Macedonia aims to solve protracted name row with Greece

Source: au.news.yahoo.com/world

Macedonia aims to solve protracted name row with Greece
Macedonia aims to solve protracted name row with Greece

After a quarter-century-long dispute that has blocked its entry to NATO and the European Union, Macedonia seems determined to end the row with Greece over its name.

The quarrel between Skopje and Athens dates back to Macedonia’s declaration of independence from Yugoslavia in 1991 and has poisoned neighbourly relations.

From the outset Greece denied its neighbour the right to use the name Macedonia, which is also the name of a northern Greek region.

Greeks have cited concerns about historical appropriation — both sides, for example, claim Alexander the Great as their own — and that the name Macedonia implies a broader territorial claim.

Athens and the European Union recognise the small landlocked country by its provisional name, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), under which it was also admitted to the United Nations.

Skopje has long insisted that this designation was only provisional, but in June, new Social Democratic Prime Minister Zoran Zaev seemed to relax the line of his nationalist predecessors.

“With a FYROM reference we can become a member of NATO,” Zaev said on a visit to the NATO headquarters in Brussels.

As a member of both NATO and the European Union, Athens has vetoed Macedonia’s attempts to join both blocs, but a calendar of bilateral meetings is now in place to try to resolve the dispute.

In everyday conversation, Greeks usually refer to the neighbouring country as “Skopje”, the name of its capital city.

Back in 1992, a million Greeks — one tenth of the population — took to the streets in protest over the name issue in Thessaloniki, the main city in the Macedonia region.

Tensions grew in 2006, when Skopje airport was named “Alexander the Great”. The building in 2011 of a huge monument of the warrior king on a horse added fuel to the fire.

Under international pressure, the statue in central Skopje was officially named “Warrior on a horse” but that did not deceive anyone — especially as, a year later, authorities inaugurated a giant statue of Philip II of Macedon, Alexander’s father.

The issue remains hugely sensitive on both sides.

Greece’s migration minister Yiannis Mouzalas last year faced calls to resign after referring to the country as “Macedonia” instead of “FYROM” during a television interview about the migrant crisis.

Mouzalas quickly apologised “for this error, which does not reflect my position and my convictions on the subject of FYROM”.

On Tuesday, the Greek women’s handball team was punished at the European Championship after refusing to play in Skopje against Macedonia’s team wearing national logo bearing that name.

In Zaev’s bid to end the row, he has spoken by telephone to his Greek counterpart Alexis Tsipras.

The Macedonian Foreign Minister Nikola Dimitrov was in Athens in mid-June and his Greek counterpart Nikos Kotzias is going to Skopje later this month.

There is a “certain mobilisation,” a Greek diplomatic source told AFP, noting “some signs” of good will in Skopje.

But the source said it was now necessary to “wait for action”.

A top official in Zaev’s SDSM party, who also asked not to be named, warned that Greece “could keep the same position for two centuries. We should find a solution to deblock the process of integration with NATO and the EU”.

But, in the fragile country of about two million people, the official warned it would be necessary to reach a political “consensus” and to back up any decision with a referendum.

Many Macedonians are against a name change but some say they want a way out of the tiring row.

“We are Macedonians, we cannot name ourselves differently,” said Mirjana Jovanovska, 47, a dentist in Skopje.

She admitted, however, that “it would not be so terrible if a prefix was added to the name Macedonia”.

Suggestions to emerge in conversations include “Northern Macedonia”, “New Macedonia” or even “Vardarska” after a river that runs through the country.

The incumbent Greek government has not yet made any proposals, waiting for negotiations to resume before unveiling their game. In 2007 the government at the time proposed “a name with a geographic prefix”.

Upon an agreement, entering the 29-nation NATO is a much more likely prospect for Macedonia than the 28-country EU, which has frozen all enlargement until at least 2020.

“The question is: what is the price of joining the club?” asked Toni Deskoski, a law professor in Skopje.

Greeks Call for Parthenon Marbles Issue to be Part of Brexit Talks

 

International Association for the Reunification of the Parthenon Sculptures

The Greek government is requesting that the decades-long issue of the return of the Parthenon Marbles to Greece be part of the Brexit negotiations citing EU treaty law, according to the Telegraph.

