The Hon Daniel Andrews MP, Premier of Victoria joined Mr Bill Papastergiadis President of the Greek Community of Centre Melbourne, and other leading political and community figures on Sunday 26 November 2017, to unveil a life-size replica of the Parthenon Marble Frieze in central Melbourne.
The Frieze is a replica of the Parthenon Frieze North XLII and Parthenon Frieze North XLIII depicting the Panethenaic procession of horseman.
Its unveiling marked the Greek Community's 120th anniversary celebrations, and is a symbol of Hellenism which connects Melbourne's Greek Centre to other thriving Greek communities around the world, many who have also welcomed a replica of the Frieze into their diasporic communities.
Now it adorns the Lonsdale Street facing balcony of the Greek Centre, the Greek Community of Melbourne’s headquarters.
The Hon Daniel Andrews MP, Premier of Victoria said that the Frieze is a fantastic symbol of the Greek Community of Melbourne’s 120th-anniversary celebrations and a true celebration of the Greek contribution to our city, state and nation. The Premier called for the return of the Parthenon Marbles to their rightful home and their rightful owners.
Mr Bill Papastergiadis, President of the Greek Community of Melbourne said the Greek Centre has truly become a symbol of the emerging unity and presence of the Hellenic community in Melbourne and the Frieze will be a visible reminder of this.
“These symbols will play an important part in identifying our Centre as the global base for the Greek diaspora,” he said Mr Papastergiadis also acknowledged that the original Parthenon Marbles are currently housed outside of Greece and that it was time for them to to be returned.
VIP attendance at today’s event included: The Hon Daniel Andrews, Premier of Victoria, Mr Bill Papastergiadis President of the Greek Centre Melbourne, The Hon Matthew Guy, Mr Michael Sukkar MP, The Hon Jenny Mikakos, The Hon Philip Dalidakis, Mr Peter Khalil MP, Mr Nick Staikos MP, Mr Steven Dimopoulos, Mr Giorgios Patoulis Lord Mayor of Marousi (Athens) and President of the International Health Tourism Centre and Ms Christina Simantirakis Consul General of Greece and actress and comedian actress Mary Coustas.
The Greek Community of Melbourne (Greek Orthodox Community of Melbourne and Victoria) is the principal Greek Community organisation in Australia. Established in 1897 the Greek Community of Melbourne’s core work is member and community advocacy, education and cultural practice.
The Greek Centre for Contemporary Culture was opened in 2015. Built for approximately 15 million dollars, the building was supported by the Federal and State governments. The Centre currently operates out of four levels and accommodates approximately 1200 patrons on average per week across its broad range of events that include education, public lectures, live performance, comedy and theatre. In 2018 the Centre will open a Library and a much-anticipated Gallery space.
The Frieze installation is a significant element to the Centre’s identity. Hellenes and Philhellenes around the world identify with the Parthenon and its heralded sculpture-art. Philhellenes around the world identify with the Parthenon and its heralded sculpture-art.