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Deputy Foreign Minister Ioannis Amanatidis’ welcome speech at the signing of the founding document for the “Global Network of Ancient Asclepeia”
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is with particular pleasure that I am present today at the signing ceremony of the Charter of the “Global Network of Ancient Asclepeia,” an effort which we have been following with great interest for approximately one and a half years now, since Professor Lambrinoudakis, then an excavator at Epidaurus and the Secretary-General of the “Diazoma” association, presented to us, for the first time, the ambitious plan for promoting the role of the ancient Asclepeion in the history and development of modern Medicine.
I am particularly delighted to note the collaborative effort on the part of elected local-administration representatives in this Network, and specifically the Mayors of the three participating municipalities of Epidaurus, Trikala, and Kos, the heads of Antiquity Ephorates, representatives of University Institutions, as well as the “Diazoma” association. Cooperation on the part of all of us, wherever each of us may originate from, constitutes a necessary prerequisite for achieving our common goal; namely, promoting our ancient heritage as the cradle of Western culture.
Its signing on the premises of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is significant in that it serves as a declaration of the future development of this Network abroad, with participation in this endeavour of municipalities in the wider Mediterranean region where the Asclepeia operated in Antiquity.
We know that roughly 400 Asclepeia operated in the ancient world, offering citizens their valuable services. As Pausanias states, they originated in Epidaurus.
Cities such as Marseilles, Rome, Taranto, and ancient Pergamon were home to notable Asclepeia, which disseminated medical science, as developed in the original Asclepeion of Epidaurus.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, with its network of Embassies and Consulates, as well as the General Secretariat for Greeks Abroad, will stand beside your effort to secure the participation of organizations abroad that are associated with the activities of the ancient Asclepeia as centres of medicine and culture.