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Greece, Byzantium and Post-Byzantium at The Met May 31, 2017, at the offices of Debevoise & Plimpton
Dr. Helen C. Evans, the Mary and Michael Jaharis Curator for Byzantine Art at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, discussed how the Byzantine and post-Byzantine centuries maintained many aspects of classical Greek culture and traditions, even as Christianity replaced the gods of Greek antiquity and ultimately the Ottoman Empire. Dr. Evans oversees the Byzantine, Early Christian and Early Jewish collections at The Met.
The Mary and Michael Jaharis Galleries highlight the importance of the Byzantine Empire, ruled from Constantinople as a major world power for centuries, and of the role that Greece played in developing many images used by Christians around the globe. Four exceptional Cretan icons, acquired by The Met through the generosity of the Jaharis family in 2013, were the primary focus of Dr. Evans’s talk.
This was the third spring event with curators from The Met addressing Greek heritage. A reception with Dr. Evans followed the program.
Jews of Greece: 25 Centuries of Continuous Presence April 19, 2017, at the offices of Norton Rose Fulbright
The Hellenic-American Cultural Foundation presented, along with The Hellenic-American Chamber of Commerce and American Friends of the Jewish Museum of Greece, a lecture on the historical presence of Jews in Greece.
Dr. Mimis Cohen, MD, FACS, FAAP, is a founding member of the American Friends of the Jewish Museum of Greece and a professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He gave a presentation on the early interaction of the Greek and “Romaniote” Jewish communities around the Eastern Mediterranean, including the cross-fertilization of ideas which has had a significant and long-lasting impact on Western civilization and became the basis of Judeo-Christian culture. The history of Romaniote communities and their traditions and customs was discussed as well as the influence from their non-Jewish neighbors in the development of a unique culture. Tragically 86% of the pre-war Jewish population of Greece perished during the Holocaust, including the Jews from the Romaniote communities.
Dr. Cohen was born and raised in Athens after the Second World War. His parents survived the Holocaust in Athens thanks to the courage of Greek Orthodox friends. A reception with Dr. Cohen followed the program.