Cultural centre of Ithaca

The Cultural Centre of Ithaca has functioned in Vathy since 1957 and aims at contributing to the intellectual, social and cultural development of the island.

The cost for the building of the Cultural Centre was covered by its founder, Anastasios Kallinikos. It is administered by a five-member committee and falls under the legal supervision of the Directorate of National Endowments of the Ministry of Finance.

In its own double-story building and for the fulfillment of its aims the Centre operates:

1. A library consisting of approximately ten thousand books, some of which are especially rare, like Strabo’s Geographica, Francofurti, apud haeredes Andrea Wecheli, 1585 and Pausanias’, Description of Greece, Excudebat Eustathius Vignon Arrebat, 1581. The library also houses a Japanese translation of the Odyssey and Iliad, published in 1940.

2. A function room or hall for events of approximately 200 square meters. This frequently hosts theatrical productions, lectures, meetings of local Associations, as well as musical events, exhibitions and social events like dances, receptions etc.

3. A cinema/conference room that in the past functioned only as a cinema. The Municipality of Ithaca later saw to its refurbishment, providing all necessary equipment for the smooth functioning of a contemporary Conference Center. There have been times in the past, when all three venues- library, function room and cinema, were used simultaneously for the hosting of conferences or other cultural events.

The hours during which the library are open as well as a programme of events are posted on the central entrance to the building.

Contact Info

Cultural Centre of Ithaca
32, A. Kallinikou Street
28300, Vathy, Ithaca.
Tel. (+30) 2674032248
Email: morf45@otenet.gr

Centre for Odyssean Studies

Formation

The Centre for Odyssean Studies (Κέντρο Οδυσσειακών Σπουδών) is a non-profit scientific foundation of public benefit sitting in Ithaca. It was founded by the “Union of the Diaspora Ithaceans”, and it was the outcome of an initiative by Mr. Epameinondas Vlassopoulos, President of the Union at the time, who utilised a legacy by Olga Dracoulis for the ormation of a cultural establishment in Ithaca.

In 1982, the Centre obtained its statutory name as of: “Kentro Odysseiakon Spoudon” (Centre for Odyssean Studies) by means of a presidential decree promulgated through the government’s official gazette (no 1076, fasc.2, 30.12.1982) The Centre’s regular yield originates from the interest of its initial capital. Additional income is secured through private donations, sponsorships and financial aid  by the Municipality of Ithaca.

Administration

First person to serve as President of the Centre for Odyssean Studies was the late Professor John Th. Kakridis, whose stature contributed to the Centre’s repute while assisting towards the advancement of its present identity. Professor Michael Sakellariou, member of the Academy of Athens, succeeded Professor J. Th. Kakridis up until 1993. He was succeeded by Theophanes J. Kakridis, Emeritus Professor of the University of Ioannina, who presided until 2003. Dimitris N. Maronitis, Emeritus Professor of the University of Thessaloniki, served as President of the Centre from 2003 to May 2011. From May 2011 up until now, Mr. Menelaos Christopoulos, Professor of the University of Patras, has been serving as President of the Centre.

The Centre is directed by a Board of Trustees which consists of the following persons:

Mr. Menelaos Christopoulos (President)
Mr. Spyros Arsenis (Vice President)
Mrs. Machi Paizi-Apostolopoulou (Secretary General)
Mrs. Anastasia Paizi-Mavriki (Treasurer)
Mrs. Catherine Vlassopoulou (member)
Mr. Dionysios Tsintilas (member)
Mr. Gerasimos Veronis (member)
Mr. Dionysios Grivas (member)
Mrs. Dora Kachrila (member)

Aims-Actions

The main purpose of the Centre is to serve and develop a strictly scientific dialogue responsive to international academic approaches and continually stimulated by new research on Homeric and, in particular, on odyssean studies.

Towards achieving these priorities, the Centre i) organises international conferences on Homeric research on a three-yearly basis ii) publishes the proceedings of the aforementioned conferences iii) organises, on a yearly basis, in conjunction with the Ministry of Education and the Panhellenic Union of Philologists (PEPh), the “Seminars on Homeric Scholarship” to encourage and provide further training of philologists teaching the Homeric epics in Greek secondary education (high school) iv) supports archeological research in Ithaca, develops and activates any scientific data related to Homeric research and organises lectures, seminars and various other activities focusing on the study and the reception of Homeric epics in ancient and modern civilisation.     

More specifically:

I) The international conferences eminent scholars, homerists from all over the world, present papers in the international conferences that have unremittingly been held in Ithaca in the course of the past thirty years. Through these conferences, Ithaca is internationally recognised as the stable and regular meeting point for Homeric scholars. In addition, the proceedings of these conferences, which have unfailingly been published and spread to most academic libraries, have become books of reference for all serious Homeric researches. Eleven international conferences have been organised up today and nine volumes of proceedings have already seen the light. The titles of the published volumes are displayed on the side:

II) The organisation of seminars towards the training of philologists teaching Homer in Greek High Schools has been another unceasing priority of the Centre. It is an activity initially put under the auspices of the National Pedagogic Institute and one that is currently co-organised with the “Panhellenic Union of Philologists”, supervised by the Greek Ministry of Education and assisted by the Centre for Educational Research. Every year, philologists teaching in high schools of different geographical sectors of Greece are given the chance to enrich their experience by participating in a seminar at which papers on specific issues of Homeric scholarship are presented by specialised academic scholars and researchers from the secondary education. The proceedings of these seminars are published in the journal Philologiké.

