CULTURE

Internationally acclaimed Irene Papas receives Italian Premio Roma award

Ask any Italian to name a famous Greek and chances are there will be no surprises: Be prepared for the same, repetitive, answer: Irene Papas. For so many years now, Papas has been the most recognizable Greek personality as far as Italy is concerned. Tonight at 7.30 p.m., Gianpaolo Scarante, the Italian ambassador in Athens, will announce that Papas has won the Premio Roma International Award for Culture. A particularly prestigious distinction, the award has over the years been bestowed on a number of dignitaries, as well as Rome Mayor Walter Veltroni, among others. In a recent press release, the Italian Embassy referred to Papas as a celebrated Greek representative abroad, as well as her longstanding contribution to the field of culture. The actress’s ties to the Italian public date back to the 1960s, when Papas took leading roles in international film productions with a Greek flavor, among them «The Guns of Navarone» (1961) and «Zorba the Greek» (1964). In 1968, Papas interpreted Penelope in Franco Rossi’s mini-series «The Adventures of Ulysses.» Her presence in the highly successful television production established her as a symbol of Greek beauty, while her ties to Italy were further enhanced by more appearances in Italian theater and television projects.