The Onassis Cultural Center on Tuesday rebuffed claims by disgruntled members of the public on social media that a dog which appears briefly in the final scene of "Faust" directed by Michail Marmarinos is undernourished.
The statement on the center's website (www.sgt.gr) assured animal rights activists and members of the public who reacted to the minutes-long appearance of the dog on the theater's stage after the curtain falls, that the canine is a greyhound, a naturally thin breed, and that it is under the constant care of its owner, Vassilis Kasmas, a member of the production team.
"The dog is in no way malnourished. It belongs to the Levrier Greyhound breed, which is by its nature a very thin, athletic racing dog, irrespectively of its diet," the statement said.
"The dog arrives half an hour before the end of every performance and leaves with its owner right after the end," the statement added.
The center's management, however, said that it has decided to withdraw the dog's appearance from the performance in response to a report by an animal rights group citing a law prohibiting the use of animals in performances and other similar events.
"After a more careful examination of the relevant legislation, the production team has decided to take the dog in question out of the performance," the statement concluded.