Byzan­tine Em­pire takes cen­ter stage at Del­phi sym­po­sium

Kathimerini English - - Life - BY CHRISTINA SANOUDOU

With a re­duced bud­get but no cuts in terms of the qual­ity of its sci­en­tific and artis­tic pro­gram, the Euro­pean Cul­tural Cen­ter of Del­phi is pre­par­ing to open its doors once again to host its an­nual in­ter­na­tional sym­po­sium. This year, the sym­po­sium will fo­cus on the be­fore and af­ter of the Byzan­tium pe­riod.

Speak­ing at a re­cent press con­fer­ence, the pres­i­dent of the cen­ter’s board of direc­tors, Eleni Glykatzi-Ahrweiler, noted that the cri­sis doesn’t nec­es­sar­ily equal decadence.

The core of the sym­po­sium’s par­al­lel events is the ex­hi­bi­tion “Wor­ship and Shrines af­ter the Fall of Con­stantino­ple from the Be­naki Mu­seum Col­lec­tions,” which will be in­au­gu­rated by Ec­u­meni­cal Pa­tri­arch Vartholo­maios on June 28.

A large num­ber of the 66 re­li­gious ob­jects – which in­clude icons and litur­gi­cal uten­sils dat­ing from the 15th to the 19th cen­tury – are go­ing on dis­play for the first time. The pieces ex­plore the dis­tinct cre­ative routes taken by mak­ers of re­li­gious works liv­ing in dif­fer­ent ar­eas fol­low­ing the dis­man­tling of the Byzan­tine Em­pire.

Tak­ing part in the sci­en­tific sym­po­sium are a num­ber of lead­ing his­to­ri­ans and Byzanti­nol­o­gists from Greece and abroad. The sym­po­sium is sched­uled to take place at the cen­ter’s con­fer­ence hall com­plex from July 8 to 10. Par­tic­i­pat­ing speak­ers are in­vited to throw light onto the pe­ri­ods be­fore and af­ter Byzan­tine rule.

In terms of mu­sic at the sum­mer gather­ing, the open­ing and clos­ing cer­e­monies will fea­ture the Byzan­tine choir Idimelon as well as Lyk­our­gos An­gelopou­los and his Greek Byzan­tine Choir. Mean­while, teach­ers of sec­ondary ed­u­ca­tion from Brazil and Por­tu­gal will be at­tend­ing a se­ries of sem­i­nars on an­cient Greek lan­guage and cul­ture. The sem­i­nars, run­ning for the 10th year this sum­mer, will take place from July 17 to 27. Also on the pro­gram of events are the­ater per­for­mances. The Mu­nic­i­pal Re­gional The­ater of Roumeli will stage Jean Cocteau’s “La Voix hu­maine” (The Hu­man Voice) and Aristo­phanes’ “Ly­sis­trata,” di­rected by Yian­nis Iordanidis and Thymios Karakat­sa­nis re­spec­tively.

It is worth not­ing that the ma­jor­ity of those par­tic­i­pat­ing in this year’s events will not be paid, given that the cul­tural cen­ter’s bud­get for 2011 was set at 750,000 eu­ros. Last year, the event’s bud­get was 900,000 eu­ros.

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