Title: Culture & Extroversion

Author: Costas Laskaratos

Date of Publication: 2021

Publications: Sideris

Genre: Politics – Economy

Pages: 264

The experience of three prime ministers, a President of the Republic and a luminous personality who left his mark on Greece. The first book by journalist and ERT1 presenter Kostas Laskaratos is a contemporary look at Greek cultural diplomacy. The relationship between culture and foreign policy is revealed through six examples of Greek museums.

A “handbook” for people who love culture. A valuable guide for every employee of museums, galleries and other cultural institutions.

“A European who has not been to Greece is not a European”, the former director of the Louvre, Jean Luc Martinez, once said. If Greek culture is a key comparative advantage of our country, has it been sufficiently exploited? Is there a national plan?

Mikis Theodorakis, shortly before he passed away, had given his opinion to the author and for the first time, it is published within the pages of the book. The research, which is essentially a transcription of the author’s doctoral thesis, is interspersed with a series of interviews and articles of personalities who, by virtue of their position, played a role in the field of cultural foreign policy, such as the former President of the Republic, Prokopios Pavlopoulos, and the former Prime Ministers George Papandreou, Antonis Samaras and Alexis Tsipras.

Truths, obsessions, stereotypes, obstacles and opportunities. Bold museums and cultural dialogues in extreme conditions. Examples of good practice from international experience. Two national projects. An “informal protocol”, broken. A culture nursery. A homeless “museum adolescence” and an atrocity that leaves wounds to this day. The role of the museum in today’s Greek society. The citizen-museum relationship, society’s demands on the official state and a great… contradiction!

“Kostas Laskaratos leaves us with a nagging question. Will the Greek past – the “Greek civilization” that the West claims – continue to evolve into a friend that weighs us down and doesn’t know how to die?”, writes the Dean of New York University, Katherine Fleming, in her introduction to the book “CULTURE AND EXTRACTION”.

“Kostas Laskaratos’ book, rich in material and reflection, comes at a very critical moment for the cultural policy of Greece in general – to the extent that there is a political… Two words from the book’s title should give us pause for thought: extroversion and international mutual understanding. Greek museums have not exhausted their potential in either of these areas,” says the distinguished Professor of Ancient History at Princeton University’s Institute for Advanced Studies, Angelos Haniotis, in his review, noting that the work invites us to reflect on how difficult the road to mutual understanding between countries is.

“Culture and Extroversion: The Role of Museums and Other Cultural Institutions in Cultural Diplomacy and International Understanding”, published by I. Sideris. Foreword by the Dean of New York University, K. E. Fleming. Epigraph: Angelos Haniotis, Professor at Princeton University.

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