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  Wednesday 26th January 2011

The inauguration of the new periodic photographic exhibition of the JMG took place on Wednesday 26thJanuary 2011

“The Memorial: 16 Artists propose”

The exhibition is part of a cycle of events organized by the Prefecture of Attica and the Jewish Community of Athens dedicated to the occasion of the National Holocaust Memorial Day, 27th January 2011 and presents the proposals of 16 artists and the procedure that led to the establishment of this new memorial place within the urban landscape. The inauguration was attended by many members of the parliament, ambassadors and representatives of the cultural world.

The president of the JMG Mr. MakisMatsas, welcomed the guests to the ceremony by saying“…you will see for yourselves that all projects have their own strong identity and approach this serious issue in such a unique way, that the evaluation committee was found the work of selecting one single project proved to be very difficult. All 16 artists deserve our congratulations for approaching the issue of Holocaust with such sensitivity giving all their best and of course, special congratulations to DeAnna Maganias whose project was chosen to be installed in the Kerameikos area...” In closing, he asked  thePrefecturer of Attica, Mr. Yiannis Sgouros to say a few words.

Mr. Sgouros noted in his speech: “I am here today, at the opening of the exhibition “The Memorial” deeply emotional. The exhibition refers to the Holocaust of the Greek Jews and contains the creations of the 16 artists that took part at the contest for the realization of the Holocaust Memorial. Even though, only one was selected upon which the Memorial was built, still, all models have a significant aesthetic and historical value that the whole world deserves to see. That's because each project highlights its own perspective of the Holocaust of Greek Jews. Each unique creation that is here today brings to mind the tragic history of thousands of our fellow human beings. I would like to add that this exhibition has a great purpose: never to forget. We must never be complacent both in individual and social level. We need to be in a permanent and continuous vigilance.”

Finally, Mr. Benjamin Albalas, President of the Jewish Community of Athens, addressed those gathered “.... The wound caused by the Holocaust to the Jewish community of Greece was a huge one if evaluated by mathematical calculations, but incalculable when it is examined by every other aspect. It took us 60 years to be able to heal our wounds, to mourn, to be reborn and to claim for a Memorial in the city of Athens for all those who were lost.Today, this memorial exists… our intention is to see this exhibition travel to other museums both inside Greece and abroad, and on its way to teach our history, to memorialize the victims of the Holocaust and inspire for peace and tolerance among people.”  

Soon after the addresses, Mrs. Zanet Battinou, director of the JMG guided the important guests through the museum and answered their questions. A small reception followed and all the guests were offered light refreshments. The catalog of the exhibition was distributed to the attendees during the ceremony.

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