The regional units of Heraklion and Rethymnon were visited by the Deputy Minister of Culture and Sports, responsible for contemporary culture, Nikolas Yatromanolakis from 28 to 31 July 2022.
During the visit, the Deputy Minister met with the Regional Governor of Crete, Stavros Arnaoutakis and his colleagues, with whom he discussed the Festival of Crete and other cultural institutions with a social and developmental focus, as well as the initiative of the Ministry of Culture and Sports for the revival and support of Cretan crafts. Then, in Loggia, he met with the Deputy Mayor of Culture of Heraklion, Aristea Pleyris and other members of the municipality. The discussion revolved around the municipal cultural institutions, such as the Municipal Gallery and initiatives such as the digital cultural platform of the municipality. Present at the meetings was the Member of Parliament of Heraklion, Maximos Senetakis.
During his visit to the Cultural Conference Centre of Heraklion, the Deputy Minister spoke with the President Stella Archontaki, the Artistic Director Myronas Michaelides and their colleagues on issues related to the sustainability of the institution, while he met with Heraklion artists and creators with disabilities, with whom he discussed universal accessibility to culture. In addition, the Deputy Minister visited the Municipal Art Gallery and the Vikelia Municipal Library.
On the subject of handicrafts, the Deputy Minister was a keynote speaker at the event on Cretan handicrafts organised by the Educational Development Plovigos, while he also participated in the event organised by the cultural organisation Branding Heritage at the Heraklion Chamber of Commerce in the context of the presentation of the project “The Weavers of Greece/Crete”. Both events were followed by an open discussion with representatives of associations and institutions as well as craftsmen.
In addition, the Deputy Minister visited Anogia, where the Mayor Socrates Kefalogiannis gave him a tour of the site where the newly established School of Weaving will be established, part of the wider programme for handicrafts which has been included in the Recovery Fund. He then visited traditional weaving workshops and spoke to Anogia weavers and was a key speaker at the event organised by the Municipality of Anogia on “The Bosque and the world of the shepherd of Psiloritis as an intangible cultural heritage of Greece”, where issues concerning the raw materials of handicrafts such as wool were discussed.
The Deputy Minister also visited potters’ workshops in Thrapanseno and talked with them about the challenges and opportunities of the sector, while together with the Deputy Mayor of Minos Pedias, Michalis Mourtzakis, he visited the municipal site where the School of Pottery, part of the wider programme for handicrafts which has been included in the Recovery Fund, will be established.
As part of his visit, the Deputy Minister also visited Zaros, where he met with the Mayor of Phaistos, Gregory Nikolidakis, and discussed with residents the development prospects of Zaros with a focus on culture, visited the Cultural Centre of Zaros, the Folklore Museum, the historic church of St. George and the Ecclesiastical Museum as well as the Monastery of Brontisi.
Finally, she was guided by Maria Pitsikaki, President of the Development Association of Women Entrepreneurs of Crete, to the exhibition organized by the association at Eleftherias Square in Heraklion with Cretan handicraft products, where she had the opportunity to talk to the women entrepreneurs-creators, to get to know their work, to learn about their activities and to discuss with them.