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Society of Kytherian Studies

8th International Panionian Conference.

Brief Report

A great success

The 8th International Panionian Conference (PI 8) held in Kythera from the 21st to the 25th of May 2006 was a great success. President of the Society of Kytherian Studies, who was also the President of the Organising Committee of the 8th International Panionian Conference, Prof. Nikos Petrochilos, proved himself to be both an exceptional organiser and an extremely good host to all the participants who attended the Conference. All of the members of the organising Committee contributed to the Conferences' overwhelming success. They worked tirelessly for the four years leading up to the staging of the event.

On May 21st* PI 8 began with celebrations commemorating the union of the seven Ionian islands with mainland Greece in 1864. The official ceremony took place at the church of Myrtidiotissa in the Venetian Castle – Chora Kythira. The official speech was delivered by Prof. George N. Leontsinis, Vice-Major of the Municipality of Kythera. Following the ceremony a parade was staged in Chora.

The conference participants who had already arrived then had lunch at the Pieros restaurant on the main road, in Livadi.

At 5 o’ clock in the afternoon the official opening of the Conference took place with a speech by Professor Nikos Petrochilos, the President of the Conference, delivered in Greek, English and Italian, at the room of Kythiraikos Syndesmos of Chora. The representatives of the seven Ionian islands as well as the representative of the Prime Minister and the Government Undersecretary of the Ministry of National Defence, Mr Vasilis Michaloliakos were present at the opening of the Conference.

At 8 p.m. of the same day, at the Potamos Cultural Centre, an exhibition was opened, of engravings, from the Benaki Museum of Athens. This exhibition was supervised by Prof. Kaiti Aroni-Tsichli and Mrs Fani-Maria Tsigakou, curator of the Benaki Museum.

Kytherian dances, music and songs followed at a restaurant in Potamos.

The official lecture program of the PI 8 began at 9 a.m., on the 22nd of May, in 4 rooms in Chora. They were held con-jointly. Lecture topics covered a broad field of study, of relevance to the Ionian islands. These included Archaeology, Architecture and Urban Planning, History, Institutions, Constitution and Public Administration, Folklore and Social Anthropology, Society and Economy, Culture and Civilisation, Natural and Human Environment – Ecology.

At the end of the morning session, at 3 p.m., a voluntary visit to the Myrtidia Monastery took place, with Eleni Charou-Koronaiou as a guide, and at 8.30 p.m., at the end of the afternoon session, a great concert was given by the Lyrae Cantus, who sang "Syntaxi" composed by Panagiotis Leftheris at the Polychoros Zeidoros Theater of Kapsali. Dinner followed at restaurants of Livadi.

At the end of the morning session of Tuesday, May 23, a visit to the local Historical Archives in the Castle and various other historical places, buildings and churches of Chora took place. Gavrilis Nikiforakis and Eleni Charou-Koronaiou were the guides.

At 8.30 p.m. an excellent theatrical performance took place at the Polychoros Zeidoros Theater of Kapsali. The performance, produced by Mrs Anna Tsichli-Bouasona, was based on the characters of the Eptanesian Theatre.

After the performance dinner was served at the fascinating area surrounding of the Theatre. The participants of the Conference were enchanted by the excellent view and the delicious food.

After the morning session of May 24, a voluntary visit to the Monastery of Osios Theodoros and the ancient region of Paliochora took place. The Byzantinologist Theodoros Koukoulis was the guide.

At the end of the evening session a music night took place with the famous musicians Notis Mavroudis, Giorgos Margaris and the singer Morfo Tsaireli at the Raikos Hotel. Dinner was served there. The ambience of the evening was perfect.

The program of the 8th International Panionian Conference concluded at noon on the 25th of May.

The next International Panionian Conference, the 9th, was entrusted to the island of Paxoi. PI 9 will be conducted in the year 2010.

The participants left Kythera with excellent impressions. They expressed their delight very openly and effusively. All of them said that they were totally absorbed by the magic of Kythera, and that they were thinking of visiting the island again very soon.

*Unifi­cation of the Heptanese with mainland Greece, 21st May 1864

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