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GREEK NEWS

Athens is Focal Point of International Press in Late September

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Athens view. The city will host a number of international exhibitions. Credit: Thodoris Karakozidis, Wikimedia Commons

Apart from its history and its museums, Athens is expected to become the focus of international press in late September because of a series of exhibitions and conferences taking place in the city.

Various Athens sites, including the famous Benaki museum and the National Museum of Modern Art, will attract the attention and capture the imagination of the world press once again after many months of scaled-down events due to the pandemic.

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The 7th Athens Biennale ECLIPSE, co-curated by the Omsk Social Club and Larry Ossei-Mensah under the artistic direction of Poka-Yio, takes place from September 24 to November 28. The exhibition features artists based in North and South America, the Caribbean, Africa, and Europe, many of whom will be exhibiting in Greece for the first time.

The exhibition title highlights the obscured perspective of reality caused by the constant state of flux we are experiencing in our society now. ECLIPSE engages the social, political and spiritual changes of today’s global construct and in Athens itself, as a rising metropolis located at the intersection of Europe, Asia and Africa both physically and historically.

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Poster of the “Eclipse” exhibition in the Benaki Museum, Athens. Credit: Benaki Museum

International Press in Athens for Biennalle, other events

This year’s Athens Bienalle will highlight the works of artists from the African Diaspora in addition to other artistic voices that have historically been pushed to the outskirts of modern art. This engagement will be articulated through the use of a “Black Lens” as one of the frameworks, alongside a complimentary framework of artistic interventions that use dynamic manifestations to compose unique practical narratives. Their aim is to strategically address the viewers imagination of potential parallel worlds and futures.

Another event to capture the world press and its lenses is the annual conference “Quality of Life” sponsored by the internationally renowned magazine “Monocle,” which will be hosted in the Greek capital for the first time. Monocle invites those who are interested in participating in its famous conference entitled Quality of Life, from September 23-25 ​​in Athens, to the Benaki Museum, located at 138 Piraeus Street.

Noting that Athens is “a city on the rise”, the journalists of the respected medium, which highlights important current issues from around the world through its pages, chose the Greek capital as the setting of their 6th annual conference, after Lisbon, Vienna, Berlin, Zurich and Madrid.

At the conference, Athens will host more than 25 famous speakers and 130 representatives from the international arena of business, culture, architecture, science, journalism etc., thus gaining a great opportunity to be promoted abroad.

According to the magazine, Athens was chosen on the grounds that “new businesses are flourishing in the city and the art scene is prospering, factors that have forced the talented generation to return to its base along with ambitious businessmen operating abroad. All these creative ‘players’ are investing in hospitality, design, technology and industry, as the city consolidates its position as the most open and rapidly growing ‘outpost’ in the Eastern Mediterranean.”

During the event, which will last a total of three days, organized tours will take place in some of the most interesting places in Athens and the businessmen of the city will be given the opportunity to get in touch with their colleagues from all over the world, aiming at networking.

Athens’ “Kallos” (beauty) displayed for the world

Finally, another event to attract visitors and international media alike is the exhibition “KALLOS. The Ultimate Beauty”, which will be hosted from the 29th of September 2021 until the 16th of January 2022 at the Museum of Cycladic Art in Athens. The musum continues its series of ground-breaking archaeological exhibitions focusing on Man in Antiquity, and in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture and Sports.

The exhibition includes 300 antiquities from museums, Ephorates of Antiquities and collections in Greece, Italy and the Vatican, and is structured in two major sections, Beautification and Beauty. Through these antiquities, various aspects of the notion of Kállos in everyday life and philosophical discourse in ancient Greece are presented.

This particularly important and large-scale exhibition will occupy all the exhibition spaces of the Museum of Cycladic Art.

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The poster for the “Kallos” exhibition in Athens. Credit: Museum of Cycladic Art

The ancient Greek word Kállos essentially means beauty and is associated with both the female and the male sex. However, the concept of Kállos in its ultimate dimension is not a word signifying merely beauty. It is an ideal that was developed in ancient Greek thought,  expressed through the poems of the epic (8th century BC) and the lyric (7th – 6th century BC) poets.

From the fifth/fourth century BC onward it was formulated gradually in the texts of philosophers.

They describe it as a combination of the beauty of physical appearance with the virtues of the soul. The exhibition in the Museum of Cycladic Art refers to this dimension of Kállos, highlighting the contribution of ancient Greece to the definition of the meaning of “Beauty” through history.

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The Poseidon Temple photographed on the cover of the New York Times Magazine. Credit: Vera Lutter, NYT

As the cherry on top of the international media focus on Athens, the Poseidon temple in Sounio, the southern suburb of Athens, graces the cover of the renowned New York Times Magazine next week.

The extremely dramatic photo was taken by American photographer Vera Lutter using a technique which combines three camera obscuras, printing the photo negative and developing it in various Athens labs. All in all she stayed in the Greek capital for two weeks, capturing various ancient Greek sites with her lens.

With all that, Athens is expected to become a sort of world media capital in the next two weeks. The city municipality and the relevant government ministries will be doing everything possible to promote Athens to international journalists covering these exhibitions. It’s the ideal opportunity for a tourist boost in the post pandemic world.

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