CULTURE

Charity event at the German ambassador’s residence

Leading Athenians and spouses of ambassadors who accepted the invitation from German Ambassador Dr Albert Spiegel and his wife Barbara invited leading Athenians and members of the diplomatic corps to a charity event and dinner in the cool garden of the ambassador’s residence at Halandri. Yes, that’s the building that underwent a rocket attack in 1999 by the November 17 terrorist organization when Dr Kuhna was ambassador. Times have changed, the terrorists are on trial, the Spiegels opened up their home and offered the dinner, the proceeds of which will go on the new goal of the Muscular Dystrophy Association Hellas. MDA Hellas, founded in January 2000, has already established a unit to treat children with MD and support their parents. Now the organization’s president, Vana Lavida, and the board of directors have announced their latest goal, which is the creation of a second unit for adults with neuromuscular diseases in an historic Athenian clinic. The sole sponsor for the expenses of the event is Promot Lainopoulos SA. An oasis of coolness awaited the guests in the garden where tables were spread out under white marquees. At the ambassador’s table were Lavida, Electra Lainopoulou, her daughter Olga, the new Mrs Kuhna and Lilian Papadopoulou, wife of former Health Minister Alekos Papadopoulos. «I’ve spent all day cooking for you,» said Barbara Spiegel, who was wearing a red dress from Germany and an apron. The guests did justice to the German menu of potato and tomato salad and sausages with Bavarian mustard, washed down with lager. The whistles of admiration were not for the handsome women but for the Star and Roadstar convertibles that were parked on the lawn and which the charming Barbara agreed to be photographed in by Helbi. Another MDA sponsor is the financial daily paper Express, published by the Kalofolia group. Young, dynamic Alida Kalofolia, who edited all the printed matter associated with the evening, attended the event. Cultural information was also provided, as the ambassador, who amazed everyone with his perfect Greek, had invited eminent archaeologist Professor Wolf-Dietrich Niemeier, director of the German Archaeological Institute of Athens. The discovery of the Kouros of the Sacred Gate on April 5 last year, which had been buried in a ditch under a carriageway that had protected it for 2,500 years, made front-page news around the world. It was found face down, with only the nose broken and the left arm detached. The artful hairstyle is a complete contrast to the ponytails preferred by the young men of today. A sphinx and a winged lion were found with the kouros. These finds will go on show at the renovated Kerameikos Museum, «because we don’t live in Elgin’s time,» as Niemeier said. He and his wife, who is also an archaeologist, are continuing work on the excavation. For information about MDA Hellas, tel 210.825.6834-5, 11 Mavromataion, Athens.