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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 14-06-19

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Crete to kick off El Greco Year exhibitions in Greece
  • [02] Gov't VP and Foreign minister receives Chinese counterpart
  • [03] EU Commissioner Hahn reveals plan to let EIB use EU structural funds to help finance Greek SMEs
  • [04] Eurobank successfully completes 500-mln-euro bond sale‏
  • [05] Antiquities kept in German museums since WWII to be repatriated to Greece
  • [06] 'Accessibility Pass' to facilitate holiday access to disabled

  • [01] Crete to kick off El Greco Year exhibitions in Greece

    The island of Crete, birthplace of the Renaissance master Domenicos Theotokopoulos who is better known by as El Greco, is to kick off a round of exhibitions in Greece for El Greco Year. The Greek tribute to the painter, marking the 400th anniversary since the old master's death, starts with the inauguration on June 20 of the exhibition "Domenikos Theotokopoulos between Venice and Rome" at the Historical Museum of Crete in Iraklio.

    The exhibition is dedicated to the painter's Italian period and will be open to the public on June 21, running until October 25. After this date it will be transferred to the Benaki Museum in Athens, which helped organise the exhibition, where it will run from November 21 until March 1, 2015.

    The exhibition takes the two paintings on permanent display at the Historical Museum of Crete as its focal point – "View of Mt. Sinai and the Monastery of St. Catherine" and "The Baptism of Christ" – to recreate the broader artistic milieu. Relevant works from 16th century Cretan icon painting are on display, as well as similarly themed works by Western artists. The human milieu surrounding Theotokopoulos will be recreated in parallel, with his noted patrons, and the major artists he became associated with during his time in Italy, at a time when the recognition, support and protection of prominent personages was essential to an artist's survival and advancement. The historical figures presented in the exhibition are the powerful cardinal Alessandro Farnese, at whose palace in Rome El Greco stayed for two years; his librarian Fulvio Orsini; and the famed miniaturist Giulio Clovio, who, in a letter to Cardinal Farnese, described Theotokopoulos as "a rare case in painting".

    The exhibition presents major paintings and engravings from museums and private collections in Greece and abroad: the Galleria Uffizi (Florence); Pinacoteca Vaticana (Rome); Münchner Stadtmuseum (Munich); Kupferstichkabinett (Berlin); Istituto Nazionale per la Grafica (Rome); the Benaki Museum; the Byzantine and Christian Museum (Athens);the Gennadius Library; the Zosimaia Library; the Archdiocese of Crete; the Marianna Latsi Collection. Works to be exhibited for the first ever time in Greece include The Adoration of the Shepherds held by the Agnes Etherington Art Center (Kingston, Ontario, Canada); Portrait of Guilio Clovio by Sofonisba Anguissola, from the Malgeri-Zeri Collection (Rome); and a Portrait of Fulvio Orsini by an unknown artist, from the Uffizi Gallery Museum (Florence). The exhibition is complemented by a wealth of archive material, books and documentary evidence.

    Events on Theotokopoulos will also be held in other museums in Greece, among them the National Gallery, the Alex Mylonas Museum - Macedonia Museum of Contemporary Art and the Byzantine & Christian Museum, whose planned exhibition "Domenicos Theotokopoulos before El Greco" was approved by the Central Archaeological Council on June 17.

    The Byzantine & Christian museum exhibition will focus on the influence exerted on the artist by the social and artistic environment of his native Crete and how this formed his character and personality. It will start on November 19, 2014 and run until March 31, 2015, featuring a series of artifacts and works of art held by archaeological museums and the antiquities services, including a wealth of coins from the Iraklio Archaeological Museum, a medal from the Nafpaktos Naval Battle from the Rethymno archaeological museum, an icon from a chapel on the island of Kos painted by one of El Greco's Cretan contemporaries - the artist Georgios Klontzas (also from Handakas on Crete) - which depicts the Assumption of the Virgin (the same theme as a famous El Greco painting) dating from the second half of the 16th century and others.

    Among the paintings to be included are the artist's "Luke the Evangelist" and "The Adoration of the Magi" from the Benaki Museum, the "Dormition of the Virgin" loaned by Syros Cathedral, "St. John the Baptist" from the Fine Arts Museum in Valencia, Spain and "St. Francis of Assisi and Fra Leone" from the Pinacoteca Brera in Milan, in addition to 24 other works of art on loan from Italy, Spain, Austria and Bosnia-Herzegovina.

    [02] Gov't VP and Foreign minister receives Chinese counterpart

    ANA-MPA - Greece deeply appreciates China's role as a permanent member of the UN Security Council, government Vice President and Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos said during his meeting with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi at the Foreign ministry on Thursday.

    "We believe that China's role in the settlement of all the pending international issues is decisive," Venizelos said and thanked Wang for China's stance on the Cyprus issue and other critical national issues, while referring to the Greek EU presidency he stressed that "we fully perceive China's sensitivities on issues of foreign policy."

    On his part Wang thanked Venizelos for his warm reception and expressed his satisfaction regarding the meeting in the framework of the Chinese prime minister's three-day visit to Greece, beginning Thursday. The Chinese minister referred to Venizelos' contribution to bilateral relations while he stressed the overall strategic partnership between China and Greece.

