“Art is a sanctuary. It is a form of expression. It is a cultural element. It is a narrative. It is a vision. The Anniversary Year “Thermopylae – Salamis 2020” takes one more step of culture, this time promoting the artistic creation of contemporary Greek folk painting artists.

Our Foundation is honoured to present the Art Exhibition “Thermopylae – Salamis: The self-taught truth of Art” in the historical premises of the General State Archives.
This Exhibition is a historical colour and design narrative starting from the Battle of Thermopylae and the Naval Battle of Salamis until today, 2500 years later, marking the perennial continuity of the culture of values of Greece. A continuity we intended to emphasise and promote throughout this anniversary year.

Since its birth, folk painting has reflected our people’s sensitivity to the events of everyday life and our history that marked, but also sculpted, the Greek soul as well as the ideological teaching that springs from them. Folk art depicts the narrative flow of events in a direct manner and, opposite to academic painting, speaks in simple and interpretable terms while, at the same time, invites the viewer to experience an exciting journey through art that throws bridge between the past and the present.

In the Greece of 2020, folk painting continues its own long course and I am particularly touched that, despite the trying pandemic conditions, we managed to present outstanding examples inspired by these two emblematic battles that changed the route of the European and world history and constituted the foundations of the Western civilisation.

I would like to express my most heartfelt thanks to Rector Helene Arhweiler, who honours us with her participation in the Honorary Committee of the “Thermopylae – Salamis 2020” Anniversary Year, for suggesting this exhibition, for her priceless contribution in holding it, and for her support to our work.

I would like to say a great thank-you to the curator of the Exhibition, Ms Louisa Karapidaki, who was the soul of this endeavour.

I particularly thank the Central Service of the General State Archives and the deputy Director General, Ms Amalia Pappa, not only for allowing us this special venue but also for their contribution to our endeavour by displaying the topographies of Thermopylae and Salamis from a rare collection of engravings of the General State Archives.

I warmly thank all the artists, who introduce us to the inspiration and power of folk art through their outstanding works, and make their mark on this historical anniversary.”

Marianna V. Vardinoyannis
President of the International Honorary Committee
of the Anniversary Year “Thermopylae – Salamis 2020”

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