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Bicentennial Initiative 1821-2021 | History as inspiration for the future
DATE
14 Oct '19

The upcoming celebration of the 200 years since the outbreak of the Greek Revolution of 1821 and the War of Independence will be a key historical event: it is both an occasion to recognize the struggles and sacrifices of our people, while it also requires us to think on the present-day position of our country and its future.

The bicentennial requires a coordinated approach to the organization of related events, backed by teamwork and collaboration. All of us have a historic and moral duty to contribute to this celebration, with its events in Greece and abroad based on three themes: History, Creation, and Evolution.

In order to create a locus for a common understanding about how to celebrate the bicentenary of our national reawakening, National Bank of Greece – in light of its long history, which is closely linked to the creation and development of the Greek state and the philhellene individuals responsible for establishing the Bank – has turned to the following institutions to provide input, recognizing their highly commendable work and contribution to the wider Greek community: the Eugenides Foundation, the B & M Theocharakis Foundation for the Fine Arts & Music, the Captain Vassilis & Carmen Constantakopoulos Foundation, the Lambrakis Foundation, the A.C. Laskaridis Charitable Foundation, the Aikaterini Laskaridis Foundation, the John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation, the A. G. Leventis Foundation, the Bodossaki Foundation, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, the Foundation for Education and European Culture, and the Onassis Foundation.

There has been a positive response to this private initiative, because everyone agrees that it will be good here in Greece and abroad to set an example of how to achieve the best results through dialogue and cooperation. It will be important to highlight a message of unity of purpose through this initiative.

Needless to say, each Foundation and the Bank shall maintain their style, autonomy, goals and priorities, as well as own plans regarding the upcoming celebrations, while they will be asked to offer their valuable ideas and expertise to this endeavor.

In Greece, in cooperation with academic, research and cultural institutions, preparations for the organization of conferences, exhibitions and musical events are under way. The Bank and the various Foundations will also support educational and research programs and scholarships that match their objectives.

Abroad, in countries that played a role in supporting the Greek Revolution (e.g. France, Switzerland, the UK, Italy, Germany, and Canada), academic and cultural bodies are planning a variety of events, including concerts, conferences and exhibitions to commemorate this momentous bicentennial, again in collaboration with the Bank and the Foundations, as part of their planned objectives.

A website will be set up to promote the activities of the Foundations and the Bank, as well as the related events taking place abroad. This site will be a means to draw wider attention to archives, collections and museum exhibits related to the 1821 Revolution.

The whole initiative, coordinated and prepared by Ioannis Manos, advisor to National Bank of Greece, has been in development over the past 19 months under a working group of experts from the Foundations and the Bank.

The content of the various events will be announced towards the end of the year.

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