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New York, February 19: Gennadius Library's Clean Monday Benefit

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

Originally From: "Jane C. Goble" <jgoble at ascsa.org>

Benefiting the Gennadius Library...7th Annual Clean Monday Celebration

The Ambassador of Greece to the United States, Alexandros Mallias, and his wife, Francoise, will join the friends of Athens' Gennadius Library on February 19 to celebrate Clean Monday, "Kathari Deftera," at Estiatorio Milos in New York City to mark the end of Carnival and beginning of the Lenten season. The event features a unique Lenten cuisine prepared under the direction of Milos' famed Costas Spiliades.

In Greece, Clean Monday is one of the most festive holidays of the year. Often coinciding with the first hints of spring, the day lures children and their parents into the countryside to fly kites and to feast on special Lenten fare prepared without the use of meat, dairy products or fish (except for fish roe, shellfish, octopus and squid). 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, are among the unique tastes of the day, often accompanied by joyous music and dancing. Since 2001, the Gennadius Library has brought the celebration of this traditional Greek holiday to New York City.

The Library is one of Greece's national treasures. Its 113,000 rare books and bindings, research materials, manuscripts, archives, and works of art illuminate Hellenism, Greece, and neighboring civilizations from antiquity to modern times. Opened in 1926, the Library began with 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. Since then, it has added 87,000 volumes, the collection spanning the breadth of post-antique Hellenic civilization. In fulfillment of the vision of John Gennadius himself, and with the help of many people in Greece and the United States, the Library has become "a world center for the study of Greek history, literature, and art, both ancient, Byzantine, and modern."

Ten years ago the Gennadeion Trustees embarked on the first Campaign for the Gennadius Library, with the support of distinguished men and women in Greece and in the United States. This Campaign raised funds to renovate and expand the historic Main Building; construct a new auditorium; build endowment; and initiate new programs in preservation, access and outreach. Now, the Trustees are launching a second Campaign, to raise funds for critical needs including acquisitions, conservation, digitalization, and education; and to expand exhibition and study space.

The Clean Monday celebration, will begin at 6:30 with an open buffet serving traditional Clean Monday foods. Gregory Maninakis and the Mikrokosmos Ensemble will present music of Hadzidakis, Theodorakis, and others, for listening and for dancing.

Open-seating tickets are $300 per person and must be reserved and paid for in advance. In addition, a limited number of reserved tables are available. Some junior tickets are available at $100. For invitations, tickets and information, call the U.S. office of the Gennadius Library at (609) 683-0800 ext. 14. Estiatorio Milos is located at 125 West 55th Street. The 2007 Zagat Survey lauds Milos' impeccable Greek cooking with fish just pulled from the sea. Website: http://www.milos.ca/

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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