Ken Loach, the acclaimed filmmaker, twice the winner of the Palm D’Or at the Cannes film festival, has been honored by the Greek University of West Attica for his work known to raise awareness on social issues.
Loach was awarded the title of Doctor honoris at a ceremony in the Greek embassy in London earlier in the week.
Loach calls for the return of the Parthenon Marbles
Speaking to reporters after the ceremony, Loach called for the return of the Parthenon Marbles to Greece.
“The sculptures have been stolen. Of course, they must return to Greece and the Greek people. They are a central point of your history,” he said.
He stressed that ordinary British people support the Greek demand for their return. “The British people are more honest. They recognize that the Parthenon sculptures have been stolen and that they must return to Greece.”
Loach also appealed to the Greek public not to confuse the actions of the British government with its people. “Please do not confuse the actions of the rich and powerful with the people of everyday life,” he stressed.
Loach’s socially critical directing style and socialist ideals are evident in his film treatment of social issues such as poverty (Poor Cow, 1967), homelessness (Cathy Come Home, 1966), and labor rights (Riff-Raff, 1991, and The Navigators, 2001).
Loach’s film Kes (1969) was voted the seventh greatest British film of the 20th century in a poll by the British Film Institute.
Two of his films, The Wind That Shakes the Barley (2006) and I, Daniel Blake (2016), received the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, making him one of only nine filmmakers to win the award twice.
Representing the Greek University of West Attica was Vice-Rector Cleo Sgouropoulou who presented the honorary degree to the British filmmaker.
Greek University of West Attica is a fast-growing academic institution
The University of West Attica is a newly established university located in Aigaleo, Athens, Greece. It was established in 2018 as a result of the merger of the Technological Educational Institute of Athens and the Piraeus University of Applied Sciences, while in 2019 the National School of Public Health joined the newly established university.
Today it is the third-largest university in Greece, while it is considered the fastest-growing higher education institution in the country and one of the fastest-growing university institutions in all of southeastern Europe.
In October, it offered an honorary doctorate to Greek-American Congressman Gus Bilirakis at a ceremony in the Greek capital.
“It was a tremendous honor to get the honorary doctorate. It is a dream come true,” Rep. Bilirakis told Greek Reporter after the event.
Panagiotis Kaldis, the Rector of the University of West Attica, who presented the honorary doctorate to Bilirakis, said that the second-generation Greek American Congressman is a “champion of Greek culture and language in the US.”
Recently, it also honored Francis Fukuyama, the author of “End of History,” one of the most influential books of the 1990s.
The American political scientist of Japanese descent was awarded a Honorary Doctorate for his scientific contributions to the world.
Kaldis, stated in his remarks that Professor Fukuyama, is a prominent international academic and author whose work influences and shapes policies in the field of world politics and economic development.