Daily Archives: July 18, 2016

The successful Greek Australians of Queensland


Co-authors, (R-L) Vasiliki and Nick Papadakis.

A book documenting and celebrating the stories of 148 Greek Australians across the sunny state

It’s no secret that Australia is home to a number of successful Greek Australians, and journalist Nick Papadakis has made it his mission over the last three decades to ensure that they are honoured and remembered.

In 1987 he released a book on the Successful Greek Australians of Victoria, followed by an equivalent for those in NSW in 1992, and this time around it’s Queensland’s turn.

“Through this project, the aim is for the next generations to be able to see what the first comers from Greece in Australia have done, and to know how they educated their kids, acquired property, and everything else the Greeks have done in Australia,” Mr Papadakis told Neos Kosmos.

A self-funded project, his criteria for compiling Successful Greek Australians of Queensland was simple; at the end of each interview he would ask his subject who they identified as being a successful Greek Australian, which led to an impressive database to work with.

“When I had three matches or more, I would contact them. So the people in the book chose the rest of the people,” he explains.

The book, which features 148 Greek Australians across the sunny state, is predominantly made up of first and second generation migrants, with their stories delving into how they ended up living Down Under, their back stories revealing the intimacy of their lives.

“We also found a few third and fourth generation, and the first comers were in the 1900s. So they told us as much as they could about their great-grandparents, which was probably the most interesting part; learning about who the first ones were,” tells Mr Papadakis.

Officially launched last month at Brisbane’s Greek Club, the event was opened by Honorary Secretary of the Greek Consulate in Brisbane, Tsambico Athanasas.

A four-minute video was projected, showing the Patris on one of its many trips of the 1960s from Piraeus Port to Australia, before Professor of Ancient Greek Bob Milns took to the floor to speak about the impressive contribution Greeks have made in Australia.

Vasiliki Papadakis also addressed those gathered, having worked alongside Mr Papadakis on the project as a co-author.

She praised the book as ‘a university of life’, having had the chance to meet a number of highly-qualified people through the experience, who despite adverse circumstances managed to thrive and excel.

“Through your true stories, I felt the emotion – sadness, happiness, affection, love and respect. For all these feelings, I want to tell you that it was an honour to get to know you and to understand the true meaning of Australia’s Hellenism,” she said.

To purchase Successful Greek Australians of Queensland, contact Nick Papadakis directly on 0410 383 535.

Source:Neos Kosmos

UK MPs introduce bill to return Parthenon Marbles to Greece


Welsh Liberal Democrat MP Mark Williams. Photo: The Welsh Socialist Democratic Party.

Led by Welsh Liberal Democrat MP Mark Wiliams, the motion might pave the way for a historic turn of events

A brief history of the Parthenon Marbles Looting
The ancient temple – arguably the most important standing monument of classical Greece – had stood intact as a functioning building for centuries, but was ruined during the siege of Athens in 1687, when Francesco Morosini, captain-general of the Venetian forces, used a cannon on the site, which was used as a munitions store by the Ottomans. The explosion caused the marble roof, most of the walls, 14 columns from the north and south peristyles and carved metopes and frieze blocks to collapse, scattering ruined artwork which could be easily grabbed by looters. Morosini himself tried to remove large sculptures, but the device used broke, dropping them downhill and breaking them into pieces.

The most notorious looter was Thomas Bruce, 7th Earl of Elgin and 11th Earl of Kincardine, who served as ‘Ambassador Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary of His Britannic Majesty to the Sublime Porte of Selim III, Sultan of Turkey’ between 1799 and 1803. In this capacity, in 1800, he commissioned skilled artists and modellers to make drawings and casts of the ancient monuments of Athens.

In 1801, Lord Elgin received a controversial firman from the Porte which allowed his agents not only to ‘fix scaffolding round the ancient Temple of the Idols [the Parthenon] and to mould the ornamental sculpture and visible figures thereon in plaster and gypsum’, but also ‘to take away any pieces of stone with old inscriptions or figures thereon. Due to the loss of the original firman, it isn’t sure that the translation is correct, though an existing original Italian translation dispels the claim that this is an official document by any means.

