April 5, 2009

Philhelenism day

Posted at 12:52 pm in Elgin Marbles

April 19th has been designated Philhellenism and International Solidarity Day in Greece. This commemorates the death of Lord Byron – one of the first people to speak out about the removal for the Elgin Marbles.

Athens News Agency

Pavlopoulos on Philhellenism and International Solidarity Day

Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos on Wednesday signed a circular calling for the observance of April 19 as the Philhellenism and International Solidarity Day in compliance with a Presidential Decree signed last year. The circular mentions that this year the celebration will be moved to April 26 due to the Easter Holiday.

April 19 has been proclaimed Philhellenism and International Solidarity Day commemorating the anniversary of the death of poet and philhellene Lord Byron, a human rights advocate and among the first to voice opposition to the looting of the Parthenon Marbles by Lord Elgin.

Pavlopoulos also stated that this year’s celebration coincides with the 200th anniversary of Lord Byron’s first visit to Greece.

Lord Byron was a great philhellene and his early poetry had contributed to sensitizing the Europeans to the plight of Greece under the Ottoman Turks. In 1824, he joined the Greek liberation fighters at Messolonghi, where he died of malarial fever on April 19.

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