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Erotic Picasso art sparks Greek school row March 11, 2008

Posted by grhomeboy in Arts Events Greece, Arts Exhibitions Greece, Arts Museums.
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A collection of erotic prints by Pablo Picasso has sparked a dispute in Thessaloniki, northern Greece, after parents and school headmasters called into question whether they were suitable for minors, Greek media reported.

11-03-08_picasso.jpg  Schools were initially banned from visiting the exhibition of Picasso’s ‘Suite 347’ prints at the city’s Telloglio Arts Centre this week. But the decision was rescinded when an education inspector found that the offending prints were not being shown to schoolchildren visiting the exhibition.

“The works in question have been deemed unsuitable for pupils,” local secondary education director Theodoulos Tapanidis said. “We had to examine the issue after complaints arose,” he said. “The prints in question are in a separate area and were never part of the school tour anyway,” a centre employee said.

11-03-08_picasso_poster.jpg  A series of 347 engravings on topics including the female nude, bullfighting and flamenco, ‘Suite 347’ was created by Picasso in 1968 at the age of 87.

Modern art often causes controversy in Greece where a large segment of the population is sensitive to issues involving the Greek National Anthem, the Greek flag and Orthodox Christian religion.

In 2003, a Belgian artist’s painting featuring a penis facing a cross was removed from a state-funded exhibition in Athens after the Church and conservative lawmakers complained. Last year, the director of another state-funded Athens art show was arrested on charges of obscenity and an attack on national symbols over a video display in which a woman masturbated to the Greek National Anthem. He was later acquitted in court.

Related Links > http://www.tf.auth.gr/teloglion/



Greek icons exhibition comes to Derry Derry March 11, 2008

Posted by grhomeboy in Hellenic Light Europe.
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Derry’s Gordon Gallery, Northern Ireland, will unveil an outstanding exhibition of contemporary icons by some of the leading iconographers and painters of Greece at their gallery on Pump Street tomorrow evening, March 12, at 7.30pm.

The exhibition, in collaboration with the Hellenic Foundation for Culture, will provide local art enthusiasts and novices alike with a rare opportunity to view and buy icons made in the Byzantine tradition. Gallery owner Richard Gordon said: “This is a very unique exhibition of Icons within the Byzantine tradition and the only exhibition of this size to ever come to Ireland.”

Mr. Gordon revealed that this extensive exhibition was the first of its kind in Ireland since Gordon Galleries hosted an exhibition of the work of Sr. Aloysius McVeigh, Sisters of Mercy, in 1993.

“Although I wouldn’t be religious,” Mr. Gordon continued, “There is something very special about icons. They have a certain power, something within them that seems to hold our attention. Perhaps it is their pure colours and the fact that every colour means something, everything in an icon is symbolic.

“The original icon, known as the ‘prototype’, could have been created hundreds of years ago and iconographers would then use that prototype as the basis of their piece. Icons are not a true representation of a person, but more so a stylised representation of an idea which doesn’t change with time,” he said.

The most striking of the works are those by artist Dimitris Kolioussis, and Mr. Gordon spoke of his work: “Dimitris is hugely collected in the US and elsewhere. He uses old wooden doors and reclaimed wood as the basis for his work. Dimitris has a great understanding of the timber and because he does use old reclaimed doors, some of which are hundreds of years old, you can often still see the various graffiti etched into the wood underneath the actual painting.”

Mr. Gordon enthused about another icon in the collection, adorned with intricate gold detailing. He revealed that the prototype of this particular Icon was once given to Pope John Paul and so now hangs in the Vatican. He also revealed that all the icons are decorated with 23 carat gold and painted with authentic egg-tempera, which has been used since cave drawings.

Derry’s Sr Aloysius McVeigh, founder member of the Iconographer’s Association of Ireland, was also amazed to see the exhibited collection and said: “I would certainly recommend that everyone come along to see this exhibition for an education in Iconography that you will never get in Derry again. This is a tremendously heroic venture for Richard Gordon to bring such works all the way from Greece.”

The exhibition will be officially opened this Wednesday at 7.30pm by Dr Victoria Solomonidis, Minister Counsellor for Cultural Affairs at the Greek Embassy.

Related Links > http://www.gordon-gallery.com

Source > Derry Today

Hundreds of ancient graves found in Thessaloniki, Greece March 11, 2008

Posted by grhomeboy in Archaeology Greece.
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Excavations for Thessaloniki’s metro line have revealed more than 1,000 graves, some filled with jewellery, coins and art, the Archaeological Service in Greece said.