It is now believed that Lord Elgin bribed local Ottoman authorities into permitting the removal of about half of the Parthenon frieze, 15 metopes, and 17 pedimental fragments, in addition to a caryatid and a column from the Erechtheion, upon his departure from the Ottoman Empire in 1803. Lord Elgin’s agents performed excavations on the site, retrieving sculptures, but the actual removal was a decision taken on the spot by Philip Hunt, Elgin’s chaplain (and temporary private secretary, i.e. representative, in Athens), who persuaded the voivode (governor of Athens) to interpret the terms of the firman very broadly.

The excavation and removal went on after Lord Elgin’s departure and was completed in 1812; it cost him about £70,000. At first, he used the antiquities to decorate his mansion in Scotland, but later on, as his fortune waned, he tried selling them to the British Museum, to no avail. Then, on 11 July, 1816, the House of Commons granted the purchase of the ‘Marbles’ by Great Britain for £35,000, considerably below their cost to Elgin, and deposited them in the British Museum. Many opposed the British parliament thus sanctioning the improper removal, not least among them Lord Byron, who deemed Lord Elgin a “vandal”.

Talks for the return of the ‘Parthenon Marbles’ to Greece began in the aftermath of the creation of the modern Greek state, to limited support. A consistent campaign for the return of the ‘Parthenon Marbles’ to its rightful place has been ongoing for decades, becoming the official Greek government stance since 1983, when then Minister of Culture Melina Mercouri committed to the cause.

After the opening of the new and widely acclaimed Acropolis Museum in Athens, which hosts most of the original sculptures (they are replaced on site with high quality replicas, for fear of further corrosion), the campaign has gained momentum. Supporters of the cause seem to think that the time has come for the Parthenon Marbles to return to Greece – and the ongoing crisis has only augmented the voices of support, as this is regarded as something that would boost the economy.

The full text of the draft legislation is as follows:

Parthenon Sculptures (Return to Greece) Bill

1 Return of the Parthenon Sculptures
2 Amendment of the British Museum Act 1963
3 Other artefacts
4 Short title and commencement

A BILL TO Make provision for the transfer of ownership and return to Greece of the artefacts known as the Parthenon Sculptures, or Elgin Marbles, purchased by Parliament in 1816; to amend the British Museum Act 1963 accordingly; and for connected purposes.

BE IT ENACTED by the Queen’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:

1 Return of the Parthenon Sculptures
(1)Ownership of the collection of artefacts known as the ‘Parthenon Sculptures’, or the ‘Elgin Marbles’, is transferred to the government of the Hellenic Republic, subject only to subsections (2) and (4).

(2)The artefacts comprising the collection in subsection (1) shall be determined by the Secretary of State by regulation.

(3)Before making a determination under subsection (2), the Secretary of State must consult—
(a)the Trustees of the British Museum,
(b)representatives of the Government of the Hellenic Republic, and
(c)any other person, body or institution that the Secretary of State believes to be appropriate.

(4)Subsection (1) has effect on the coming into force of an agreement between the Government of the United Kingdom and the Government of the Hellenic Republicin which terms are agreed relating to—
(a)arrangements for the suitable transportation of the collection determined under subsection (2);
(b)responsibility for the costs of such transportation;
(c)arrangements and conditions for the maintenance and display of the collection; and
(d)access to the collection for:
(ii)students, and
(ii)members of the public.

(5)The power to—
(a) make regulations under subsection (2), or
(b) enter into an agreement under subsection (4)
is exercisable by statutory instrument which may only be made after a draft of the instrument has been laid before, and approved by a resolution of, each House of Parliament.

2 Amendment of the British Museum Act 1963
(1)In section 5 of the British Museum Act 1963 (disposal of objects), after subsection (4) insert—
“(5)Nothing in this section may be interpreted as applying to an artefact that—
(a)has been determined to be part of the collection under section 1(1) of the Parthenon Sculptures (Return to Greece) Act 2016, or
(b)is under active consideration by the Secretary of State for determination as to whether or not the artefact is part of that collection.”