European Parliament member Stelios Kouloglou has called on the Commission to include the thorny issue in Brexit talks. “Brexit negotiators must take into account the need to protect European cultural heritage… The Parthenon Marbles are considered as the greatest symbol of European culture. Therefore, reuniting the marbles would be both a sign of respect and civilised relationship between Great Britain and the EU, and much more [than] a legal necessity.”

In response, an European Commission spokesperson said he believed that the Brexit team is not legally obliged to address the issue, citing Articles 3, 50 and 167. “The Parthenon Marbles were removed long before this date, and the EU has no competence in the matter,” Tibor Navracsics, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport said, referring to a directive on the return of unlawfully removed cultural objects which applies to items removed after January 1, 1993.

For over three decades, Greece has repeatedly called on the British Museum to return the 2,500-year-old marble sculptures that once adorned the Parthenon and have been the subject of dispute since they were illegally removed and sold by Lord Elgin to the British Museum in 1817.

Source: news.gtp.gr

The Benaki Museum exhibition “Ghika – Craxton – Leigh Fermor: Charmed Lives in Greece”

Charmed Lives | Athens | To September 10

The Benaki Museum exhibition “Ghika – Craxton – Leigh Fermor: Charmed Lives in Greece” sheds light on the special friendship that bound the three emblematic figures of 0th century art and literature, against the backdrop of the amazing places that inspired them: Hydra, Kardamyli, Crete and Corfu.
Through works of art by Nikos Hadjikyriakos-Ghika and John Craxton, and writings by Patrick Leigh Fermor, but also letters, manuscripts, publications, photographs and tributes, the exhibition also highlights their love for Greece.
Opening hours are Wednesdays to Fridays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursdays and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to midnight and Sundays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Admission costs 7 euros, while guided tours are available.

Benaki Museum, 1 Koumbari & Vassilissis Sofias,
tel 210.367.1000, www.benaki.gr

Milos island prepares a home for much-desired return of Aphrodite

A little over two years ago, the mayor of the island of Milos, Gerasimos Damoulakis, visited the Louvre Museum in Paris to see the Venus de Milo – the Aphrodite of Milos – up close. But upon entering, rather than asking for a ticket, he said: “I am the mayor of Milos. I do not accept that I should have to pay for a ticket as I came to see one and only one exhibit, the Aphrodite of Milos, which belongs to my island.”

After they’d received this sudden request, the museum’s operators held an impromptu meeting and decided to agree and invite the mayor and his entourage to enter for free. The doors of the museum opened and the Greek mission headed to the big hall which houses the famous statue. They sat for a while to look at it in awe and then left with the promise that one day they would not have to undertake such a long journey to admire it.

Gathering signatures

Two-and-a-half years later, the Milos mayor’s efforts to have the marble sculpture returned to the island have intensified. “The issue has tortured me for 15 years [a photograph of the statue can be seen on the municipality’s website], but now the time is ripe. We have now a documented legal position that states when the statue was taken from the island there was no business transaction, but there was an act of war.

“The statue was taken by a French naval officer and loaded onto a French warship. At that time, we were in a period of war,” says Damoulakis. He has already set up a bidding committee, which has taken care of the request to collect a million signatures so that the matter can be taken up in the European Parliament. “Some on Milos thought I was joking, but I always meant what I said. Work has already begun on the restoration of an old girls’ school in Plaka, the capital of the island, where the Aphrodite’s permanent home will be.”

The sculpture, which symbolizes female beauty and femininity, is carved out of Parian marble. It is 2.02 meters tall and weighs 900 kilos. It dates back to around 100 BC. It was unearthed by a farmer named Giorgos Kentrotas in 1820. The Aphrodite was in two pieces and her hands were missing. According to one interpretation, a French officer, Olivier Voutier, who was wintering in the port with the warship Estafette, realized the value of the statue.

He informed the French consul in Milos, who returned to buy it. News of this, however, got out and other potential buyers rushed to the island. The French appeared to bargain better with the Ottomans, and they ended up leaving with the valuable “commodity.”

On March 1, 1821, the French ambassador Charles Francois de Riffardeau, Marquis de Reviere, gave the statue to King Louis XVIII as a gift to be displayed in the Louvre, where it remains to this day.

