United States

American Friends of Ilias Lalaounis Jewelry Museum Benefit Cocktail Reception

November 23, 2019

NEW YORK – The American Friends of the Ilia’s Lalaounis Jewelry Museum-AFILJM held a cocktail reception on Tuesday night at Agora Gallery in Manhattan honoring Greek American Stellene Volandes, Town & Country Magazine editor in chief, and Antonis Diamataris, Deputy Minister for Expatriate Greeks.

Diamataris mentioned to his speech how honored he feels: “The Museum is the repository of Greek values, art and entrepreneurship at their best. The museum named after Ilias, a man I was so proud to call a friend, the visionary, master jewelry designer, who brought alive the masterpieces of the ancient Greeks and the Byzantines to the modern world. A highly cultivated man who proved that Greek art is timeless, who told the eternal story to an often not well-informed world, of our ancient civilization, through the brilliant imagination and presentation of his jewelry. And as the person entrusted by the Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis with the responsibility for Educational and Cultural Affairs I want to express our gratitude to Ilias Lalaounis Jewelry Museum.”

The Greek-American Stellene Volandes mentioned her Greek heritage and how proud she feels. She also shared a story describing how she decided upon a jewelry career. “It’s difficult to explain to people just how much the Lalaounis family means to me. The first piece of real jewelry I received was a small gold ring that my parents bought me at the Athens Hilton, I still have it. And that same day is the day that I began to understand the link between history and jewelry which has become a defining aspect of my coverage of this field.”

Ioanna Lalaounis welcomed and thanked everybody that attended the reception and spoke about the work that the museum is doing the last 25 years of its existence. “I want to say a few words for the work of the museum and why we are here today since our cultural history narrates stories that can relate to the present day and also shine in the future. This December our museum celebrates 25 years of operation offering to the public culture programs, unique exhibitions and beautiful jewelry. Together, with the American friends of the organization, we are looking forward to the future to engage the American community in the programs that we are producing.”

Lila Lalaounis was emotional and said to TNH: “I feel so proud and moved about tonight. I have a feeling that my husband is somewhere here and proudly watching his daughters. Ioanna works so hard to grow the legacy of her father and she is doing it very well. Through this museum we are trying to grow the relationship between American and Greek people. Not only for the museum but because we want to give to America.”

Member of the board Sofia Mylonas said to TNH: “I am so proud that I am on the board that links the arts of jewelry with the culture of Greece from ancient times. It’s a beautiful museum and everybody should visit it.”


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