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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-11-29

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] PM to address AHCC 'Greek Economy Conference'
  • [02] 'The Complete Sculptures of Edgar Degas' lets visitors 'travel back in time'
  • [03] New flu figures

  • [01] PM to address AHCC 'Greek Economy Conference'

    Prime minister George Papandreou will address the opening session of the two-day 20th annual American Hellenic Chamber of Commerce's "The Greek Economy Conference" on Monday at a central Athens Hotel.

    This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Greek Economy Conference, a conference which has become the leading economic conference not only in Greece, but also in the greater region of Southeast Europe. The conference provides the ideal meeting place for representatives from the public and private sector for an exchange of views on proposals regarding development, investment and business policy.

    Papandreou will address the conference at 8:30 in the evening, while other speakers include Economy, Competitiveness and Shipping minister Louka Katseli, US ambassador in Athens Daniel Speckhard, and Columbia University professor Graciela Chichilnisky, a lead author of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which was the co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007.

    [02] 'The Complete Sculptures of Edgar Degas' lets visitors 'travel back in time'

    Athens is the first stop of a major exhibition titled "The Complete Sculptures of Edgar Degas", as the entire collection of 74 bronze sculptures by the French impressionist master embarks on a world tour.

    In Greece, the exhibition is hosted at the Herakleidon Museum, where it will run through April 25, 2010.

    The Athens venue has many "firsts". Apart from being the first stop on the world tour, it is also the first time Degas' sculptures are exhibited in Greece, and the first time all 74 sculptures are presented together.

    But another, important, first is that visitors will have, for the first time, the opportunity to "travel back in time", according to the organisers, who went on to explain:

    "We have all heard of scientists using sophisticated equipment to discover a painting of a famous artist, Da Vinci for example, hidden under one of his later works. It was not uncommon for a painter to recycle a canvas, sometimes painting the same subject, but differently. Alas, one cannot access the earlier work without destroying the later, well-known version. In other words, one may travel back in time, but without the possibility of returning to the present. Nobody is interested in that kind of travel!

    "But now we have a unique opportunity. All the bronze sculptures in this exhibition were cast from recently discovered plasters made from Degasā original waxes during his lifetime and with his consent. This is remarkable since all the other bronzes one currently sees in museums and elsewhere were cast from masters made after the artistās death. Therefore, the bronzes in this exhibition can be considered as the original versions, and all the others as the second versions of the sculptures. Thus, for the first time, it will be possible for experts, scholars and the general public to compare the artistās bronzes in the before and after states, almost unparalleled in the history of art."

    The Museum will publish a special edition catalogue in three languages. The fascinating essays in this catalogue by Mr. Walter Maibaum and Dr. Gregory Hedberg detail the history of this discovery and the differences between the bronze editions. Dr. June Hargroveās essay discusses the relationship between Edgar Degasā two and three-dimensional works so that appropriate comparisons can be made.

    "The Herakleidon Museum is very proud to have been selected as the organizer of this travelling exhibition of these extraordinary bronzes. Our purpose is to make the works of this truly first modern sculptor available to a broader audience," say Paul and Belinda Firos, founders of the Herakleidon Museum.

    Caption: From the exhibition "The Complete Sculptures of Edgar Degas" which opened in Athens on the first stop of a world tour. (ANA-MPA/O. Panagiotou)

    [03] New flu figures

    The third phase of inoculation against the new flu commences on Monday, director of the National Center for Health Operations (EKEPY) director Dr. Panayiotis Efstathiou announced, adding that the virus was clearly on the rise.

    The third phase of vaccination is addressed to the wider population, encompassing children aged six months up and adults up to 50 years of age, as well as people belonging to the other population groups who were not inoculated during the preceding two stages for healthcare employees and vulnerable groups.

    All the new flu monitoring indicators have doubled, Efstathiou said.

    According to official figures, 28 people are currently hospitalised in intensive care units (ICUs), of which 13 are in critical condition. Among them are two minors and a pregnant woman.

    Most of the hospitalised patients have disorder-related obesity, while 21 patients have pneumonia. A total of 17 people have died, 15 of them from complications to existing medical conditions caused by the new flu, while only two were not suffering from any other disease.

    Further, a total of 99 kindergartens, 71 primary schools, 28 junior highschools, 28 highschools and 423 departments of various schools closed on Friday due to a high absentee rate.

    To press questions on possible side-effects of the new flu vaccine, Efstathiou noted that 65 million people have been vaccinated throughout the word, and not a single serious problem has arisen as an undesired side-effect apart from some allergic reactions, localised pain and minor blotches. Those, however, were negligent compared with the immense number of inoculations.

    He added that the first statistical studies have been released in Europe, namely in Britain and Sweden, and showed no cause for concern.

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