Greek workers discovered around 1,000 graves, some filled with ancient treasures, while excavating for a subway system in the historic city of Thessaloniki, the Greek State Archaeological Authority said Monday.

Some of the graves, which dated from the first century B.C. to the 5th century A.D., contained jewelry, coins and various pieces of art, according to the Authority’s statement.

Thessaloniki was founded around 315 B.C. and flourished during the Roman and Byzantine eras, from the 2nd century BC to the 15th century AD. Today is Greece’s second largest city, with a population around 1 million.

The great majority of the graves, 886, were just east of the city’s center in what was the eastern cemetery during Roman and Byzantine times. Those graves ranged from traces of wooden coffins left in simple holes in the ground, to marble enclosures in five-room family mausoleums. A separate group of 94 graves were found near the city’s train station, in what was once part of the city’s western cemetery.

More findings were expected as digging for the Thessaloniki metro continues. Digging started in 2006 and the first 13 stations are expected to be done by the end of 2012. A 10-station extension to the west and east has been announced.

Tibetans hold protest at Ancient Olympia, Greece March 11, 2008

Posted by grhomeboy in Olympic Games, Politics.
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A group of Tibetan activists held a torch-lighting ceremony in Ancient Olympia yesterday in what they called a symbolic protest against their country’s occupation by China, the host of this year’s Olympic Games.

Police prevented some 10 activists from entering the ancient stadium, so the ceremony took place outside the Museum. Tibetan women in traditional outfits handed a lighted torch to a Tibetan athlete who began her run but was stopped by police who extinguished the torch.

The activists said they wanted to highlight their cause now that all eyes are on China ahead of the Games. “The Chinese regime will try to use the Games to advance its own political agenda,” a spokeswoman said. Local authorities were not happy. “Olympia is a site of Peace, not a place for political conflict or the settlement of disputes” Mayor Giorgos Aidonis told The Associated Press.

For some additional reading, from the Tibetans’ point of view, you may go to > http://www.savetibet.org/news/newsitem.php?id=1208

Greece’s Forthnet eyes pay tv operator NetMed NV March 11, 2008

Posted by grhomeboy in Media Radio TV, Telecoms.
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Greece’s alternative telecom and ISP provider Forthnet said it has submitted a binding offer for pay tv operator NetMed NV for an unspecified amount.

NetMed is the parent company for several companies, including NetMed Hellas and Multichoice Hellas, which provide pay TV services in Greece and Cyprus.

The price is expected to be agreed upon after the conclusion of the due diligence process, said Forthnet. Recently, GO plc and Emirates International Telecoms Malta Limited (EITML) acquired a 21% stake in Forthnet.

Cyprus eyes water imports March 11, 2008

Posted by grhomeboy in Cyprus News, Nature.
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Drought-hit Cyprus is seeking water supplies from Lebanon to cope with a crippling shortage which has seen its reserves fall to dangerously low levels, the Cypriot Agriculture Minister said on Friday.

Technical details of the transfer by ship tankers will be discussed in the coming month, Agriculture Minister Michalis Polinikis said. “Over the next 10 days, we will be looking at the technical details of transferring water from Lebanon,” he said.

The Mediterranean island has seen little rainfall this winter, marking the fourth consecutive year of drought. Reservoirs are about 10 percent full. The island also has two desalination plants running at full capacity and a third is due to come on stream later this year. Authorities were also considering quotas on water use to control waste, the Minister said.

Lebanon, which lies 243 kilometers (151 miles) southeast of Cyprus, was offering Cyprus the water without charge.

Colleges urged to compete globally March 11, 2008

Posted by grhomeboy in Education.
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A draft law for the reform of the higher education sector will allow Greek Universities and technical colleges to follow the example of foreign colleges and attract thousands more foreign students, a senior Education Ministry official has said.

Greek colleges and Universities already accommodate about 9,000 foreign students. But thousands more could be attracted if these institutions start offering pre-degree studies, also known as access courses, as foreseen in the new bill, senior Ministry official Athanassios Kyriazis said. He noted that most other European countries already had joined a global trend of “globalizing” their higher education sectors.

Many academics agree that Greek institutions should start evolving to draw in more students interested in pursuing their studies, and possibly also their careers, in Greece or the broader region.

“Greek Universities can become competitive on the global level,” said Grigoris Prastakos, the Dean of the Athens University of Economics and Business, citing the MBA International course offered by his institution as an example of an appealing course for foreigners.

Of the 9,000 foreign students currently enrolled in Greek Universities and colleges, the most, 1,552 are from Albania. The next largest number, 445 are from Bulgaria with 440 from Germany, 277 from Russia and 273 from Syria.