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Politics

Sculpture of the Greek Immigrant Unveiled in Montreal (Video)

By Zois Marinos

MONTREAL – Hundreds of Greeks and many Canadian nationals attended the unveiling of the bronze Sculpture of the Greek Immigrant on June 30 at the corner of Jean Talon Street and Park Avenue in Montreal.

“I feel deep emotion and pride for my homeland. And on the face of this monument I see the image of our fathers and grandparents who were forced to leave Greece and look for a better fortune here. And, unfortunately, the story is repeated,” Stamatis Christopoulos, 36, from Halkida, told the National Herald.

Stamatis works as an electrician. On the day of unveiling, he did not have the opportunity to be present at the event organized by Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre. Representatives of the Greek government were the Greek Ambassador to Canada George L. Marcantonatos and the Consul General in Montreal Nicolas Sigalas.

Canadian newspapers and online media covered the event, with reports and photographs. “I saw your articles in the National Herald and I felt it my duty to come here and see the monument,” said Aleka Adamopoulou, 42, a graduate of the Pedagogical Academy. Aleka works at a kindergarten in the LaSalle section of south Montreal, and has been living in Canada for six years with her husband. She comes from a village near Ancient Olympia.

The Sculpture of the Greek Migrant is the work of sculptor George Houliaras, a professor at the School of Fine Arts. “It’s enough for me to see the people were moved by the work. The people immediately understood the meaning of the project and had a good word to say,” Houliaras said at the Montreal City Hall, on the day of the reception in honor of him and in honor of his work.

The National Herald became a connecting link with a childhood friend of Houliaras from Epirus who currently lives in Pennsylvania. The reader of TNH reached out to communicate with the artist. And so, that night, TNH played the role of mediator. We gave the sculptor the contact information of our reader and that promise to speak with him.

A monument always incorporates the element of symbolism. The Sculpture of the Greek Immigrant demonstrates the tremendous contribution of the Greeks to the development of the second largest city of Canada.

“This statue is an important gesture. Among the Greek family, my own family, and Montreal,” said Mayor Denis Coderre, before thanking the Greek Deputy Mayor of Montreal Mary Deros for her participation in the effort and the realization of an idea born on the occasion of Montreal’s 375th Birthday. The mayor also called the sculptor Houliaras his “brother.”

In Montreal, the unveiling of the Greek Immigrant’s Sculpture was the event of the past week. Unfortunately, at the time of the unveiling, there was no physical representation of the Greek government apart from the Greek Ambassador to Canada and the Consul General in Montreal. As many present noted, there was not even a written message.

More works by the sculptor George Houliaras may be viewed online at www.sculpture.asfa.gr/houliaras.htm.

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