CULTURE

Dining with culture and a group of diplomatic philhellenes

The warm hospitality that characterizes any time spent with Nicholas and Matti Egon ensures that their lovely mansion in Deinocratous Street is always full of interesting personalities from the world of the arts, letters and music. The Egons are well-known patrons and sponsors of major artistic events in Athens. When in London, the famous painter Nicholas Egon is chairman and sponsor of the annual «Runciman Lecture» every February, presented by the Center for Hellenic Studies at King’s College, London University. On June 18, in fact, Greek Ambassador to London Alexandros Sandis is giving a black-tie dinner at his residence on Upper Brooke Street in honor of the Center, and the Egons will be there too. The guest list includes diplomats who find a place of beauty and refinement as well as protocol in the Egons’ home in Kolonaki as well as at their country estate in Katakali, Corinth, where the walls are filled with Greek landscape paintings by Egon. On a recent evening organized by the Egons in Athens, the guests included Dolly Goulandris, president of the Foundation and Museum of Cycladic Art, Marina Lambraki-Plaka, National Gallery director and professor, the leading director Michael Cacoyannis, the director of the Benaki Museum Professor Angelos Delivorias and his wife, art historian and Benaki Museum curator Phane-Maria Tsigakou (who has written a wonderful book on Yiannis Moralis and his work), the art collectors Ion Vorres and Mr and Mrs Kafopoulos, the director of the British Council Chris Hickey, the director Lydia Carras and Lila Embeirikos, Angelos Benakis and Helbi as the link between arts and diplomacy. Also present were the Japanese Ambassador and Mrs S. Moto Ohkubo, who left for Japan yesterday after two years here, the Ambassador of Venezuela Lisan Stredel Balliache, the Ambassador of Portugal Duarte Ramalhio Ortigao and his wife Penna, the Ambassador of Spain and Madame Educardo Junco-Bonet, just back from Myconos, where there was a meeting of European Union foreign ministers, hosted by George Papandreou, along with the Greek ambassadors Vassilis Vitsaxis, George Papoulias and Stelios Valsamas-Rhallis, with their wives, and our former Ambassador in London Basil Zafiropoulos, now vice president of the board of the Athens Festival. Among the day’s big losers was OTE, which lost 2.09 percent to 17.78 euros.