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How Greece Plans to Celebrate Bicentennial of 1821 Revolution

1821 greek revolution
Credit: Skylax30/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 4.0

The year 2021 marks the 200th anniversary of the 1821 Revolution against the Ottomans, which eventually led to the formation of the modern Greek state.

The bicentennial of Greece’s 1821 Revolution and War of Independence is the perfect opportunity for the country to both celebrate and honor its history, as well as to look forward toward Greece’s potential for the future.

In order to best celebrate the momentous occasion, a special committee called “Greece 2021” was formed to organize the national festivities to commemorate the Greek Revolution in March 2021.

Although last year’s March 25 military parade celebrating the Greek Revolution was cancelled due to Covid-19, the parade will take place under strict safety measures in 2021, on the 200th anniversary of the historic occasion.

Representatives and world leaders from across the globe, including French President Emmanuel Macron and Russian President Vladimir Putin, have been invited to the military parade.

Applications for events honoring 1821 Revolution sent from every continent

Additionally, the “Greece 2021” committee was tasked with arranging a variety of historical and cultural events, as well as investment and development opportunities, in honor of the bicentennial in Greece and abroad.

These events and development project will occur throughout the entire year.

Notably, the committee does not receive any state funding, but will provide financial support for events and other projects entirely through private donations, sales, and sponsorships.

In total, the committee received nearly 2,000 proposals for events and development projects from cultural institutions, foundations, organizations, private citizens, and local governments from Greece and around the world to honor the 200th anniversary of the Greek Revolution.

Attesting to the presence of Greeks across the world, 319 of the applications were sent from the Greek diaspora or Greek embassies in 46 countries on every continent.

Greek businesswoman Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki, best known as the president of the bidding and organizing committees for the 2004 Athens Olympic Games, serves as the head of the Greece 2021 organizing committee.

Many prominent business people, academics, cultural figures, and historians serve on the committee along with Angelopoulos-Daskalaki.

1821 Revolution
Credit: Greek Reporter

Celebrating the past and looking to the future

Applications for events and investment projects honoring the bicentennial must either reflect on the historic event through cultural or artistic means, or look toward Greece’s future and legacy for generations to come.

The committee has outlined four basic pillars for applicants to follow when crafting their potential events.

The first pillar refers to proposals that highlight the revolution as a “pivotal chapter in Greek history and a piece in the puzzle of world history,” linking it not just to Greece’s national development, but also broader world events at the time, especially other revolutions.

Applicants can also submit applications focusing on contemporary Greek society, “200 years after independence.” In spite of the many difficult times the country has endured, its culture, history, and potential exemplify the enduring nature of the modern Greek state.

Additionally, works focused on Greeks who have “left their mark on the world” since the Revolution, either in the arts, medicine, science, or industry, are being highly sought after by the committee.

Finally, those looking toward the future of the country are encouraged to submit proposals for forward-thinking events or development projects that fall under the category of “2021 as a window for the future of Greece.”

Planned actions and events for commemorating the 1821 Revolution

The Greece 2021 committee, as part of its mission to not only honor the country’s past but also envision its future, organized the “Greece 2040” forum.

Organizations participating in the forum will identify specific interventions to be made for the country’s future that are in line with their fields of expertise, whether they be topics of environmental, social, political, or economic interest.

Capitalizing on the incredible skill and talent of the Greek workforce, the committee has also created the Research Institute for Artificial Intelligence, which will support Greek scientists and specialists in the cutting edge field of AI.

The committee has also begun to organize a “Festival of the Cities,” where celebrations and events honoring the Revolution and Greece’s future will occur in 51 cities across the country in the summer.

“Walking in the Footsteps of 1821” is a fascinating project proposed by the committee, which allows 200 young people will travel throughout 40 cities in Europe along routes that were integral during the Greek War of Independence.

Additionally, the committee has collaborated with the Hellenic Post to create special commemorative stamps, along with Greek universities and academic institutions, to create special courses and competitions surrounding the history of the Revolution.

1821 Revolution
Special commemorative coins included in Greece 2021’s Numismatic Program. Credit: Greece 2021/Facebook

The Greece 2021 Numismatic Program

In honor of the bicentennial of the Greek Revolution, the Greece 2021 committee has created a series of 14 rare, collectable coins, which are currently available for purchase on the committee’s e-shop.

Featuring incredible details including iconic Greek images, including flags and prominent figures from the Revolution, the coins are exceedingly intricate.

The series includes two coins made of polymer metal that are imprinted with the same design as the first two coins officially released by the modern Greek state, as well as eight silver coins depicting prominent Greek figures from across the country.

Finally, eight gold coins will feature different iterations of the Greek flag from the Revolution in 1821 until the present day.

After a limited number of coins are produced, their molds will be destroyed, increasing their rarity and value.

The sale of these commemorative coins is fundamental to supporting the work of the committee, which receives no funding whatsoever from the Greek state.