Conference In New York On Ancient Messene And The Cities Of Messenia

Thursday, September 25, 2008

On Thursday 25 and Friday 26 September, the Center for Ancient Studies of the New York University organized a scientific conference on Ancient Messene, with the participation of teachers from around the world. The theme of the conference was “From Slavery to Freedom: Messene and the Cities of Messenia”.

 The event was the brainchild of the Professor of literary studies Phillip Mitsis, with the participation of the Prefecture of Kalamata, the Greek Ministry of Employment & Social Protection and the Ministry of Tourism. The main speaker of the conference was the Archaeology Professor Petros Themelis.

The conference was attended by the representative of the Greek government Mrs. Sofia Kalantzakou, Deputy Minister of Employment & Social Protection, Mr. Dimitris Kafantaris from the prefecture of Messenia, the Vice Prefect and chairman of the NETP, the President of OPANAM, Mr. Panagiotis Tsimogiannis and, representing the Maniatakeion Foundation, Professor Andrea Nanetti, member of the Board. The conference was attended by the chairman of the Maniatakeion Foundation, Mr. Dimitris Maniatakis and vice president, Mrs. Helen Tagonidi-Maniatakis.

Mrs Sophia Kalantzakou praised the work of Professor Themelis, spoke about the development of Messenia which aims to quality tourism and the promotion of the cultural heritage of the region.

The Archaeology professor and director of excavations in Ancient Messene, Petros Themelis, talked about the great discoveries that have come to light. Through a series of photographs, he took attendees on a virtual journey in the archaeological site of Ancient Messene.

The speakers included the Professor of the University of Bologna Andrea Nanetti, who, inter alia, said: “...The ethnological picture of the Greek territories selected by the Venetians demonstrates the survival or even the triumph of the culture of the countries under Venetian domination, just as happened in Egypt with the change from the Pharaoh regime to the Macedonian domination, in Rome, etc.

These are examples of ancient local cultures that were not assimilated to adapt to the culture of the Venetians, but changed the culture and lifestyle of the Venetians and finally integrated them”.

The NETP President Dimitris Kafantaris and the chairman of OPANAM Panagiotis Tsimogiannis gave the Rector of the New York University Matthew Santirako the two-volume album “Messene: Place, Time, People”.

On Wednesday, September 24, the eve of the conference, the Minister for Employment and Social Protection, Sofia Kalantzakou visited the Archbishop of America Rev. Dimitrius. Mrs Kalantzakou was accompanied by the ever-active vice prefect of Messene Dimitris Kafantaris, the chairman of OPANAM Panagiotis Tsimogiannis, the chairman of the Maniatakeion Foundation Dimitris Maniatakis and its Vice President, Helen Maniatakis-Tagonidi.