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Welcome address of Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Ioannis Amanatidis at the presentation of the artistic programme of the 47th Olympus Festival (4 June 2018)

Wednesday, 06 June 2018

“The ancient theatre of Dion is an emblematic venue – An excellent time for the Czech Republic to be the country of honour at the Olympus Festival”

“Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is a pleasure and honour to be participating in the presentation of the artistic programme of the 47th Olympus Festival, with the Czech Republic as the honoured country, and it will be one of the top cultural events of 2018.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Culture expresses the many achievements, images, ideas and visions of a nation. An imaginary line that travels through time, carrying people’s dreams and memories.

At the same time, culture is the foundation and continuation of centuries-old universal human principles and values, defining the universality of the human spirit.

As Greeks, this would suffice to make us proud of our culture. But it is an additional honour and responsibility to remain the curators of a culture that is intrinsically linked with democracy and freedom, to such a degree that the two notions seem identical. Ancient Greek culture reached its peak during a time of democracy.

This distinct quality of Greek culture continues to impact us thousands of years later in the choice of emblematic Greek archaeological sites from which leaders from all over the world and cultural events can address a global audience, pointing up the common cultural ground that unifies people across geographical boundaries.

The ancient theatre of Dion, where the events of the Olympus Festival are being held for yet another year, with the honoured country being the homeland of eminent writers and artists, such as Kafka and Kundera, is emblematic.

Still contributing greatly to world theatre thousands of years after Euripides’ ‘The Bacchae’ was presented for the first time here at Dion, which is real proof of the power of culture to create insuperable ties between people.

In this context, it is an excellent time for the honoured country at the Olympus Festival to be the Czech Republic, which is this year celebrating 25 years since the founding of its republic.

With these thoughts I wish the Festival’s events every success.
Thank you."

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