Gala Opening of the Exhibition “The Hour of Greece”

30 October 2019, 8:35 am

Opening of the Exhibition “The Hour of Greece”

The exhibition “The Hour of Greece” opened to acclaim on October 24th in a ceremony attended by more than 600 guests. Organized by Hellenic American University | Hellenic American College and the Greek America Foundation, in cooperation with General State Archives, the historical exhibition draws on rare archival material to show the impact that the Greek victory over Mussolini’s forces had in the US and the contribution that Americans made to easing post-war hardships in Greece.

The exhibition was inaugurated by Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias, United States Ambassador to Greece Geoffrey Pyatt, Hellenic American University President Leonidas Phoebus Koskos and Greek America Foundation founder and collector Gregory Pappas.

In his opening address, President Koskos pointed out that post-war US aid went beyond geopolitical and transnational relations. “It was no longer a matter of government,” he noted, “but a gesture of friendship of one people to another. It is no coincidence that its American managers in Greece were New Dealers who acted out of a sense of moral responsibility and with genuine respect for its recipient, the People of Greece.” He noted in this context that US and Greek donations alike were used in purchasing the land and constructing the building that hosts the exhibition and the Greek campus of Hellenic American University.

Minister Dendias commented that “the excellent exhibition was tangible proof of the timeless links between Greeks and Americans." In his remarks, Ambassador Pyatt pointed out that "For all of us working to strengthen and deepen U.S.-Greece bilateral relations, Greg Pappas’ ‘Hour of Greece’ exhibition is an important reminder of the heroism and visionary thinking that serve as the foundation on which our current efforts to deepen our alliance are constructed”. Mr. Pappas, in turn, visibly moved, spoke about his family history, which led him to gather the more than 300 pieces in the exhibition, all of which are being shown in Greece for the first time.

Among the guests attending the event were Prince Nikolaos of Greece and Denmark; Jimmy Athanasopoulos, LibraGroup USA Head of Social Responsibility; Metropolitan Gabriel of Nea Ionia and Philadelphia; Nikos Karapidakis, President of the Ephorate of the General State Archives; Steve Vranakis, former head of Google's Creative Lab and current advisor to the Prime Minister of Greece; Kyriakos Koukoulommatis, President of the Athens Club; Artemis Zenetou, Executive Director of the Fulbright Foundation, and Aphrodite Liti, visual artist.

The exhibition has been curated by art historian Louisa Karapidaki, with archivist Yannis Glavinas and Alexandros Kitroeff, Associate Professor of History at Haverford College, serving as historical advisors and contributors. The exhibition will last until December 20, 2019. A series of guided tours and a parallel event to be held on December 18 are being organized and will be announced on our website shortly.

Image: Opening of the Exhibition “The Hour of Greece”

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