CULTURE

A stellar Megaron Plus for 2007

The future looks bright for the Megaron Plus series of events at the Athens Concert Hall, according to a recent press conference held by Megaron Group President Christos Lambrakis. The series, which brings together events such as lectures, exhibitions and presentations on many varying fields of the arts and culture, is now «entering adulthood,» said Lambrakis, who received warm praise for the concert hall’s initiative from Culture Minister Giorgos Voulgarakis. An assessment of the series showed that in its first two years, 76,450 people attended the various lectures by renowned architects, writers and scientists, while it is also worth noting that among the 40,810 visitors that attended the Megaron Plus exhibitions, 13,670 were children. Noting the broad public appeal of the initiative, attended by lay people and professionals alike, Voulgarakis said that the Athens Concert Hall should «be a model for all the institutions under the supervision of the Ministry of Culture.» For 2007, the Megaron Plus agenda looks as rich as ever, with events running all year and featuring front-line specialists in fields such as architecture, literature, photography, fashion, design, the arts, mathematics, medicine, political theory and much more. In the architecture section, the headliners for 2007 are Spain’s Alberto Campo Baeza, Japan’s Kengo Kuma, Switzerland’s Bernard Tschumi and America’s Thom Mayne. From the world of letters, guests announced for this year are Rea Galanaki, Lena Divani, Maro Douka, Ziranna Zatelli, Athina Kakouri, Evgenia Fakinou, David Grossman, Milorad Pavic, Pascal Bruckner, Vassilis Alexakis, Jeffrey Eugenides, Aris Fioretos, Panos Karnezis, Theodoros Kallifatidis, Pericles Monioudis, Michel Houellebecq and Jung Chang. A group of renowned linguists and writers have also been invited for a discussion on «Language and Literature,» which will be coordinated by Athens University Rector Georgios Babiniotis. They are: Umberto Eco, Harold Bloom, Milan Kundera, Jonathan Culler and Jan Levchenko. Historian Peter Gay will hold a lecture on «Psychoanalysis: Important Open Questions,» and AIDS researchers Robert Gallo and Luc Montagnier will discuss the subject, along with Health Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos. There will also be lectures by astrophysicist Jean-Pierre Luminet, psychology and communications professor Klimis Navridis and psychiatrist-psychoanalyst Matthaios Iosafat, paleoanthropology professor Yves Coppens and, on a different note, a presentation on «Composition of Flavors, Sounds and Ideas» with chef Pierre Gagnaire, pioneering physical chemist Herve This and musician Daniel Humair. Also, New York University professor Spyros Vryonis will hold a lecture on the ousting of Greeks from Turkey in 1955 and Greek-Turkish relations. Megaron Plus 2007 does not end there. It will have poetry evenings, a legal symposium and exhibitions on Gustav Klimt, contemporary British art and Michel Navarro.