CULTURE

Headscarf and Western elegance counter Athens’s squalor during official visit

The young, beautiful and smiling Hayrunnisa Gul, who accompanied her husband, Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul, on an official visit to Greece last week, visited the Museum of Cycladic Art during her stay, dressed in the traditional Islamic headscarf, but with Parisian chic. Accompanied by the wife of Foreign Minister George Papandreou, Ada, and the museum’s president, Dolly Goulandri, the visitor was shown around the museum and its current exhibition «Sea Routes – From Sidon to Muelva – Interconnections in the Mediterranean, 16th to 6th centuries BC» by its director, Professor Nicos Stambolidis. The exhibition, housed in the new wing at the Stathatos Mansion, included exhibits from museums in Turkey (photo). Gul then asked to see the private collection of Cycladic art in the main part of the museum, where she was guided by archaeologist Peggy Sotirakopoulou. The Turkish foreign minister was shown around the Olympic venues, as he had requested, but from a helicopter, because down on the ground the garbage, piled high all over the city due to a strike, would have stolen the show but created a very bad impression. On the one hand is our cultural heritage and modern technology, and on the other are strikes, protest marches and traffic jams in the city center. The only solution for official visitors is indeed a helicopter.