A new exhibition at the famed Louvre Museum of Paris aims to promote the strong cultural links between Greece and France and how the rediscovery of the splendor of Greek antiquity changed perceptions of Greece in Europe.
“Paris – Athens: The Birth of Modern Greece, 1675-1919″ opened on Thursday following a joint press conference two days prior featuring Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and French President Emmanuel Macron.
The exhibition, which is part of ongoing celebrations commemorating the 200-year anniversary of the Greek Revolution, will run until February 7, 2022.
“These 200 years exhibit the complicated history of the creation of the Greek nation state and this constant struggle between people who viewed themselves as the ‘guardians’ of one of the world’s most important ancient cultures,” Mitsotakis said while visiting Paris to finalize a $3.5 million defense deal with France.
“Through this exhibition, visitors to the Louvre will have the opportunity to appreciate the strong bonds between France and Greece and the contribution of France to the creation of the modern Greek state,” he said.
Mitsotakis thanked France for its contribution to the 1821 struggle and the Greek cause and referred to the “The Massacre of Chios” painting by French artist Eugène Delacroix.
“It is indeed fitting, I think, that probably the most emblematic painting which mobilized public opinion in support of the Greek cause, ‘The Massacre of Chios,’ has been brilliantly restored to its original colors,” the prime minister said. “And you have the possibility to actually see it in the Louvre Museum.”
Mitsotakis said that Greece is celebrating its 200 years of independence at “another absolutely critical period when new challenges — the most important one being climate change — emerge. And when again collective reaction is so absolutely necessary.”
His counterpart Macron also thanked him, saying that “a unique and intimate bond unites France and Greece… from our roots, our visions, our landmarks, we share a lot.”
“We will support Greece in every step it takes,” Macron said. “Greece is after all the cradle of civilization.”
Featured image: Maëlys Feunteun/Louvre Museum via Facebook
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