The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York is preparing a major exhibition of works by Domenicos Theotocopoulos, better known as El Greco. The show, which includes 70 works, will run from October 7 to January 11. Many of the paintings in the exhibition will travel from museums abroad to appear first in New York and then in London, where the exhibition will continue from February 11 to May 23, 2004. Pending approval by the Central Archaeological Council (KAS), Greece will lend two unique works by El Greco: «View of Mount Sinai,» from the Historical Museum of Iraklion, Crete and «The Dormition of the Virgin Mary.» Benaki exports On August 26, KAS gave approval for the temporary export of two objects from the Benaki Museum for the «Art Maritim» exhibition at the Hamburg Messe Museum in Germany. The objects are a marble vase with scenes of dolphins in relief and an icon of Saint Nicholas (in tempera on wood) dated to 1933. KAS’s directorate of museums, exhibitions and educational programs stipulated that the vase be insured for 1 million euros and the icon for 300,000 euros. The Benaki Museum will send other items to the exhibition in Hamburg, including paintings, engravings and items of folk art. KAS has received another application for the loan of items related to Eastern Orthodox Christianity by the State Museum of Moravia, Bront, in the Czech Republic. The exhibition, which will open on September 23 and run till January 31, 2004, is devoted to the 550 years since the fall of Constantinople. Some 11 thematic units will be represented by 30 works of art, including icons and engravings. Emphasis will be laid on the influence of the Byzantine civilization on Central Europe, Ethiopia and the Balkans. Most of the items on loan from Greece will come from the Museum of Byzantine Civilization in Thessaloniki. Rare manuscripts Rare manuscripts from the collection of the Byzantine Museum in Drama are to make a local trip to the Drama Archaeological Museum for an exhibition called «Forms of Ancient and Byzantine Books – The Art of Bookbinding in the Byzantine and Post-Byzantine Era,» which runs from September 15 to October 17. Among the exhibits will be a rare manuscript which was taken by the Bulgarian occupation forces, found in Munich and acquired by the Greek Culture Ministry. In addition, the Byzantine Museum is lending four more manuscripts for a symposium to be held in the area.