The US Ambassador to Greece, Geoffrey Pyatt met with Greek Culture Minister Lina Mendoni on Wednesday, where he emphasised the need for greater collaboration with Greece on cultural issues.

The meeting comes ahead of a visit to Greece by US State Department officials, including US State Department Secretary Mike Pompeo, Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs Marie Royce.

According to a ministerial statement Mendoni is scheduled to meet with both the Ambassador and Royce on October 7.

During the meeting between Pyatt and Mendoni, the ambassador noted the significance for the US of the collaboration between the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC and the Holocaust Museum of Thessaloniki under construction, as well as the possibility of collaboration with similar museums in other countries as the one in Berlin.

The US Ambassador also raised the issue of the shipwreck of “Athena”, which sank in 1946 off Astypalea island with 785 Jews on board on its way to Palestine. He asked the ministry for its assistance in providing permission for research of the wreck, which Mendoni said she would look into.

In addition, Pyatt expressed the wish that the ministry strengthens its collaboration with the J. Paul Getty Museum, which he said has in recent years completely reorganised its exhibits, focusing on narratives. Mendoni said the collaboration with The Getty has existed since 2011 and expressed an interest in collaborating on archaeological shows and antiquity preservation.

Pyatt and Mendoni also discussed the 2021 celebrations of the Greek Revolution of 1821, with Mendoni noting that the focus of events in the US should not be limited only to ancient Greece but should include modern Greek art.

Additionally, the ministerial statement noted that both officials also discussed the immediate ratification by Greek parliament of the memorandum of collaboration between the two countries that includes import restrictions of illegally traded cultural artefacts, the proposal of collaboration between Google and the ministry on digitization and digital promotion through the Art and Culture platform, and the promotion of large-scale film productions, the ministry statement said.


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