«Cartoonists usually work alone, at home and communicate via e-mail. Now we have an excellent opportunity to meet each other, to see how each works and to discover the sense of humor that every country has.» Those were the words of Dutch cartoonist Peter Nienwendijh, one of the 25 famous foreign cartoonists who have been in Greece since Wednesday to participate in the preparations of the city of Patras as Cultural Capital of Europe for 2006. Today, joined by 27 top Greek cartoonists, they will go to Patras to design cartoons related to the city’s carnival tradition, which will, in turn, adorn the streets along the route of the carnival procession when the time comes. After their arrival in Athens, the artists were given a guided tour around the monuments of the Acropolis, accompanied by Deputy Minister of Culture Petros Tatoulis. «These days, Greece welcomes the most important cartoonists, the people who shape the image of our civilization with their pen, by depicting our small, daily history in sketches. This meeting is an introduction to the Cultural Capital, that great cultural institution that Greece will welcome in Patras in 2006. This good start makes us optimistic about the future,» said Tatoulis. Participating artists include cartoonists from the London Times and Italy’s Repubblica among others. Yesterday, they all met with Greek President Karolos Papoulias.