Academy of Athens
The Academy of Athens (Greek: Ακαδημία Αθηνών) is Greece's national academy, and the highest research establishment in the country. It was established in 1926, and operates under the supervision of the Ministry of Education. The Academy's main building is one of the major landmarks of Athens.
History and structure
The organization of the Academy of Athens, whose title hearkens back to the ancient Academy of Plato, was first established on 18 March 1926, and its charter was ratified by the law 4398/1929. This charter, with subsequent amendments, is still valid and governs the Academy's affairs. According to it, the Academy is divided into three Orders: Natural Sciences, Letters and Arts, Moral and Political Sciences.
The Academy today, maintains 12 research centres, 10 research offices and the "Ioannis Sykoutris" central library. In 2002, the Foundation for Biomedical Research of the Academy of Athens was established. The Hellenic Institute for Byzantine and Post-Byzantine Studies in Venice also functions under the supervision of the Academy.
Membership in international organizations
From its foundation, the Academy of Athens has been a member of the International Association of Academies (AIA), and the International Council of Scientific Unions (ICSU). It also participates in the following body: All European Academies (ALLEA), European Academies Science Advisory Council (EASAC), Inter Academy Council (IAC), Inter Academy Medical Panel (IAMP).
The main building of the Academy is a neoclassical building between Panepistimiou Street and Akadimias Street in the centre of Athens. The building was designed as part of an architectural "trilogy" in 1859 by the Danish architect Theophil Hansen, along with the University and the National Library. Funds had been provided by the magnate Simon Sinas specifically for the purpose, and the foundation stone was laid on 2 August 1859. Construction proceeded rapidly, after 1861 under the supervision of Ernst Ziller, but the internal tumults during the latter years of King Otto's reign, which resulted in his ousting in 1862, hampered construction until it was stopped in 1864. Works resumed in 1868, but the building was not completed until 1885, at a total cost of 2,843,319 gold drachmas, most of it provided by Sinas, and, after his death, by his wife Ifigeneia. The sculptures were undertaken by the Greek Leonidas Drosis, while the murals and paintings by the Austrian Christian Griepenkerl.
On 20 March 1887, the building of the "Sinaean Academy", as it was called, was delivered by Ziller to the Greek Prime Minister, Charilaos Trikoupis. In the absence of a national Academy, the building was used for housing the Numismatic Museum in 1890, and in 1914 the Byzantine Museum and the State Archives. Finally, on 24 March 1926, the building was handed over to the newly-established Academy of Athens.
Fashioned out of fine marble, the facade of the Building of the Academy of Athens, faces Panepistimiou Avenue. One side faces the University of Athens and the other two face the garden of the Academy, which extends north to Akadimia Avenue and east to Sina Street.
The Building consists of a central part with two wings, and displays characteristics of the Ionian rhythm. Its central part is designed along the lines of an amphiprostyle temple.
It is generally acknowledged by both Greek and foreign experts that the Building of the Academy of Athens constitutes one of the most exquisite neoclassical buildings worldwide. The Academic Anastasios Orlandos, has emphasized that: The secret of its (the Academy's) beauty lies not only in its harmonious lines and in the successful proportions of the Ionian components, but also in its shape, which is that of a decumbent Pi (Π); this arrangement creates successive recesses and projections, leading to acute shifts of light and shade between the vertical surfaces of the buildings. These furnish the whole complex with plasticity, movement and even drama.
The Building of the Academy of Athens has a rich sculptural decoration, which was executed over the course of a decade, from the 1870s up to the mid 1880s. The major part of the decoration is the work of the sculptor Leonidas Drosis (1843-1884), Professor at the Scholeion Technon, as the Polytechnic was then known, who had studied in Munich and Dresden on a scholarship from Simon Sinas.
The main sculptural decoration is found on the pediment of the entrance to the Academy. It consists of a representation of the birth of Athina, sculpted in the round. This masterly work of art is a multiple-figured composition, based on a design by the great Austrian painter Karl Rahl. It is the work of Drosis and elicited the first prize at the exhibition of Vienna in 1872.
