The Czech Republic will be taking the reins of the European Union presidency on January 1, 2009, at a most difficult time. Meanwhile, the Czech Republic’s young and active ambassador, Hana Mottlova, aims to celebrate the Christmas period with a cultural event. She has invited Helbi to a «Pre-Christmas Concert of Baroque Music,» performed by acclaimed musicians Sophia Mavrogenidou (a Czech-Greek who plays the traverso flute) and Nelli Homatidou (a Greek who plays the harpsichord) at the Czech Embassy on December 11. The Duo Sonelli will perform compositions by J.S. Bach, C.P. Bach, J. Quantz and J.B. Boismortier, among others. The book «The History of Mapmaking in the Greek World, 1420-1800: Maps from the Margarita Samourka Collection,» by Giorgos Tolias, was presented at the National Research Institute on November 20. Athens University Professor Paschalis M. Kitromilidis, Thessaloniki Universtity Professor Evangelos Livieratos and the author, who is also director of research at the Institute of Modern Greek Studies, all spoke at the presentation. To mark the occasion of the book’s publication, an exhibition of maps from Margarita Samourka’s collection is being held at the institute. Its subject is «Maps of Greece during the Renaissance: 1478-1598.» It is sponsored by the Samourka Foundation. The show will run to December 9.