NEW YORK — The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, together with the Ίδρυμα Μείζονος Ελληνισμού (Foundation for the Hellenic World), are joining forces to promote the historical, religious and cultural heritage of Hellenism, in the United States. To commence this program, on February 1, 2020 His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America and Vice President of the Foundation for the Hellenic World Sofia Kounenaki-Efraimoglou, virtually signed a Memorandum of Cooperation, which coincides with the year of the 200th Anniversary of the Greek Revolution of 1821.
The program will launch as soon as conditions allow and will begin with the transfer to the United States of the cultural and educational interactive virtual reality presentations by the producers of the Foundation for the Hellenic World, and all its digital collections, so that they can be viewed and experienced by Greek Americans and all others.
First to be displayed will be an interactive, virtual tour of Hagia Sophia, the center of our Orthodox Faith and our Orthodox Church. The virtual reality production, which took many years of research to produce, is titled, “Hagia Sophia: 1,500 Years of History.”
After the signing of the agreement, Archbishop Elpidophoros commented, “Today’s signing, although virtual due to the pandemic, of the Memorandum of Cooperation between our Holy Archdiocese and Ίδρυμα Μείζονος Ελληνισμού makes me deeply happy. In fact, hailing from Constantinople, I am particularly moved, as well as are all Greeks Americans, all of our communities, our fellow Christians and all Americans without exception, who will have the opportunity to experience a virtual tour of the timeless Center of Christianity, the Hagia Sophia, and to admire this unique achievement and World Heritage Site, which was recently turned into a mosque again.
“I once again take this opportunity to call on the Turkish government to reverse their decision, which deeply hurts the religious ideals of all Orthodox Christians, all Christians, as well as people of all faiths.”