(2)In section 9 of the British Museum Act 1963 (transfers to other institutions) after subsection (1) insert—
“(2)Nothing in this section may be interpreted as applying to an artefact that—
(a)has been determined to be part of the collection under section 1(1) of the Parthenon Sculptures (Return to Greece) Act 2016, or
(b)is under active consideration by the Secretary of State for determination as to whether or not the artefact is part of that collection.”

3 Other artefacts
Nothing in this Act shall be interpreted as applying to any artefact forming part of a collection within a national museum or gallery other than the artefacts mention in section 1.

4 Short title and commencement
(1)This Act may be cited as the Parthenon Sculptures (Return to Greece) Act 2016.

(2)This Act comes into force on the day after the day on which it receives Royal Assent.

Source: Neos Kosmos

Juventus bring B-team to Australia


Italian champions Juventus have spared 13 players the trip to Australia for the International Champions Cup following their European Championship exploits.

Italy skipper Gianluigi Buffon and France midfielder Paul Pogba are among those given an extended break by the Serie A giants, thus missing their two Melbourne dates this month.

It means Argentina striker Paulo Dybala, on-loan Moroccan defender Medhi Benatia and Bosnian midfielder Miralem Pjanic will spearhead their side for matches against Melbourne Victory (July 23) and Tottenham Hotspur (July 26) at the MCG.

The absences are not surprising given the taxing schedule of Juve players over the last 12 months.

From the club’s first pre-season match in July 2015 through to the end of the European Championships this month, seven Italian internationals were eligible for 71 matches for club and country.

Giorgio Chiellini, Simone Zaza, Andrea Barzagli, Leonardo Bonucci, Stefano Sturaro and Claudio Marchisio – have stayed home following their involvement in France.

So too have German midfielder Sami Khedira, Croatian striker Mario Mandzukic, Swiss captain Stephan Lichtsteiner and France left-back Patrice Evra.

New signing from Barcelona Dani Alves will also not travel according to Juventus’ website.

With 13 players, including Bayern Munich two-year loanee Kingsley Coman, in action at Euro 2016, Juventus provided more players than any other club.

They will still provide a stern test for Victory and English Premier League Tottenham – who finished third last season – their highest spot since 1989/90.

Dybala, 22, scored 23 goals for Juventus if his first campaign for the club and is widely considered to be one of the next global superstars of the sport.

Pjanic returns to Melbourne in black and white stripes after turning out last year in the red and gold of Roma.


Alex Sandro, Asamoah, Audero, Benatia, Blanco, Cerri, Coccolo, Del Favero, Dybala, Hernanes, Kastanos, Lemina, Lirola, Loria, Macek, Marrone, Neto, Padovan, Parodi, Pereyra, Pjanic, Rosseti, Rugani, Severin, Vitale.


MH17: Malaysia Airlines reaches settlement with families


Amsterdam: Malaysia Airlines has struck a deal to settle damages claims for most victims of its MH17 flight that was shot down over eastern Ukraine two years ago, Dutch national broadcaster NOS has reported.

NOS cited Veeru Mewa, a lawyer representing Dutch victims.

Under the Montreal Convention, airlines must pay damages of up to about $A189,366 to victims’ families, regardless of the circumstances of a crash.

All 298 passengers and crew, including 27 Australian nationals, were killed when the Malaysia Airlines flight was hit, with a report from the Dutch Safety Board saying it was brought down by a Russian-built missile fired from an area where Russian separatists were operating.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said earlier this week – ahead of yesterday’s two-year anniversary of the disaster – that the federal government was committed to ensuring families received justice.

Eight Australian families, including lead applicant Perth woman Cassandra Gibson, whose mother Liliane Derden was among those killed on the plane, have filed a class action against Malaysia Airlines

“I am very aware of the poignancy of this date and the grief it will continue to bring for families of those who were killed in this incident, Ms Bishop told reporters.

“The Australian government will continue to do all we can to hold those responsible for this atrocity to account.”

The government was awaiting the findings of the joint investigation taskforce, of which Australia is one of five countries involved, Ms Bishop said.

“It has been thorough, it has been done with integrity and I look forward to reading the detail of it,” she said.

“We can then determine what steps, what action we can take in the interests of finding justice for those who were killed and for their families.”