Macron and Mitsotakis open the magnificent Louvre exhibition on Greek independence

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Mareva Grabowski, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, Emmanuel Macron, Brigitte Macron in Paris. Credit: PM Press Service

French President Emmanuel Macron and Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Monday opened an exhibition marking 200 years of Greek independence at the Louvre in Paris.

Mitsotakis, who is traveling to France on Tuesday to announce a major multibillion-euro deal in Paris for Greece’s acquisition of at least six French-built warships, praised the French contribution to the war. Greek independence.

“Without the contribution of foreign powers, including France, the establishment of the first nation-state at the south-eastern tip of Europe would not have been possible,” he said.

He stressed that France was there from the start of the Greek Revolution.

Mitsotakis amazed by the painting “Massacre of Chios”

“We are all moved by the fact that during the revolution, works of art were created for this purpose and sold at auction to finance the struggle for independence. And I think it is indeed revealing that perhaps the most emblematic painting that has mobilized public opinion to support the Greeks’ struggle, “The Massacre of Chios”.

Mitsotakis referred to the brilliant painting by French artist Eugène Delacroix.

The work, on display in the Louvre, is over four meters tall and shows some of the horror of wartime destruction on the island of Chios during the Chios massacre. An exhibition similar to a frieze of suffering figures, military might, ornate and colorful costumes, terror, disease and death is presented against a scene of widespread desolation.

Macron Mitsotakis Louvre
Greek Prime Minister Mitsotakis admires The Massacre of Chios, held at the Louvre, in Paris. Credit: PM Press Service

Macron: Greece was a culture before it became a nation state

Macron spoke very warmly about France’s relations with Greece and stressed, among other things, that “Greece was a culture even before it became a nation-state. It’s a heavy burden, but it’s something that inspired us.

“For France,” he continued, “it was natural that she support Greece’s struggle for independence, that we support Greece at all times, because Greece is the heart of culture. From this culture we draw our roots, our imagination, but also our landmarks, whether artistic, philosophical or other ”.

The Louvre celebrates the independence of Greece

The Louvre exhibition, which will run until February 2022, features works by Greek and European artists who “retrace the cultural, diplomatic and artistic ties” between France and Greece during the period.

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Macron, Mitsotakis admire a painting in the Louvre. Credit: PM Press Service

It was organized by two Athens-based curators, Marina Lambraki Plaka, who is director of the newly renovated National Gallery – Alexandros Soutzos Museum in Athens, and Anastasia Lazaridou, who is director of archaeological museums, exhibitions and educational programs for Hellenic. Ministry of Culture and Sports, as well as Jean-Luc Martinez, President and Director of the Louvre, and Débora Guillon.

As stated in a statement from the Louvre, 2021 marks the bicentenary of the start of the Greek War of Independence, and it has been 200 years since the Paris museum acquired the famous Venus de Milo.

The statue was found half-buried, in two pieces, on April 8, 1820, as a farmer was digging through the ancient ruins of his field to find the stones he needed for his farm in Milos.

The French bought the artwork from the Ottomans, but the local community resisted and tried to prevent the French from taking the statue.


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