LIFE Museum prayers-agia-sophia

Open letter on Hagia Sophia

As President of the International Association of Byzantine Studies and on behalf of all members of the Association as well as the wider scholarly community I write to condemn in the strongest terms the recent decision of the Turkish Council of State and of the President of the Turkish Republic, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, to return the Ayasofya Museum to its former status of a mosque.

LIFE Culture epidaurus1_web

Ancient Greek theaters return to life in pandemic


The ancient theater of Epidaurus, renowned for its acoustics, has reopened for a limited number of open-air performances, with organizers planning a live-streamed event Saturday for the first time in the Greek monument’s 2,300-year history.

LIFE Culture gallery_web

End in sight for National Gallery’s radical makeover


I walked into the construction site of the National Gallery right foot first, as is the custom in Greece for good luck. After 20 years reporting on the arts and culture, I regard the venue as familiar territory and was dying of curiosity to see how the old building is being transformed into a museum for the 21st century.



Mortgage holders financially hit by the pandemic rush to apply online for relief


A total of 11,397 distressed-mortgage holders had applied online by noon on Wednesday for relief through the Finance Ministry’s Bridge subsidy program, which was launched on Tuesday. The program provides a nine-month subsidy for consistent mortgage-owners that comes up to 600 euros or 90% of their first three monthly installments and declines to 80% in the second quarter of the scheme and 70% in the third. An estimated 300,000 mortgage-holders impacted by the pandemic stand to benefit. Applications for the scheme are available on the website and the deadline is September 30. [Simela Pantzartzi/ANA-MPA]