GreekPrime Minister Karamanlis Announces
Creation of Performing Arts Academy

Prime minister Costas Karamanlis formally announced the foundation of an Academy of the Performing Arts, following a meeting Saturday with culture minister George Voulgarakis, education minister Marietta Yannakou, and the working committee of performing artists who took part in drawing up the relevant draft law.

The Academy of Arts is another commitment that is becoming reality, Karamanlis said. "It is a strategic choice" of his New Democracy (ND) government, the premier said, stressing the fact that the relevant bill has been drafted by "people of the Arts".

"It is a step for the youth who wish to study theatre, music, dance, cinema," he said, adding that the Arts Centre would be housed at the Olympics facility in Liossia.

Voulgarakis, in turn, said that the bill would be discussed at one of the next two Inner Cabinet meetings, and will be legislated this summer.

Yannakou explained that the graduates of the Academy of Arts will have access to the institutions of higher education (AEI), adding that the Academy would be staffed by Greek and foreign artists. She said the professors would be judged on their work.

The artists' committee comprised theatrical directors Theodoros Terzopoulos and Vangelis Vogiatzis, film directors Pantelis Voulgaris, Yannis Smaragdis and Angelos Frantzis and film director/producer Athina Tsagari, former artistic director of the State Theatre of Norther Greece Vassilis Papavassiliou, composer Theodoros Antoniou, orchestra director Alexandros Myrat, concert pianist Dimitris Sgouros, maestro Nikos Tsouchlos, choreographer Dimitris Papaioannou, dance instructor Deni Efthymiou-Tsekoura, and university professor Yannis Zervas.

Terzopoulos told reporters after the meeting that "we are entering the road of realisation of the Academy of Arts", adding that the artistic community will wholeheartedly back the culture minister's efforts.

Antoniou said that a long-standing dream was finally becoming a reality, while Voulgradis said that the founding of the Academy of Arts was important, as the young generations would find a venue for expression, and Efthymou-Tsekoura termed the announcement of the Academy a "historic moment".

(Posting date 20May 2007

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