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Press Office

Athens, 20 October 2021

President of Hellenic Parliament received Presidents/Speakers of Parliament of CoE member states at former Public Tobacco Factory

"We start our conference with an exhibition which has the title PORTALS, gates, πύλη in the Greek language, because we feel that after this pandemic some portals, some gates, are open and wait for us to pass through them, not to continue the same style of life, before the pandemic". With these remarks, the President of the Hellenic Parliament Mr. Constantine Tassoulas welcomed the Presidents/Speakers of Parliament of the member states of the Council of Europe, who came to our country to participate in the European Conference on October 21 and 22 in Athens, at the exhibition hall of the Parliament in the former Public Tobacco Factory.

Welcoming his counterparts, the President of the Hellenic Parliament pointed out that the organization of this Conference and their arrival in our country "coincide with a unique historic year for Greece, as we celebrate the two centuries since the outbreak of the Greek Revolution, the war for our liberation.”

"Οur hospitality starts by bringing you in contact with contemporary art," Mr. Tassoulas underlined, making special reference to the building of the former Public Tobacco Factory that became property of the Hellenic Parliament, about twenty years ago. He also referred to the recent cooperation of the Parliament with the cultural organization NEON and its founder Mr. Dimitris Daskalopoulos, for the utilization of this building and the transformation of many of its spaces into an art gallery, which hosts the works of 59 artists from all over the world.

The President of the Parliament pointed out that "it is a worthy coincidence  that many Presidents/Speakers of Parliament are in Greece to participate in this Conference which elaborates critical issues such as democracy and human rights, environmental protection and the future Europe’s people". When referring to the exhibition entitled PORTALS, where he welcomed the Presidents/Speakers of Parliament before the Conference, Mr. Tassoulas stressed, that after the huge ordeal of the pandemic “we believe that we will pass through these "gates" and try to organise our lives in a different, more realistic and down-to-earth way, with other values, trying to move towards a new normality, perceived via these works of art and interpreted in very personal ways".

"The Greek way to start such an important political conference is by appreciating art and the freedom of its interpretation. So, please enjoy it and feel stronger for our Conference that starts tomorrow, because the issues that we will deal with and the tasks that we have before us, are very critical and the "gates" that we have to cross are very positive, if we realize our new duties" concluded the President of the Hellenic Parliament.

After the President's speech, the Presidents/Speakers of the Parliaments of the member states of the Council of Europe were guided around the Contemporary Art Exhibition PORTALS.





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