CULTURE

Spotlight on Byzantium at Delphi

With a reduced budget but no cuts in terms of the quality of its scientific and artistic program, the European Cultural Center of Delphi is preparing to open its doors once again to host its annual international symposium. This year, the symposium will focus on the before and after of the Byzantium period.

Speaking at a recent press conference, the president of the center?s board of directors, Eleni Glykatzi-Ahrweiler, noted that the crisis doesn?t necessarily equal decadence.

The core of the symposium?s parallel events is the exhibition ?Worship and Shrines after the Fall of Constantinople from the Benaki Museum Collections,? which will be inaugurated by Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomaios on June 28.

A large number of the 66 religious objects — which include icons and liturgical utensils dating from the 15th to the 19th century — are going on display for the first time. The pieces explore the distinct creative routes taken by creators of religious works living in different areas following the dismantling of the Byzantine Empire.

Taking part in the scientific symposium are a number of leading historians and Byzantinologists from Greece and abroad. The symposium is scheduled to take place at the center?s conference hall complex from July 8 to 10. Participating speakers are invited to throw light onto the period before and after Byzantine rule.

In terms of music at the summer gathering, the opening and closing ceremonies will feature the Byzantine choir Idimelon as well as Lykourgos Angelopoulos and his Greek Byzantine Choir.

Meanwhile, teachers of secondary education from Brazil and Portugal will be attending a series of seminars on ancient Greek language and culture. The seminars, running for the 10th year this summer, will take place from July 17 to 27.

Also on the program of events are theater performances. The Municipal Regional Theater of Roumeli will stage Jean Cocteau?s ?La Voix humaine? (The Human Voice) and Aristophanes? ?Lysistrata,? directed by Yiannis Iordanidis and Thymios Karakatsanis respectively.

It is worth noting that the majority of those participating in this year?s events will not be paid, given that the cultural center?s budget for 2011 was set at 750,000 euros. Last year, the event?s budget was 900,000 euros.

For more information on the European Cultural Center of Delphi?s symposium and parallel events, visit www.eccd.gr.