Hidden amongst the finest golf courses of Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs is the Coast Cemetery

Coast Cemetery

Hidden among popular Sydney golf courses is a little remembered graveyard populated by smallpox victims.

Hidden amongst the finest golf courses of Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs is the Coast Cemetery, an aging graveyard that remembers a time when the whole area existed solely to house smallpox victims.

In 1881, Sydney fell victim to an outbreak of smallpox, a highly infectious disease for which began tearing through the local population. Thus a makeshift city was built near the coast, removed from the Sydney city center to prevent its spread by quarantining any sufferers far away from the general population. As the outbreaks continued, the permanent Coast Hospital was built, including its own cemetery where any patients that died of the disease were required to be buried. 

The hospital and cemetery continued to be used into the 1900s with outbreaks of the bubonic plague, typhoid fever, and leprosy infecting the city. In 1934, the hospital was renamed the Prince Henry Hospital and in 1946, the majority of deadly outbreaks staunched, it became a teaching hospital. 

The cemetery is quite unique as the people who were buried there, some 2,000 patients and nurses of the hospital, having been relocated to the isolated hospital, are not necessarily from the area.

The site today is often overlooked in favour of the nearby suburb, the historically significant La Perouse. But this site offers something different, a snapshot of a very real, very frightening part of Sydney’s history reflected in the quiet, and often haunting, graveyard.
Know Before You Go

Follow Cape Banks Road until you reach a small trail named “Cemetery Trail.” There is just enough space to leave your car at the start of the trail and then you must walk the rest of the way.

Greek god discovery, Black Sea–Aleteia

Russian builders discover an unusual terracotta head off the Crimean Peninsula.

In Kerch Bay, in the strait that occupies the east coast of the Crimean peninsula, where the Black Sea meets the Sea of Azov, a group of Russian builders are working on a bridge that will eventually join the two coasts. 

But as the workers were moving land on the seabed in order to place the bridge’s foundations, they came across an exceptional find: the head of a 2,500-year-old terracotta statue of a Greek god.

Sergei Olkhovskiy, head of the underwater archaeology unit of the Russian Academy of Sciences wrote on the website of the Crimean Bridge Information Center that “This finding is unique on the northern coast of the Black Sea (…) we believe this head was made in Asia Minor around the 5th century BC,” according to the note published by David Ruiz Marull in the Spanish journal El País.

The archaeological study of the newly discovered “pottery field” began about two years ago, when the bridge was being designed. Since then, underwater excavations have collected more than 60,000 pieces (most of them fragments of ceramic vessels made in the Mediterranean and Asia Minor between the 5th and 3rd centuries BC).

Human Skull Found in Greece Challenges the Out of Africa Theory of Evolution

There are many discoveries that challenge the well-established scientific beliefs of evolution, but most of them are being denied or covered-up by the elites who have a certain interest in keeping history as it is.

In 1959, a narrow cave was found in Northern Greece by a shepherd boy. When venturing inside with a couple of local villagers, they’ve discovered the cave was rich in minerals and after further digging inside out of curiosity, the locals found an out of place relic – a human skull embedded in a cave-wall. Later excavations unearthed many fossil remains of pre-humans, animals, and tools made of bone and stone.

The skull was extracted from the Petralona cave where it had been discovered and was furtherly sent to the University Thessaloniki in Greece for a more detailed research. Archaeologists agreed that after a complete study had been conducted, the skull will be sent to the local museum where its history would be known to others.

However, this never happened since the analysis of the skull revealed it had been trapped inside that cave for approximately 700,000 years, making it the oldest human eropeoid of the age ever discovered in Europe. Dr. Paulianos who researched the skull revealed that ‘The Petralona Man’ evolved independently in Europe and he was not a descendent of any of the species that came out of Africa.

In other words, the skull held clear evidence of a different evolutionary path followed by humans in Europe that directly contradicted with the ‘Out of Africa’ theory, a doctrine accepted by modern science.

In 1964, a group of German researchers tried to debunk the findings of Dr. Paulianos by claiming that the skull was nearly 50,000 years old and that it was in fact from a species of humans originating from Africa. However, analysis conducted in 1971 by a team of US researchers showed once again that the Petralona skull was indeed 700,000 years old. They managed to establish the date based on the examination of the caves sediments and stratigraphy.

