Church and State raise funds for Smyrna survivor

At the Palais de Sport stadium in Thessaloniki, where large gatherings are held, the Culture Ministry organized a concert Wednesday whose proceeds will go toward the repair of Aghios Voukoulos, a church in Smyrna. The initiative came from Kathimerini, which ran articles urging that the only Orthodox church not burnt in the 1922 disaster should go into operation again. The plan is under the aegis of the Smyrniote Union, and the ecumenical patriarch has stated that he will be present at the opening of the church. Refugee organizations from Thessaloniki, Imvros and Istanbul took up the issue, organizing the evening of Byzantine choral music. Actress Anna Vagena also recited an extract from «Angela Papazoglou.» The event was attended by Vartholomaios. The patriarch has not forgotten how the event came about, he told Kathimerini. Culture Minister Evangelos Venizelos spoke warmly of the project and Vartholomaios praised the municipality of Smyrna, which included the church in its repair program, paving the way for tolerance, Greek-Turkish friendship and Turkey’s European prospects.

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