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New York, March 14: Gennadius Library Clean Monday Benefit

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From: "HR-Net News Distribution Manager" <dist@hri.org>

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From: Connie Mourtoupalas <mourtoupala@greekembassy.org>

PRESS RELEASE

FEB. 9, 2005

CONTACT: JANE GOBLE (609) 683-0800 ext. 14

5th Annual Clean Monday Feast in NYC Benefits the Gennadius Library Under the patronage of H.E. the Ambassador of Greece and Mrs. George V. Savvaides, friends of Athens' Gennadius Library are organizing a traditional "Clean Monday" ("Kathari Deftera") celebration on March 14 at Estiatorio Milos in New York City to mark the end of Carnival and beginning of the Lenten season. The event features special Clean Monday cuisine prepared under the direction of Milos' famed Costas Spiliades.

For Greek families, Clean Monday is one of the most festive holidays of the year. Often coinciding with the first hints of spring, when almond trees and mimosas burst into bloom, the day lures children and their parents into the countryside and up the hills of Athens to fly kites and to feast on special fare at local tavernas. Cuttlefish stewed in wine, rice pilaf with mussels, varieties of bean stews and salads, squid stuffed with spinach and rice, Lenten dolmades and halva, and the once-a-year appearance of lagana, a yeastless bread, make up just a portion of the unique tastes of the day, often accompanied by joyous music and dancing. Since 2001, the Gennadius Library has brought the celebration of this uniquely Greek holiday to New York City.

The Clean Monday celebration aims to raise awareness and funds for the multi-year campaign for renovation, expansion, and endowment of the Gennadius Library, which houses one of the world's most important collections illuminating the history and culture of Greece of the post-ancient world. In recent years, many Americans and Greeks alike have dedicated themselves to supporting this important institution. Five years ago the Library completed a $2.5 million renovation and underground expansion to the historic Main Building, in the first phase of the building project. Three years ago, the President of Greece, Mr. Constantine Stephanopoulos, laid the foundation stone for the $5.5 million dollar renovation and expansion of the Library's East Wing, which includes the 370-seat Cotsen Hall. On January 24, 2005, President Stephanopoulos presided over the grand opening.

The success of the campaign so far has been made possible through the generosity of many individuals, corporations and foundations. Among them are Lloyd E. Cotsen, Chairman of the Gennadius Library Board; KOSMOCAR, S.A. in memory of John B. Mandilas; the family of Dory Papastratou, in her memory; Elaine and Ted Athanassiades and family, in memory of Mary and Stratos Athanassiades; the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; the A. G. Leventis Foundation; the Stavros S. Niarchos Foundation; and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The campaign for the Gennadius Library aims to place the Library at the forefront of centers for research and study in the history of Hellenism. Opened in 1926, the Library houses the collection of diplomat and bibliophile, John Gennadius, who presented some 26,000 volumes and archives to the American School of Classical Studies at Athens to house and to make accessible to the public. In the seventy-nine years since the Library opened its doors, the School has added 85,000 volumes, the collection spanning the breadth of post-antique Hellenic civilization. It was Gennadius' hope that this Library would "become a world center for the study of Greek history, literature and art, both ancient, Byzantine, and modern."

The Clean Monday party will begin at 6:30 with an open buffet of the traditional Clean Monday foods. At 7:30, there will be a short program that will include a brief presentation by Gennadius Library's President, Dr. Catherine Vanderpool, followed by a welcome from Ambassador Savvaides. This year there will also be a short concert performed by Gregory Maninakis and the Mikrokosmos Ensemble presenting music of Hadzidakis, Theodorakis, and others followed by an evening of dancing and singing. Kir-Yanni wine and Mercouri olive oil have been provided by Sotiris Bafitis Selections for party gifts. Diane Kochilas, one of the world's foremost authorities on Greek cuisine, has revised the "Clean Monday...recipes for fasting in style" cook booklet that each guest will also receive.

Open-seating tickets are $175 per person and must be reserved and paid for in advance. In addition, a limited number of reserved tables are available. A few Junior tickets are available at $75. Estiatorio Milos is located at 125 West 55 Street. 2004 Zagat Survey states "'Heaven' is 'pristine fish' 'simply grilled' at this 'exceptional' Midtown Greek where the 'hospitality'...and 'wide open space' make for a thalassic classic."

For invitations, tickets and information, call the U.S. office of the Gennadius Library at (609) 683-0800 Ext. 14.

Jane Conlon Goble
Development Assistant
American School of Classical Studies at Athens
The Gennadius Library
6-8 Charlton Street
Princeton, NJ 08540
609-683-0800 ext. 14
Fax 609-924-0578


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