CULTURE

50 years of studies on Byzantium

The Hellenic Institute of Byzantine and Post-Byzantine Studies in Venice marked its 50th anniversary with a special publication celebrating its long and fruitful experience in the field. Published by Olkos, the tome highlights the institute’s activities over the past half-century. Printed in hardback (160 pages and priced at 35 euros), the publication, edited by Byzantine historian and head of the institute since 1998 Chrysa Maltezou, is a window on to the world and its history. With this publication, the Hellenic Institute of Byzantine and Post-Byzantine Studies in Venice aims at reaching out to the broader public and sharing with it the knowledge and information that is so often reserved for academics and researchers. People involved either directly or indirectly with the activities of the institute held a press conference earlier this week outlining the aims and content of the publication. Speakers included Panayiotis Vokotopoulos, an academic and top Byzantine historian; Spyros Evangelatos, a theater director who has frequently conducted research at the institute for the purposes of his work; Athens University Dean Georgios Babiniotis, who noted that many scholars from the university have used the institute for their research; Ioannina University Professor Nano Hadjidaki, whose father, the esteemed Byzantine historian Manolis Hadjidakis, had curated the institute’s icon display; as well as Irene Louvrou of Olkos, who was in charge of the anniversary publication. The book contains chapters on the institute’s foundation and early days, depicting how it became a nursery for young scholars and contributed to research efforts in its field. It also shows how the institute was involved in the restoration of monuments and works of art, as well as presenting a very interesting selection of articles on the institute’s activities from 1955 to the present, written by Hadjidakis and other eminent scholars. The tome also contains rich illustrations.