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Home News Chios Festival and the North Aegean Islands’ Lesvos Sappho festival previewed in London

Chios Festival and the North Aegean Islands’ Lesvos Sappho festival previewed in London

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A panoramic view of the Great Hall in London’s Hellenic centre.

What a splash that was at the Great Hall of London’s Hellenic Centre!

The event of the North Aegean Region on the 24th of April for the promotion of the islands including the summer cultural events, with the main axes being the “Chios Festival” and the newly established “Lesvos Sappho International Festival”, was staged with great success in London, at the Marylebone venue.

The Regional Governor of the North Aegean, the very eloquent Prof. Kostas Moutzouris (pictured above), welcomed and thanked over 300 distinguished British and Greek guests with an excellent short speech.

The evening was graced with the presence of, among others, the Archbishop of Thyateira and Great Britain Nikitas (pictured above), the ambassador of Greece in the United Kingdom Ioannis Tsaoussis, the Cyprus High Commissioner Kyriakos Kouros, George Philip Nicholas Windsor, Earl of St Andrews, Rector of the University of Bolton all of whom addressed the guests.

H.E. the Ambassador of Greece in the United Kingdom Ioannis Tsaoussis
H.E. the Cyprus High Commissioner Kyriakos Kouros

Hosted in the beautiful listed building of the Hellenic Centre on Paddington Street, the event was presented by the communications specialist Adriani Maneta (pictured below).

Topics for the speeches were mainly the two cultural events of the North Aegean Islands Region this summer, the International Festival of Lesvos Sappho, which will take place in June 20-22 in Lesvos and the Festival of Chios, between August 28 and 5 September 2024 in Chios.

Historian Michalis Moschos (pictured above) presented the events of the Chios festival and introduced the author Victoria Hislop (pictured below) who spoke about her love for the Greek islands, the source of inspiration for her books.

Afterwards, Dimitra Moutzouris, artistic director of the Chios Festival, presented the programme and detailed the contributors of the two festivals. Regarding the Lesvos Festival, she announced the speakers who will participate, to include professors Sandra Boehringer, Laurie Laufer, Eugenia Giakoumopoulou, Tasoula Karageorgiou and Venetia Kantsa; and the artists Lakis Lazopoulos, Markella Giannatou, Stefania Goulioti, Loukia Michalopoulou, Dimitris Christoforidis, Zisis Roubos and the internationally renowned visual artist Julia Krahn.

Lakis La\zopoulos

At the Chios Festival, which will be held under the auspices of the British Embassy, the following will speak: Tim Whitmarsh, Regius professor of the Greek language at the University of Cambridge, as well as professors Giorgos Babiniotis – world acclaimed linguist and philologist and Nikos Stampolidis, director of the Acropolis Museum, the author Victoria Hislop, the BBC historian and producer Bettany Hughes, the archaeologist Theodoris Papakostas and the academic Christos Zerefos, with an introductory greeting from the President of the Athens Academy Stamatis Krimizis.

l to r: Eva Nathena, Agapi Politis and Gogo Avgerinopoulou

Mimi Denisi, Ambassador of the North Aegean, Giorgos Hatzinassios, Eva Nathena, Giorgos Lemos as well as Eleftheria Arvanitaki and Eleonora Zouganelis will also participate in the Chios Festival.

Eva Nathena honoured with her presence the event, introducing her award-winning film “Fonissa”, which will be screened in Chios as part of the festival, following a most interesting discussion with academics of the Papadiamantis Foundation.

Finally, Lakis Lazopoulos impressed the audience by talking about the standup comedy he will present at the International Festival of Lesbos Sappho, and about his new TV series that will be shot in Lesvos.

One of the tables where one can see all the delicacies from the North Aegean Islands!

At the event, held with the kind support of the Greek Embassy in London, guests enjoyed local products of the North Aegean Islands that “travelled” especially for the evening from the islands and, some said, “almost stole the show.”