    "We consider Greece to be our most trusted friend and partner in the European Union," Wang said and underlined that "the visit of our new Premier, Li Keqiang, will play a guiding, decisive role in our future cooperation." Wang invited Venizelos to visit China, an invitation that was immediatelly accepted by the Greek Foreign minister.

    [03] EU Commissioner Hahn reveals plan to let EIB use EU structural funds to help finance Greek SMEs

    ANA-MPA - Greece can use European Community funds, in cooperation with the European Investment Bank (EIB), in order to finance small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that are currently facing massive liquidity problems, European Commissioner for regional policy Johannes Hahn said at an Athens press conference following a meeting with new Development Minon Thursday.

    "This is an EU initiative that seeks to combine the possibilities of the 2014-2020 structural funds with EIB actions," said Georgios Petroulakis, a Greek ministry official in charge of regional policy present at the press conference.

    They explained that the EIB will henceforth be able to use the structural fund budget to provide guarantees - the level of which will be decided by Greece - and use the bank's AAA credit-rating to approach international financing mechanisms in order to secure further funding for SME projects.

    Hahn stressed the need to boost the entrepreneurial spirit throughout Europe and noted that the general impression and image of Greece at present was that it had changed for the better.

    "I have visited companies in Crete, Patras, Epirus, Thrace - as well as universities, which have a very high level internationally - and see that there is an excellent level of new business initiatives and innovative products, both in terms of goods and of services," he underlined. Hahn also noted the excellent research facilities that existed but said these had to be more closely linked to business needs, adding that this was not only a Greek but also a European phenomenon.

    The Commissioner expressed reservations, however, about the continuing administrative deficits that deterred potential business investment and the long duration of court cases, as well as a lack of stability in the tax system.

    Questioned about the 181 "priority" projects, Hahn said that 51 projects with a budget of about one billion euros have been completed, 23 are due to be delivered during the current year and the rest by the end of 2015, while adding that some might be added to the new programme period.

    The general evaluation was that setting these priorities and monitoring these projects had been "a good idea", he added.

    Meanwhile, the head of the Task Force Horst Reichenbach said after a meeting with Dendias, who was appointedon June 9, that the EU group would continue its cooperation with the Greek government and especially the Development ministry, in order to facilitate investments in the country and support small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs).

    Dendias underlined that his predecessor in the ministry had carried out a significant body of work, adding that the government will firmly adhere to reform targets.

    [In photo, Hahn (L) and Dendias (R) at press conference. ANA-MPA/Yiannis Kolesidis]

    [04] Eurobank successfully completes 500-mln-euro bond sale‏

    ANA-MPA - Eurobank on Thursday announced the successful completion of a 500-million-euro bond loan. The four-year issue carries a annual coupon of 4.25 pct and was more than two times oversubscribed, attracting bids worth 1.1 billion euros.

    Eurobank had previously completed an international roadshow, organised by the coordinators of the issue, in London, Paris and Milan with around 50 institutional investors. The meetings verified a significant interest from long-term investment funds, a sign of a gradual investor return to all categories in the Greek market.

    The bond issue also confirmed the international investment community's interest in Eurobank, as it initially recorded during the recent successful share capital increase a plan worth 2.9 billion euros, which signalled the return of the bank to the private sector.

    [05] Antiquities kept in German museums since WWII to be repatriated to Greece

    ANA-MPA - Antiquities that were unearthed in Greece and ended up in Germany during WWII will soon be repatriated, the culture ministry announced on Thursday. Among them are 10,600 fragments of clay vessels, stone artifacts, and osteological material that were unearthed during excavations carried out between June and December 1941 by the Nazi occupation forces.

    The formal ceremony for the return of the antiquities was held at Pfahlibau Museum in the German city of Unteruhldingen on Wednesday, the culture ministry said.

    Culture & Sports Minister Konstantinos Tassoulas referred to the symbolism of the gesture and to incidents of antiquity smuggling and destruction recorded across Greece during the Nazi occupation. He also referred to the recent repatriation of archaeological material unearthed at the site of Magoula Visviki and neolithic sites in Thessaly, central Greece, noting that such moves contribute decisively to the strengthening of bilateral ties.

    The National Archaeological Museum will be the first stop of the repatriated antiquities before they are transferred to local museums.

    [06] 'Accessibility Pass' to facilitate holiday access to disabled

    Speaking at an event on facilitating access to all areas for people with disabilities, Tourism Minister Olga Kefalogianni stressed on Wednesday the importance of the "Accessibility pass" certification of hotels in Greece.

    She added, that improving accessibility for people in this group had a very special position within the national tourism plan of Greece.

    "It is our duty to ensure the conditions and to be concerned with the unobstructed and dignified access of our fellow citizens to holidays, entertainment and the beauties and the colours of Greece," said Kefalogianni.

    She emphasised, that the Tourism ministry is examining every possible financial intervention, offering European funds to help upgrade the infrastructure of hotels that decide to get the "Accessibility pass" certification.

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