An Italian scientific and cultural expedition, the ”Mediterranea Project,” has just left Athens after spending a month docked at Piraeus docks. Participants in the expedition spent their days in Greece at meetings onboard the Mediterranea vessel, at cafes in Athens and at the Italian Institute of Culture.
Many members of the Greek cultural community were interviewed by Simone Perotti, who created the initiative. Over the next five years, Perotti plans to send the “Mediterranea Project” to 29 countries in the Mediterranean, Black and Red Sea areas. He aims to meet with regional writers, artists and intellectuals in search of ideas and solutions to confront the crisis of this era.
”We leave Athens after a very intense month,” he told reporters.
”Meetings, dialogue, writing, research. We bring information, impressions, feelings knowledge, but most of all words. The words we are looking for – we weren’t aware we were looking for them, but they are necessary in such a noisy and twisted era. The Mediterranean of ideas in this first, emblematic stopover, revealed its deep richness. This is confirmation that the Mediterranean is the ark of words and ideas, and it has deep meaning that still needs to be brought forward.
”Thanks to the staff of IIC in Athens and director Silvana Vassilli, a splendid woman of culture and organization, who supported and helped us always”.
While in Athens, Perotti and the Mediterranea crew were able to meet: Denys Zacharopoulos, artistic director of the ”Alex Mylona” Museum in Athens; Maurizio De Rosa, philologist and translator of leading Greek contemporary novelists; Greek poet and intellectual Nanos Valaortis; Christos Hadziiosif, director of the department of modern and contemporary history at the University of Crete; writer Petros Markaris; poet Kostas Koutsourelis; Corriere della Sera editorialist for the Middle East Antonio Ferrari; activist architect and environmentalist Maria Peteniaki; writer Ersi Sotiropoulos; Ambassador Panayiotis Makris; musician Mario Strofalis; writer Fabrizio Manili; Paris Sigalas, producer of the great white wine of Santorini; Radio En Lefko 87.7 editor Katerina Kafentzi; Theodossios Tassios, professor emeritus at the Polytechnic in Athens; Nikos Moschonas, historian; theater actress Marilli Mastrantoni; artist and activist of ”Piazza Syntagma” Costis Ksyme Triandaphyllou; and the great writer Vassilli Vassilikos.
”From the port of Piraeus we will travel east-south east for Cape Sounion and north along the Eubea canal until the Sporades,” says Perotti.
“Then Thessaloniki and the three long fingers of the Chalkidiki peninsula, Macedonia, Thassos, further down the Dardanelles inside the sea of Marmara for the Prince islands until Constantinople, Istanbul, the pearl of the Bosphorus. We expect to be there mid-December”.
The expedition takes place under the Greek Navy’s patronage. The venture is also sponsored by the president of the Republic, the foreign ministry, as well as other departments and international bodies.