III) The Centre organises and eventuates a number of activities related to the Homeric epics, such as lectures, exhibitions, collections, libraries, data bases. These activities are held in Ithaca as well as in Athens. Furthermore, the Centre owns a collection of 18th century engravings by the German painter J. H. Tischbein, all inspired by the Homeric epics. This collection, a kind donation by Mr. Nikos Psimmenos, Professor of the University of Ioannina, is permanently exhibited at the Folk Art Museum of Ithaca.

Contact

Centre for Odyssean Studies

c/o Machi Paizi-Apostolopoulou
24, Alexander Soutsou Street
10671 Athens
Tel. (+30) 210 3611078
Fax (+30) 210 3640391
E-mail paizimachi@eie.gr & menchris@upatras.gr

• Iliad and Odyssey. Myth and History (Ιλιάδα και Οδύσσεια. Μύθος και Ιστορία), Ithaca 1986
• Homeric oikos (Ομηρικός οίκος), Ithaca 1990
• Periegetism in Ithaca (Περιηγητισμός στην Ιθάκη), Ithaca 1990
• Libations to Homer (Σπονδές στον Όμηρο) , Ithaca 1990
• Εὐχὴν Ὀδυσσεῖ, Ithaca 1995
• Homerica (Ομηρικά), Ithaca 1998
• Eranos, Ithaca 2001
• Contests and Rewards in Homeric Εpics, Ithaca 2007
• Myths, Texts, Images. Homeric Epics and Ancient Greek Art (Μύθοι, Κείμενα, Εικόνες. Ομηρικά Έπη και Αρχαία Ελληνική Τέχνη), Ithaca 2011

Historical Archives of Ithaca

The historical and cultural identity of a land is defined by the endurance of its characteristics through the ages, as well as the degree of their furtherance and functioning in society. Ithaca had the good-fortune, as a Venetian territory since 1500 onwards, to be able to cultivate this possibility. The Serene Republic of Venice was particularly interested in the recording and the keeping of public documents in her territories. In this way she contributed to the preservation of their historical content.      

On our island, this material was collected and kept at the Archives of Ithaca. During the 20th century this functioned under the name ‘Historical Archives of Ithaca’. Since 1991 onwards it is known as the ‘General Archives of the State – Local Archives of Ithaca’ and is supervised by the Ministry of Education.       

Ithaca as an independent administrative unit of the Seven-Island State, the Ionian Republic, as well as while under the French and English occupation, kept well-organised administrative services that endowed us with a wealth of records that, regardless of losses and damages, preserve a large number of documents dating from the 17th century to the present. The records of the Venetian Administration (1500-1797), the turbulent twenty years (1779-1817), the Ionian Republic (1817-1864), the Notaries, the Ecclesiastical Archive, the Hall of Records as well as the more recent records and collections all constitute immutable testimony to all that has transpired in the political, economic and social sojourn of the island.     

Thus, the Archives today contain a large number of contracts from 1600 onwards that are a rich source of information. They contain the registry in whose pages one can find the entries for the birth of Lorentzos Mavilis, Ioannis Metaxas, Nikos Karvounis, the commander Varnakiotis and many more. Unfortunately, the registration of the birth of Odysseas Androutsos has not been preserved. Subsequently, no one today knows when this important Greek and hero of the Revolution was born.

The records contain hand-written books and papers, building plans, the correspondence of the Administration from 1654 onwards, newspapers and church books, court verdicts, interrogations and other significant papers that sufficiently recreate the development and continuity of the land, while simultaneous presenting its unique elements.

In a period in which everything seems to be mass-produced and processed, uniqueness is an element that is worthy of note and of preservation.

Centre for Environmental Education, Ithaca

Through a series of educational programmes and seminars; through the organisation of awareness and participatory activities, the centre aims to promote environmental awareness amongst schoolchildren and citizens of the island thus improving their quality of life.

It is hoped that today’s schoolchildren, tomorrow’s citizens, will:
• develop an environmental conscience which will underpin an appropriate social stance and set of values.
• acquire a lifestyle which reflects the awareness of the need to protect our environment to guarantee a sustainable future for our island and the wider world.
The centre provides a whole series of multi-media, multi-disciplinary activities and courses which, hopefully, will encourage young people to become more aware of challenges to the environment and which will help to formulate a set of values that are new but necessary.

Pupils visiting the centre and participants in the programmes and activities are likely to:

• develop self-esteem and self-confidence, addressing problems in collaborative exercise, which is not school
• come into contact with real-life issues whilst becoming more knowledgeable in how to address environmental problems
• develop their emotional skills and intelligence
• learn more about individual responsibility
• come to understand the importance of collaboration and cooperation in problem-solving

The staff at the centre work tirelessly to design and implement new and exciting programmes of study, short seminars, educational materials, networking and promoting local, national and international collaborations. There is a programme for all—pupils, parents, teachers and committed citizens!

Contact

Centre for Environmental Education, Ithaca
28300 Vathy Ithaca
c/o Gerasimos Chanos
Tel (+30) 2674033450
Fax (+30) 2674033767
E-mail kpe-ith@otenet.gr

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