CULTURE

Some welcome words of praise for Professor Babiniotis

Professor Giorgos Babiniotis, linguist and rector of Athens University, has received an honor that reflects well on Greek academics and Greece. On March 28, the senate of the University of Montreal conferred an honorary doctorate on Babiniotis. Attending the ceremony were the university senate members, many academics, and members of Montreal’s flourishing Greek community. It is the first time this distinction has gone to a Greek professor, and it does credit to Athens University, the science of linguistics and the Greek language. Babiniotis is also the president of the Arsakeio-Tossitsa Schools’ educational association, which has expanded its activities during his term of office by setting up schools in Tirana. He is also the author of a dictionary of Modern Greek which includes «comments on correct usage.» The second, revised edition has just been published. As a board member of the Alexandros S. Onassis Organization’s US affiliate, he is currently in New York at the foundation’s offices in Olympic Tower, bought by Aristotle Onassis. The foundation and the Greek Ministry of Culture have collaborated on an exhibition of Cycladic art with the eloquent title of «Silent Witnesses,» which comprises exhibits of early Cycladic art dating back to the third millennium BC. It will be the first exhibition of Cycladic objects – 54 in all – from Greek and American museum collections, including 25 from the famous collection of the J. Paul Getty Museum, 19 from the museums of Naxos and Paros, seven from the the D.P. Goulandris Foundation’s Cycladic Museum and four from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. The curator is a person most suited to the task, Professor Christos Doumas, who is in charge of the excavations at the archeological site of Akrotiri on Santorini and whose services as a specialist are much in demand by museums abroad. Helbi will also be there and will have plenty to say about the exhibition, the organizers, the silent witnesses, who have come from the depths of time to the heart of New York after the terrorist attack on September 11, 2001 to witness the revival of the spirit of hope.