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Athens News Agency: News in English, 10-08-31

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] ND urges return of tourism and shipping ministries
  • [02] Events for 2,500th anniversary of Battle of Marathon
  • [03] Education ministry shuts down HAU for not complying with legal requirements
  • [04] PM meets former ECB vice-president Papademos
  • [05] Traffic restrictions in central Athens resume on September 6
  • [06] 'Myrtis' to Archaeological Museum

  • [01] ND urges return of tourism and shipping ministries

    In a call to the prime minister on Tuesday, main opposition New Democracy urged the government to bring back the scrapped ministries of shipping and tourism when a future cabinet reshuffle takes place.

    Stressing that shipping and tourism represented two of Greece's major comparative advantages, ND spokesman Panos Panagiotopoulos said that re-establishing the two ministries was a "major obligation" of the government.

    He also criticised ruling PASOK ministers for seeming less concerned about Greek households and businesses struggling under austerity measures and more concerned with who will have the upper hand within the government.

    Meanwhile, ND leader Antonis Samaras was on Tuesday continued a round of meetings designed to mend bridges within ND in the run-up to the local government elections. According to reports, however, Samaras has sent an ultimatum to Thessaloniki Prefect Panagiotis Psomiadis, warning Psomiadis not to include his brother in his election ticket for the Thessaloniki regional seat.

    More details on the subscriber's page of APE-MPE | Subscription request form

    [02] Events for 2,500th anniversary of Battle of Marathon

    The municipality of Marathon in Attica on Tuesday announced a programme of events to celebrate the 2,500th anniversary since the historic Battle of Marathon on September 12. On this crucial battlefield, the ancient Athenians managed to thwart invasion by a numerically superior Persian force, inaugurating an era in which Greece flourished and laid the foundations of western culture.

    With money donated by the Leventis Foundation, the municipality will mark out historic routes for cyclists and pedestrians that will link monuments such as the Marathon Tomb, the Trophy, the ancient quarries and others.

    On September 12 itself the events will reach a peak and will feature a walk to the Tomb followed by the reading of descriptions of the battle from Herodotus by well known Greek actors, accompanied by ancient Greek instruments such as the lute, pan-pipes, horn and others.

    Among those attending will be Greece's female marathon runner Maria Polyzou, who recently became the first woman to repeat the legendary 520-kilometre run from Athens to Sparta and back again in six days. The distance was originally run by the ancient messenger Pheidippides when he was sent to ask for Sparta's aid in the battle.

    More details on the subscriber's page of APE-MPE | Subscription request form

    [03] Education ministry shuts down HAU for not complying with legal requirements

    The education ministry on Tuesday announced its decision to close a second private franchise college that had failed to comply with requirements set down by law for its operation, specifically the Hellenic American University.

    Education Minister Anna Diamantopoulou stressed that HAU had been given ample time to comply with the standards required by law since receiving its first warning from the ministry in March this year.

    Concerning students already studying at HAU, the minister only noted that "everyone, when they make their choices, must be careful".

    The minister made the statement during the tabling of a bill on life-long education to Parliament's educational affairs committee.

    More details on the subscriber's page of APE-MPE | Subscription request form

    [04] PM meets former ECB vice-president Papademos

    Prime Minister George Papandreou had a meeting on Tuesday with former European Central Bank vice-president Lucas Papademos, lasting more than an hour.

    Papademos made no statements as he was leaving the meeting, while government spokesman George Petalotis noted that the banker had held an extremely important position within the ECB, had extensive experience and expertise and the meeting would serve as a briefing for both sides.

    The spokesman did not confirm whether Papademos was being tapped for a seat on the cabinet.

    More details on the subscriber's page of APE-MPE | Subscription request form

    [05] Traffic restrictions in central Athens resume on September 6

    Traffic restrictions in the central Athens "Daktylios" will resume on September 6, after which cars will only be allowed to enter the restricted area on alternate days, based on the final digit of their licence plate number (odds-evens system).

    An announcement by the Athens traffic police said the restriction will apply until July 15 next year. For those having permits to enter the city centre every day, police said the same permits are still in force while those wishing to apply for new permits must submit an application by November 30 at Attica Traffic Police headquarters at 24-26 Deligianni Street, Athens.

    More details on the subscriber's page of APE-MPE | Subscription request form

    [06] 'Myrtis' to Archaeological Museum

    The girl that put a face to distant antiquity, the reconstructed 11-year-old 'Myrtis' of ancient Athens, will be moved to a new home in the National Archaeological Museum as of September 13. The nameless young girl that died and was buried in a mass grave during the plague that struck Athens in 430 B.C. will now stand next to the funerary stele of the city's more illustrious dead that are kept in the museum.

    The name 'Myrtis' is borrowed, given to her by scientists that worked on the reconstruction of her features. Following her 'resurrection' nearly 2,500 years after she died of typhoid fever - the plague that also struck down the statesman Pericles and one third of all Athenians at that time - she has now also been made a "Millenium Friend" and her picture posted on a website supporting the UN Millenium Goals as a message to the world about disease prevention.

    "My death was inevitable. In the 5th century BC we had neither the knowledge nor the means to fight deadly illnesses. However, you, the people of the 21st century, have no excuse. You possess all the necessary means and resources to save the lives of millions of people. To save the lives of millions of children like me who are dying of preventable and curable diseases.

    2,500 years after my death, I hope that my message will engage and inspire more people to work and make the Millennium Development Goals a reality," a letter posted next to her picture says.

    Orthodontics professor Manolis Grigorakis, the man that first conceived the project of reconstructing Myrtis, said his team had already begun working on reconstructions of the faces of a man and woman found in the same mass grave in Kerameikos.

    "I am moved and happy to watch Myrtis' journey throughout Greece. She has already been admired by some 12,000 visitors at the Goulandris Museum and I am in a position to know that most are fanatical admirers. I hope these are multiplied at the new exhibition at the National Archaeological Museum in Athens," he said.

    The exhibition "Myrtis: Face to face with the past" is centred on the facial reconstruction by scientists of an 11-year-old Athenian girl that lived and died in ancient Athens during the 5th century BC.

    Her bones were discovered in 1994-1995, in a mass grave with another 150 bodies, during work to build the metro station in Kerameikos. Her skull was in an unusually good condition and this inspired Professor Papagrigorakis to enlist the help of specialist scientists from Sweden to recreate her features, using the 'Manchester' facial reconstruction technique.

    The final result, wearing a linen dress made especially for the purpose by Greek fashion designer Sophia Kokosalaki based on images of clothing styles of that time, forms the backbone of an exhibition that explores both the various stages of a facial reconstruction. It also exhibits the finds uncovered by archaeologists at Kerameikos, which date around 430-426 B.C. and are linked with the plague that contributed to Athens' defeat from Sparta during the Peloponnesian Wars.

    Scientists decided to give 'Myrtis' brown eyes and brown hair, arranged in a Classical era style, like the majority of Athenians at that time but stressed that her true colours could only be discovered by expensive DNA analysis that has not yet been carried out.

    DNA analysis techniques have confirmed, however, that Myrtis and two other bodies in the mass grave had died of typhoid fever, confirming theories about the historic plague.

    More details on the subscriber's page of APE-MPE | Subscription request form

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