Maria M. Hadjipateras with Chrysanthi P. Lemos

Among the distinguished guests were: LSE professor and president of the Hellenic Observatory at the LSE Kevin Featherstone, the 13th Lord Byron, the Mayor of Cambridge George Pippas, the President of the Tsakos Foundation and Emeritus Secretary-General of the IMO Radm (Rt HCG) Efthymios Mitropoulos with his wife Chantal, the Ambassador of the Movement for the Protection of Islands Chrysanthi P. Lemos, Heini Al Fayed, Pavlos and Dimitris Horn with his wife Melina, the Director of the Hellenic Center Naya Giakoumaki, the Director of GNTO for the United Kingdom and Ireland Eleni Skarveli, The former Ambassador to the United Kingdom Elias Gounaris with his wife Tatiana, Sophie Kydoniefs former chairman of the Hellenic Centre, Edmee Leventis and the sculptor Kalliopi Lemou.

l to r: Lord Byron the 13th, Dimitra Moutzouri, George Philip Nicholas Windsor, Earl of St Andrews and Kostas Moutzouris

The Greek Shipping Fraternity was there in force headed by Dimitris N. Monioudis, CEO of R&K and president of the HESGB with: Anastasis J. Fafalios, his wife Eugenia Lemos-Botsari, Maria M. Hadjipateras, Charalambos Hadjipateras with his wife Kalliopi, Christos L. Lemos, George Th. Lemos, Nicholas Skinitis with his wife Pighi Skinitis, President of the Lyceum of Hellinidon in the UK, Vassilis Kroustallis, Senior Vice President, Global Business Development and Global Marine market sector of ABS with his wife Yiota, Maria Lagoumidou and Jan Przydatek from Tokyo Marine Kiln, Alexandros Xenakis and John Faraclas with his wife Anny. The Hellenic Coast Guard was represented by the head of the Maritime Office Captain (HCG) Angeliki Iatropoulou Maritime Attache and Lt. Commander (HCG) Evanthia Kasotaki Deputy Maritime Attache. Good to see also representatives from Greece Defence Attache Office, Lt Commander (HN) Stephanos Filtikakis and Major (Ec. HGF) Varvara Manara. A strong team from the Greek Embassy was also present.

l to r: ERT’s Vasiliki Zervou with Victoria Hislop and George Th. Lemos

Present were also Panagiotis Tryfon, N. Sarris, Xenophon Zacharoudis – Vice President of the Hellenic Bankers Association, Agapi Politis, Elena Hatzialexandrou, Kyriaki Mitsou of the Hellenic Foundation of Culture, Fashion designer Stella Maniou with Hakan Koç, Interior designer-architect Fevronia Deligiannidou, Dr. Evi Baniotopoulou from the University of the Arts London and world acclaimed curator, Elina Chatzivasiliou, EMEA People Director at Oliver Agency, Penny Thomas from Lloyd’s Register, Andrew Robb from Bonhams, Irene Papapateras, trainee Solicitor Iliana Mastoraki from Wikborg Rein, Dr. Spyros Retsas, former president of the Hellenic Medical Society of UK, Dr. Kyriaki Sonidou and many others…

… there was live rembetiko music too!
…the musicians were warmly applauded

From the London Press and the Media we spotted ERT’s Natassa Kantzavelou, ANT1’s Isaak Karypidis, SKY’s Thanasis Gavos; filming the event was the team from Hellenic TV which covers nearly all Hellenic events! A strong team from Athens and the North Aegean Islands was present too, as well as UK and international journalists.

A view from the balcony; a full house!
…and another one from the bar with Alex Xenakis mentoring
…more from the Bar

Sponsors of the event were EUROBANK and companies from the North Aegean Islands who offered their selected products (see photo below).

Communications sponsor was www.allaboutshipping.co.uk

l to r: Eleni Skarvelis, Anastassis J. Fafalios and his wife Eugenia, H.E. Ambassador Ioannis Tsaousis, Chantal and Efthimios El. Mitropoulos
Smiling faces: Eva Nathena and Kyriaki Mitsou

Special thanks to the Greek Embassy in the United Kingdom, the GNTO (Greek National Tourist Organisation) for the United Kingdom and Ireland, the Hellenic Centre in London, the Hellenic Cultural Foundation in UK, Ambassador Chrysanthi P. Lemos, the Maritime Museum of Chios and the HESGB (Hellenic Engineers Society of Great Britain) for their warm support.

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