March 6, 2006

The Parthenon in Poetry

Posted at 1:53 pm in Elgin Marbles

To mark the handover of the archives of the British Committee for the Reunification of the Parthenon Marbles to Kings College London, an event has been organised looking at the representations of the Parthenon through poetry & how these have evolved through the ages. Some of the poems were written in English originally, others have been translated & some will be read in Greek.
The archives represent a catalogue of work done by the BCRPM over the course of more than twenty years.
(Note that the BCRPM is still very much an active organisation – the archives are merely historic data that there was no longer the space to store.)

Hellenic Foundation for Culture (UK)

The Parthenon in Poetry
In association with the Hellenic Foundation for Culture and
Marbles Reunited: the British Committee for the Reunification of the Parthenon Marbles

Monday 6 March 2006, 7.00pm
The Great Hall, Strand Campus
King’s College London
Strand, London WC2R 2LS

A reception will follow.
tel: 020 7313 8921


7.00 – 7.15
Introduction Dr Karim Arafat, Director, Centre for Hellenic Studies, King’s College London
Archival Collections
at King’s Patricia Methven, Director of Archives & Information Management, King’s College London
The Archives of
the BCRPM Professor Anthony Snodgrass, Chairman, British Committee for the Reunification of the Parthenon Marbles

7.15 – 8.00
The Parthenon
in Poetry Dr Liana Giannakopoulou, Visiting Research Fellow, King’s College London
Poetry Readings Greg Hicks and Peter Eyer

8.00 – 8.15
The Acropolis on Film A short montage of early films, courtesy of the Greek Literary & Historical Archive (ELIA)
Concluding Remarks Dr Victoria Solomonidis FKC, Cultural Counsellor, Embassy of Greece & UK Representative, Hellenic Foundation for Culture

Peter Eyer has been seen this last year in 3 notable productions, for which he has received considerable attention. He was the Grand Inquisitor in Schiller’s Don Carlos at the Gielgud Theatre, the Duke of York opposite Kevin Spacey’s Richard II at the Old Vic and, most recently, as Old Ekdal in Ibsen’s The Wild Duck at the Donmar.
His many appearances in the theatre include plays by Racine, Moliere, Ibsen, Tchekov, Strinberg, as well as Shakespeare, and contemporary playwrights Bond and Barnes.
His adaptation of the Flaubert – Sand correspondence Chère Maître, which he performed in New York and London, has recently been seen in Paris starring Marie-France Pisier. Peter is a frequent visitor of Greece.

George Pyrpasopoulos is the grandson of the legendary actress Marika Nezer. Born in Australia in 1974, he began his professional career at the age of 16 and since then has been much in demand; he has appeared in a broad range of roles on the stage, cinema and television, becoming one of the most popular actors of his generation. In February 2001, he appeared in the critically acclaimed Notos Theatre production of Much Ado about Nothing at the Riverside Studios in London and, as an Equity member, he has also worked at the Old Vic in recent productions of Julius Caesar and Othello. He has just completed a very successful run at the National Theatre (Athens) as Mephistopheles in Marlowe’s Dr Faustus.

Event co-organised and sponsored by The Hellenic Foundation for Culture

Further details of the event:

The Parthenon in Poetry
19.00, Monday 6 March 2006
The Great Hall, Strand Campus, King’s College London

In association with the Hellenic Foundation for Culture & Marbles Reunited: the British Committee for the Reunification of the Parthenon Marbles

The Centre for Hellenic Studies, King’s College London, presents an evening of poems about the Parthenon. This event marks the generous gift to the Centre for Hellenic Studies of the archive of Marbles Reunited: the British Committee for the Reunification of the Parthenon Marbles. The event is part of Greece in Britain, a nation-wide series of events presented by the Hellenic Foundation for Culture.

Speakers will include Ms Patricia Methven, Director of Archives and Information Management at King’s College London, and Professor Anthony Snodgrass, Chair of Marbles Reunited: the British Committee for the Reunification of the Parthenon Marbles.

The poems about the Parthenon that will be read during this event cover about one hundred years (1858 to 1960s). Most of them are written by Greek poets (and will be read in Greek and in English translation), although a few are by American and English writers. The poems display a wide range of attitudes towards the monument that became the symbol of modern Greek identity and is accepted as a unique work of art, the product of freedom and democracy. Such attitudes involve the idealistic admiration of the Parthenon as mankind’s noblest achievement. Others are more critical of the conditions that produced it, or adopt an explicitly polemical or satirical stance towards the ideological exploitation of the monument. We find poems that display a respectful observation of the Parthenon and poems that express the need to go on without it. Above all, though, we find that a lively dialogue is taking place about a monument that still is at the centre of contemporary Greek life and culture.

The poems have been selected by Dr Liana Giannakopoulou, Visiting Research Fellow in the Department of Byzantine & Modern Greek Studies, King’s College London. A revised version of her doctoral dissertation ‘Ancient Greek Sculpture in Modern Greek Poetry, 1860-1960’ will be published in 2006 by Peter Lang. She is currently preparing an anthology of Modern Greek poems on the Parthenon for publication and she is also involved in research related to the poetry of Yannis Ritsos.

The evening will conclude with a short montage of early films of the Acropolis, courtesy of Nikos Mitroyannopoulos and Manos Haritatos, the Director of the Greek Literary and Historical Archive (ELIA).

The event will be followed by a reception.

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