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Greece Marks 150 Years Since Poet Kavafis' Birth

Constantinos KavafisThe Greek education ministry has dedicated 2013 to great poet Constantinos Kavafis (1863-1933) 150 years after his birth and 80 years since his death. A round of events has already taken place in a number of European countries including Italy and France while several others are planned this fall under the patronage of the National book centre, the Directorate general of contemporary culture and literature of the education ministry, with the cooperation of the European cultural centre of Delphi and the Alexandros Onassis foundation which bought a year ago the poet’s archive including his manuscripts, magazines he has edited and a number of personal belongings.
Alexandria’s library is also taking part in initiatives along with Greece’s embassies in a number of foreign countries and many universities where Greek culture, language and Kavafis’ work are taught.
One of the many relevant initiatives was an exhibit called ‘K.P. Kavafis: Zografismena (illustrated poetry)’ by the Foundation B.&M. Theocharakis, inaugurated in Athens on September 25. The show, which will close on December 8,features many manuscripts and rare editions of Kavafis’ books from private collections and over 100 works of art including paintings, sculptures and drawings by 38 contemporary Greek artists inspired by the poet’s work because, as the president of the European cultural center in Delphi, Eleni Arveler, wrote in the catalogue, ‘though it might seem heretical, Kavafis thinks through images, ideas follow suit and mingle with emotions and experiences’.
Alongside the work of 38 contemporary artists are two pieces by Nikos Hatzikyariakos-Gkikas and Yannis Tsarouhis.
‘Each of the 40 artists talks about the constantly evolving poetry of Kavafis with their own personal language’, said the curator of the show and catalogue, Takis Mayrotas.
Artists at the exhibit include Costas Tsoklis and Christos Mpokoros, both inspired by ”Keria” (Candles), Constantinos Xenakis (poem ”Ithaki”, Ithaca), Vana Xenou (”Ta teihi”, walls), Panayotis Tetsis (”Alexandrini Vasilis”, sovereigns of Alexandria), Alekos Fassianos (”Epestrefe”, returning) and Apostolos Fanakidis (”Ipolis”, the city) while Hatzikyriakos-Gkikas and Yannis Tsarouchis were inspired by the poem ”Oraia louloudia kai aspra” (beautiful and white flowers). The show’s catalogue is ‘K.P. Kavafis: Zografismena’ with the contribution of Eleni Arveler and Takis Mavrotas, among others.
(source: ANSA)

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