NEW YORK – The photo exhibition Archaeological Site of Philippi: A Landmark of European Heritage opened on January 8 at the Consulate General of Greece in New York hosted by the Consulate and the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports Ephorate of Antiquities of Kavala.
The remains of the walled city of Philippi lie at the foot of an acropolis in the region of Eastern Macedonia-Thrace, on the ancient route linking Europe and Asia, the Via Egnatia. Founded in 356 BC by the Macedonian King Philip II, the city developed as a “mini-Rome” with the establishment of the Roman Empire in the decades following the Battle of Philippi, in 42 BCE. Later, the city became a center of the Christian faith following the visit of the Apostle Paul in 49-50 CE. The remains of its basilicas constitute an exceptional testimony to the early establishment of Christianity. The Archaeological Site of Philippi, is included in UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Monuments since 2016.
The exhibition will be on display at the Embassy of Greece until February 4. Visiting Hours: Monday-Friday, 9 AM- 2:30 PM.
At the opening reception, wine was kindly provided by Chateau Nico Lazaridis, Adriani Drama.
The exhibition opening is the first event of the new year and laid a solid foundation for all the upcoming events. Consul General of Greece in New York Konstantinos Koutras gave the welcoming remarks and introduced Stavroula Dadaki of the Ministry of Culture and Sports, Ephorate of Antiquities of Kavala.
In collaboration with the Ephorate of Antiquities of Kavala – Thasos, the exhibition traveled from Kavala to New York with photographs, explanatory texts, and maps.
The exhibition was accompanied by its curator Michalis Lykounas and by the director Stavroula Dadaki, both archaeologists at the Ephorate of Antiquities of Kavala. Both Dadaki and Lykounas made an excellent presentation of the exhibition, as well as the goals they have set, to promote tourism in the Philippi region and to present Kavala and the natural beauty of these areas.
Dadaki referred to the ten-year effort of the Municipal Authorities, supported by the Ministry of Culture, to include Philippi on the list of World Heritage Monuments.
She gave a brief overview of the history of Philippi and the King of Macedonia Philip II, who named it after himself, to the achievements of the Hellenistic period, the change of the historical map after Philippi’s famed battle in 42 BC which turned it into a Roman colony. The battle marked the end of the Republic in Rome and laid the foundations for the Roman Empire.
Both Lykounas and Dadaki during their presentation gave special emphasis to the role of Philippi as the first place in Europe where Apostle Paul founded the first Christian church on European soil in 49-50 AD and baptized on the banks of the Zygaki River the first European Christian, Lydia, who was a porphyra (purple dye) merchant. From there, Christianity spread throughout Greece and the rest of Europe.
To this day people travel to Philippi to be baptized in the river where the first European Christian was baptized.
Archaeological research in the Philippi area continues and the Ministry of Culture, with the help of European funding programs, has focused its efforts so that within five years Philippi will be recognized globally and attract more visitors.
Lykounas also referred to the support of their effort to bring the exhibition to the United States. “This exhibition would not be here without the participation of a number of people who gave us ideas and created what you see. Our graphic designer Elsa Nikoletou worked through several nights to finish the designs before we printed them. But even the smallest effort cannot be realized if there is no money. We were very fortunate to have not only financial but also moral support from a very dynamic high-tech company, Raycap, in our region. Not only does our region have antiquities, but also a very strong future that enables us to attract investors.”
In response to The National Herald’s question about the main objective of this exhibition, Lykounas replied, “Our aim is to inform the world and especially the expatriates who come from there about how proud and lucky we should feel about our homeland. We want to excite the interest of visitors with this exhibition, so when they return home they immediately google www.kavalagreece.com and visit Kavala the next summer.”
“Those of you who decide to come to Kavala will tell us that you have seen our exhibition at the Consulate General in New York and in Washington and I promise you that we and our colleagues will give you the guided tour,” Lykounas continued, adding that “I hope to see you in Kavala. Now, you can enjoy the delicious food from Titan, made by our compatriot and taste the Macedonian wine from the Nikos Lazaridis Winery, which firmly supports us.”
The exhibition continues through February 4 with the kind support of Raycap.
For more information about visiting Philippi, contact Stavroula Dadaki by phone: 2510228689 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.