Europa Nostra awards Greek craftsman

For the first time, Europa Nostra, a pan-European federation of non-governmental organizations concerned with the protection and enhancement of heritage, has given an award to a person rather than to a monument. The winner, who has devoted his life to protecting the Acropolis, is marble craftsman Yiannis Arbilias, whose profile by Christine Sturmey appeared in Kathimerini English Edition on March 26, 2001. Arbilias studied with Dimitris Pikionis, the great visionary who was asked to shape the surroundings of the Acropolis by Constantine Karamanlis when he was prime minister. Pikionis was known to admire the technicians and tradesmen who worked alongside him, on their knees, piecing together the stone paving to the Lombardiaris chapel and the road to the Propylaia. You are the divine instruments that will work a miracle. Art must be authentic, honest and modest, he used to say to them, as Professor Haralambous Bouras, President of the Committee for the Preservation of the Acropolis Monuments, recalled at the ceremony which took place at the Weiler building at the foot of the Acropolis. Culture Minister Evangelos Venizelos congratulated the winner on his award, which includes his whole family because both Arbilias’s father and grandfather were marble sculptors from Tinos, and his son is an icon restorer at the Byzantine Museum. The minister added that the restoration would not be complete without the return of the Parthenon Marbles which are at the British Museum. Europa Nostra president Daniel Cardon de Lichtbuer handed over the award which Arbilias accepted modestly, saying: The honor reflects on all the technicians who have worked together since 1989. Enel Hydro approved for CSF quality controls

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