Scientists from twelve countries ran different tests on the skull. All of them received similar results that credit the work of Dr. Paulino as being correct. Research continued until 1983 when Greece was taken over by a dictatorship which ordered for all remains found in the cave to be deprived of public access, including foreign researchers. That’s when the challenging discovery remained on hold for more than 15 years, and the Greek government offered no viable argument for their decision.

The issue was later taken to court by the Anthropological Society of Greece and scientists were once again given free access to the cave. This was a minor victory whatsoever, since the Ministry of Culture has allegedly tried to get the courts to rule in their favor and once again restrict the access to the site. I know it comes hard to believe from a democratic point of view, but no conclusive argument was given by the Greek government as to why they wanted the cave secured.

Researchers today have determined the skull is that of Homo Erectus, an ancient hominid, but it also has characteristics of Neanderthals and strong European traits as well. According to the latest tests, the skull appears to be either Homo Sapiens or part Homo Sapiens, thus putting the skull in direct conflict with the ‘out of Africa’ theory.

Dr. Poulianos’ findings reject the ‘out of Africa’ theory, reason for why his research was deliberately suppressed in today’s academic circles. The doctor and his wife were also assaulted and injured in their home back in 2012. To dig deeper into the wound, the Greek government deprived him and his team of further access to the cave where he intended to finalize the research. To cover-up the story, a sign has been placed outside the cave stating that the skull discovered inside is 300,000 years old, and Wikipedia today has dated the skull even younger.

The reason why the government of Greece is harshly suppressing the finds of Dr. Paulianos may be obvious for some of you, but to highlight the main idea – if the research conducted so far is proven to be correct, it means that human beings didn’t just originated from Africa; they were found scattered throughout the entire globe, thus proving the entire theory of evolution served by modern science is all but untrue. It’s the same with the Native Americans, where the accepted theory of evolution asserts they came across the Alaskan land bridge into the Americas, while the aboriginals insist their ancestors where always present in the Americas.

Once again, we have further proof that modern history is teaching us some serious lies. It appears that information not fitting into the general accepted paradigm is either being covered-up or dismissed as fables. The skull from Greece proves the scientific path that’s now being followed is rotten and controlled. REAL science should follow the tracks and change the until-now-accepted beliefs where it is the case.

Professor C.G. Nicholas Mascie-Taylor of the University of Cambridge sent a letter to the Ministry of Culture in Greece stating that the correct date of the skull is 700,000 years old instead of 300,000. See the letter below.
The Greek Ministry of Education, Religions, Culture and Sports,

Bouboulinas 20-22,

Athens 106 82,

Greece

5 September 2012

Dear Sir,

I am writing on behalf of the European Anthropological Association, which is the umbrella professional and academic association linking all of the national European biological anthropology and human biology societies, to express our concerns about the conservation of the Petralona Cave and Skull, the misinformation of the dating of the skull, as well as the treatment of personnel associated with the conservation of the Cave.

The bases of our concerns are that the skull has been damaged through many scratches and the crown of a tooth (1st molar) cut off. As requested by Anthropological Association of Greece what is required is a detailed description of the present status of the skull, so that no one in future can arbitrarily damage it further. There is also the problem of dating which has been scientifically dated at about 700,000 years ago not 300,000 as is given at the information desk. There is a very detailed record of the excavations and findings which need to receive further public presentation but which have never been catalogued so as to prevent specimens going missing.

It is very unfortunate that the Greek Archaeological Department stopped Dr Aris Poulianos from further work in the Cave without any explanation. It is also very worrying that Dr Poulianos and his wife were physically attacked and injured in their home earlier this year and the culprits have not been found. He was also verbally abused when attempting to give an invited presentation to teachers and school children.

Senior anthropologists and geologists have also been denied access to the Cave and the specimens for further study on a number of occasions without substantive reasons. Earlier this year there has also been misinformation given to the Greek Parliament concerning financial aspects of the Cave.

I look forward to receiving answers to these questions.

Yours faithfully

Professor C G N Mascie-Taylor MA, PhD, ScD (all Cambridge), FSB, FNAS (Hungary)

Professor of Human Population Biology and Health and President of the European Anthropological Association
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