ONASSIS CULTURAL CENTRE OPENS IN ATHENS IN NOVEMBER 2010 WITH MAJOR INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE
The Onassis Cultural Centre will open in Athens in November 2010, providing an important new cultural space for the city and the first public facility for The Alexander S. Onassis Public Benefit Foundation. Two days of celebrations in early December for invited cultural leaders, followed by two free days of special public events, will help inaugurate the Centre, which will offer the people of Athens and their visitors a wealth of programmes and presentations in the contemporary performing arts, fine arts and letters.
The Centre, with a total surface area of 18,000 sq. m, is being constructed on an entire block on Syngrou Avenue in the heart of Athens. Housed in a striking, minimalist building of glass and white marble designed by Architecture-Studio, the Centre includes:
• a 874-seat hall suitable for concerts, opera, dance, theatre, film and conferences
• a 217-seat hall for more intimate performance events and lectures
• a 7,500-square-foot exhibition gallery
• outdoor theatre space
• compact installation of works from the Foundation’s art collection, including sculptures by Rodin and Bourdelle
• additional exhibition, meeting and performance spaces
• amenities including a restaurant and an entrance-level bar
For the first major programme in the new Centre, the Onassis Foundation will join with eight leading institutions to present The Athens Dialogues, an international conference that considers contemporary global issues and challenges in the light of the Hellenic cultural legacy.
Collaborating with the Foundation in organising The Athens Dialogues are the Academy of Athens; the Accademia dei Lincei, Rome; the Austrian Academy of Sciences; the German Archaeological Institute; Harvard University’s Center for Hellenic Studies; the Institut de France; Oxford University; and Stanford University.
Spread over four days of discussions that will range freely across academic disciplines and historical periods, the conference will offer six thematic sessions, on Identity and Difference, Stories and Histories, Logos and Art, Democracy and Politeia, Science and Ethics, and Quality of Life.
Approximately 800 scholars and scientists from around the world will participate in the sessions, with a third of participants made up of young scholars, artists and scientists recruited through a competition organised in collaboration with the Greek chapter of EUNIC (European Union National Institutes for Culture).
The Alexander S. Onassis Public Benefit Foundation
The Alexander S. Onassis Public Benefit Foundation was established in 1975 upon the death of shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis, in memory of his son Alexander. Programme activities advance the Foundation’s mission to establish, maintain and assist medical, educational, literary, religious, scientific, exploratory, journalistic and artistic endeavours and to promote Hellenic culture and studies. The affiliated Alexander S. Onassis Public Benefit Foundation (USA) was established in New York City in 1999 and inaugurated its activities in 2000.
The Athens Dialogues, 24-27 November 2010