Art and politics come together at Prespes festival

Featuring a tribute to Maria Callas and a message of friendship, the 2008 Prespes Festival is set to celebrate the event’s 20th anniversary tomorrow and Saturday. Founded on the initiative of MP Giorgos Lianis, this year’s festival is of special importance, given that expected guests include President Karolos Papoulias and Minister of Foreign Affairs Dora Bakoyannis – sources say that Bakoyannis will send a message of friendship and collaboration to neighboring Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. An exhibition showcasing Maria Callas memorabilia (previously on display at the Greek Parliament in Athens), will open at the Florina Museum of Contemporary Art in the presence of choreographer Maria Hors and curated by acclaimed set designer Yiannis Metzikoff. As is the case every year, events will be held in the remains of the basilica on the island of Aghios Achilleios in the Mikri Prespa lake. During the opening ceremony, Papoulias will honor filmmaker Theo Angelopoulos, whose work has often been set in the region’s remote landscapes. The program will feature tributes to Greek songwriters Vassilis Tsitsanis and Stelios Kazantzidis, among other events, while participants include Dionysis Savvopoulos, Eleni Karaindrou and Goran Bregovic.