Union rules and become more competitive.

The company’s unionized workers oppose the idea amid concern that the new units could be sold to private investors, leading to changes in working conditions. Greece owns 51 percent of PPC; the rest is traded on the Athens Exchange.

GENOP will meet PPC Chief Executive Officer Takis Athanasopoulos on November 5 to “clear up matters relating to the company’s power-production strategy.” Until then, a threat to call rolling, 48-hour strikes “remains in force,” the union said.

PPC yesterday confirmed it will consult with workers for six months regarding any future “restructuring” but said it hasn’t changed plans to announce a new business strategy on November 21.