A vibrant center for the promotion of Greek culture and the Greek language operates on the campus of the state of Connecticut, UConn University, which is attended by 25,000 undergraduate and 10,000 graduate students, from all over the world.
The Center for Hellenic Studies “Paideia”, in which Greek culture and the Greek language are taught, consists of the Educational Building” Macedonia”, The Open Theater “Alexander The Great”, an exact marble copy of the ancient Greek theaters, with a capacity of 700 seats, the Greek Orthodox chapel of the Three Hierarchs, as well as the Museum of ancient Sparta, in which a permanent exhibition is created, with exact copies from the Archaeological Museum of Sparta-donated by the Ministry of Culture- and rich supervisory material with the care of the Ephorate of Antiquities of Laconia.
The Center for Hellenic Studies “Paideia”, recognizing the long and constant support of the Minister of Culture and Sports Lina Mendoni in the educational activities of the center, but also in the creation of the Museum of ancient Sparta, awarded her the title of benefactor. The event was attended by the ambassador of Greece in Washington, Alexandra Papadopoulou, the Greek consul in New York Dimitris Papageorgiou, the rectors of UConn, expatriate MPs, heads of expatriate organizations, teachers and students of UConn.
As Lina Mendoni said in her greeting, ” the recognition of the fruitful cooperation between the Ministry of Culture and Sports, The University of Connecticut and the Center for Hellenic Studies “Paideia” reflects the excellent relationship between the US and Greek governments. Over the past three and a half years, our ties have become closer, with synergies covering many areas, including Culture. After all, how else could it be, since the Republic born in ancient Greece was adopted in the founding principles of the state of the United States. We must defend this democracy by all means. Since I served as Secretary General of the Ministry of culture, I have had the opportunity to collaborate with the Center for Hellenic Studies “Paideia”, which, with dedication, perseverance and scientific competence, promotes Greek culture and the Greek language in the United States. It is particularly important for Greece, our culture and language, which today are served by the Greek diaspora, to educate the younger generations of our expatriates, as an adhesive substance with the homeland. Admiration for the achievements of the first generation of Greeks, who arrived in their second homeland at the beginning of the 20th century, without supplies and made great, must be the strong bond between America and Greece”.
Lina Mendoni referred to the important milestones of the cooperation of the Ministry of Culture and sports with the Center for Hellenic Studies “Paideia”, starting in 2012, when with the care of the Ministry of Culture, a building was granted in Rhodes, which has since been used for the educational activities of American students in Greece. In 2019, the Center “Paideia” requested the assistance of the Ministry of culture, for the creation of the Spartan Museum on campus.
“I am really very happy and excited, seeing the excellent infrastructure of the museum complex, which you have created,” the minister noted. “It is a unique space in which the history of ancient Sparta, Lacedaemon, can be highlighted in the best possible way. It is a place of education, education and entertainment with the ancient meaning of the term, that of the education of the soul”.
The president of the Center for Hellenic Studies “Paideia”, Professor Elias Tomazos, noted that “the distinction of being a benefactor of programs of the Center for Hellenic Studies paideia, is awarded to the Minister of Culture and Sports Lina Mendoni, in recognition of her contribution to the establishment of a Spartan Museum in America, the long-standing support of the academic programs “Paideia” in Greece for American students and her long-standing contribution to the universality of Greek culture. We created the center with love and the Minister consistently proves her love to our work, to the Greeks living far from Greece, to our children”.
Yesterday, Lina Mendoni met in the governorate with the Greek-born Lieutenant Governor of Connecticut Susan Bysiewicz and the Greek federal deputies Chris Ziogas, Eleni Kantos DeGraw, Chris Poulos and Nicole Klarides Ditria. Today, the minister is visiting the UConn campus, while she will meet with representatives of Greek-American organizations and the Greek Student Association “Education”.
The cooperation of the Ministry of Culture and sports and the Metropolitan Museum proceeds
As part of her visit to the United States, Lina Mendoni paid a working visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Lina Mendoni, accompanied by officials of the Ministry of Culture, met with the curator of ancient Greek and Roman collections of the Met Sean Hemingway and discussed the next steps of implementing the Memorandum of cooperation between the Ministry of Culture and Sports, The Metropolitan Museum of Art of New York and the Museum of Cycladic Art, as well as the expansion of cooperation, by organizing exhibitions between the Greek museums and the Met.
The Memorandum of Cooperation, signed on November 2, 2022, between the Ministry of Culture and Sports, The Metropolitan Museum of Art of New York and the Museum of Cycladic Art, provides for a series of actions aimed at the study, promotion and promotion of Cycladic culture. These actions include the granting of scholarships to Greek scientists, the creation of a digital database (Corpus), the organization of a symposium on the control and verification of the authenticity and origin of antiquities, as well as the cooperation, in systematic excavation research, at a prehistoric site of the Cyclades, under the direction of the Ephorate of Cyclades.
In addition, it has been agreed to create and operate in the Museum of Naxos, which is completed in 2026, the “Center for research and study of Cycladic culture”, with the aim of specialized research on issues of origin and authenticity of Cycladic artifacts which are in museum collections around the world.