The Director of the National Archaeological Museum of Greece (NAM), Dr. Anna Vasiliki Karapanagiotou, presented a seminar on the mezzanine floor of the Delphi Bank of the Greek Center on Tuesday, April 26, outlining recent developments in the campaign for the repatriation of Greek cultures.
The presentation, available online in Australia and the United States, was organized by the Greek community of Melbourne on the eve of the launch of the Open Horizons exhibition at the Melbourne Museum, which features a selected collection from NAM.
GCM Board Member Dr. Spiridoula Demetriou introduced Dr. Karapanagiotou highlighting his incredible professional achievements.
“I was very pleased to receive an invitation from the GCM to talk about the repatriation of Greek cultural property and the role of the National Archaeological Museum and I accepted without hesitation,” said Dr Kapapanagioutou, explaining the Greek government’s policy on the issue of cultural repatriation. artifacts such as St. Mark’s horses.
Dr. Karapanagiotou also shed light on the origins of the debate over the ownership of cultural objects from antiquity. One example was the theft of the Paladion by Odysseus and Diomedes with the thought that if they stole it, it would lead to the capture of Troy.
Later in her fascinating presentation, the NAM director referenced the book Medici Conspiracy which exposes the latest version of one of the oldest con artists in the world: theft, smuggling and fraudulent trafficking, all in the name of art.
After the presentation, GCM Cultural Programs Chair Leo Vlahakis expressed his gratitude and enthusiasm for NAM’s efforts to repatriate Greek cultural property.
“While we are all very aware of the far-reaching campaign around the Parthenon Marbles, it was both interesting and encouraging to hear Dr. Karapanagiotou explain the work that NAM is doing in this most important issue not only for Greece and its cultural heritage, but for all societies that look to their history to help define their identities and seek compensation for the colonial grip of the past 500 years,” he said.
Ms. Varvara Ioannou, a member of the Melbourne Museum’s Community Advisory Group, took to the podium and presented Dr. Karapanagiotou with a copy of her recently published book, ‘Her Voice, Greek Women and Their Friends’.
“We would like to express to you our congratulations and gratitude for your most inspiring and remarkable and conclusive presentation, your knowledge and passion for this field is second to none and all of us here will remember your presentation for as long as we live” , said Ms. Ioannou.
Mr. Vlahakis joined GCM President Bill Papastergiadis, Dr. Demetriou and board members Dr. Bossinakis, Assistant Professor Marini Piripiris, Vicki Kyritsis, Dr. Nick Dallas, Jeana Vithoulkas and Helen Hiotis , to present Dr. Karapanagiotou with a commemorative plaque to mark his visit and presentation.
Dr. Karapanagiotou’s presentation can be viewed on demand on the GCM YouTube channel.
The Open Horizon exhibition showing pieces from the National Archaeological Museum of Greece runs at the Melbourne Museum until August 14.