Elefsina’s title year as European Capital of Culture is coming to an end with a three-day celebration filled with unique events, projects and happenings all over the city, signalling the Opening of a new era for the city and for Culture.

On 15, 16 and 17 December2023 Eleusis European Capital of Culture, having achieved a small miracle in the city of Elefsina, one of the smallest cities that have hosted the institution, celebrates the completion of the official title year with a unique three-day celebration titled Mystery 1 Closing : Opening, A Ceremony.

Exactly 315 days after Mystery 0 Mysteries of Transition – Opening Ceremony by 2023 Eleusis in February 2023, six years after the city’s designation, the time has come to complete a great cycle, in the only way that something so vibrant, meaningful and exciting can come to an end: by beginning a new one.

IRIS Factory, Old Oil Mill Factory, Canteen art hub, X-Bowling Art Center, Elefsina Old Town Hall, ARKOPOLIS, OSE – Elefsina Old Railway Station, Cine Eleusis, Eleourgiki Industrial Complex, OASIS former campsite; Ten different venues that were created, renovated and activated on the occasion of 2023 Eleusis, as a legacy for the city of Elefsina, welcome the public with unique events, projects and happenings all over the city, for the whole city and visitors alike, with just one goal: to keep us sleepless and stunned.

The three-day celebration programme opens with the inauguration of the IN SITU REALITIES: Eleusis Documentary Festival and the premiere of the documentary The Eleusinians by Filippos Koutsaftis – 23 years after the iconic Agelastos Petra [Mourning Rock]. The Festival continues until Tuesday, 19 December, with premieres of more than 10 documentaries inspired by Elefsina and the wider region, as well as a series of retrospective screenings of activities by 2023 Eleusis.

Visual arts, one of the main pillars of the 2023 Eleusis programme, have a special place in the Closing Ceremony: the monumental exhibition of Juan Sandoval titled Mystery 111 Eleusis Terracotta Army opens to the public, on Sunday 17 December, with more than 3,000 helmets of local workers filling the IRIS building, the former paint factory. In parallel, award-winning Greek artist Stefania Strouza opens, on the first day of the three-day celebration programme, her solo exhibition Mystery 87 I My Sea Journey, I My Land Claim at the Old Oil Mill Factory, while the exhibition Mystery 151 Α Rave Down Below with works by an international group of artists curated by Panos Giannikopoulos continues.

ARKOPOLIS, the “Ark of eternal youth” created for the city by the Belgian TimeCircus collective, becomes on Saturday, 16 December, the focal point of an all-day celebration that includes screenings, workshops, music and original activities, curated by the Elefsina youth group Cultterra.

The Mystery 125 Elefsina Community Orchestra & Choir, curated by Aleksandar Caric and in collaboration with local communities and structures of Elefsina, takes place on Sunday, 17 December: a musical parade in the city, culminating in a festive concert at the Eleourgiki Industrial Complex. In addition, the annual cycle of happenings Mystery 100 Sacred Songs, curated by Lambros Liavas, concludes a day earlier with a talk and – as always – a concert of traditional music about the cycle of time and festivities.

The programme also includes workshops for children, educational masterclasses by renowned filmmakers, and a Surprise, unannounceable, that completes the gesture of the Opening Ceremony. The three-day event is marked by lighting interventions on iconic city landmarks by the internationally acclaimed Eleftheria Deco, and a video installation by the distinguished filmmaker Eva Stefani with fragmentary recordings of unexpected personalities.

The celebratory closing is completed on Sunday evening, 17 December, with an unexpected “sunset” on the horizon of the Gulf of Elefsina.

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