The terra-cotta sculptures adorning the eight smaller pediments of the building's two wings, are based on designs by Hansen. These works by the Polish sculptor Franz Melnitzki, depict Athina as patron of agriculture, small industry, shipbuilding and the sciences in general.
On either side of the building's prostyle there are two statues: On the right that of Apollo the guitar-player (3.71 m. high), and on the left that of Athina the defender (4.11 m. high). Both are mounted on pillars in the Ionian rhythm (the overall height is 23.25 m.), and are works by Drosis.
In the forecourt to the entrance of the Academy, there are two more statues (2.40 m. high), both seated; on the left that of Plato and on the right that of Socratis. The models for these statues were executed by Drosis and they were then sculpted out of marble from the mountain of Penteli by the Italian sculptor Piccarelli. They were placed in their present location in 1885.
On the same site there are also marble lamp-posts. Their bases are decorated on all four sides with heads of Dias in relief, and on the four corners with owls sculpted in the round.
During the 1980s, a century after the execution of the sculptural decoration of the Academy of Athens, the sculptor Praxitelis Tzanoulinos, with the guidance and supervision of his teacher the Academic Giannis Pappas, carried out the conservation of the sculptures on the Building's pediments. In the same decade, busts of the architects Theophil Hansen and Ernst Ziller, of the sculptor Leonidas Drosis and of the painter of the Academy's public meeting hall Christian Griepenkerl, all works by the sculptor Aekaterini Chalepa-Katsatou were placed in the courtyard between the central building of the Academy and the west wing.
Statue of Athina the defender sculpted by Leonidas Drosis 1834-1882
Statue of Apollo sculpted by Leonidas Drosis 1834-1882
Plato and Socratis by Leonidas Drosis (1834-1882) and Attilio Picarelli (1866-1945)
Modern Greek: Αθήνα, Athína, Katharevousa: Athine, Ancient Greek: Athēnai
- Location: Athens is located in Greece
- Coordinates: 37°58′N 23°43′E
- Country: Greece
- Region: Attica
- Regional unit: Central Athens
- Districts: 7
- Mayor: Giorgos Kaminis (PASOK) (since: 29 December 2010)
- Population statistics (as of 2011)
- UrbanPopulation: 3,074,160
Area: 412 km2 (159 sq mi)
Density: 7,462 /km2 (19,325 /sq mi)
- MetropolitanPopulation: 3,737,550
Area: 2,928.717 km2 (1,131 sq mi)
Density: 1,276 /km2 (3,305 /sq mi)
- MunicipalityPopulation: 655,780
Area: 38.964 km2 (15 sq mi)
Density: 16,830 /km2 (43,591 /sq mi)
- Time zone: EET/EEST (UTC+2/3)
- Elevation (min-max): 70 - 338 m (230 - 1109 ft)
- Postal: 10x xx, 11x xx, 120 xx
- Telephone: 21
- Auto: Yxx, Zxx, Ixx (excluding ZAx and INx)
- Website: www.cityofathens.gr
Athens is the capital and largest city of Greece. Athens dominates the Attica periphery and is one of the world's oldest cities, as its recorded history spans around 3,400 years. Classical Athens was a powerful city-state. A centre for the arts, learning and philosophy, home of Plato's Academy and Aristotle's Lyceum, it is widely referred to as the cradle of Western civilization and the birthplace of democracy, largely due to the impact of its cultural and political achievements during the 5th and 4th centuries BC on the rest of the then known European continent. Today a cosmopolitan metropolis, modern Athens is central to economic, financial, industrial, political and cultural life in Greece and it is rated as an Alpha world city. In 2008, Athens was ranked the world's 32nd richest city by purchasing power and the 25th most expensive in a UBS study.
The Greek capital has a population of 655,780 (796,442 back in 2004) within its administrative limits and a land area of 39 km2 (15 sq mi). The urban area of Athens (Greater Athens and Greater Piraeus) extends beyond the administrative municipal city limits, with a population of 3,074,160 (in 2011), over an area of 412 km2 (159 sq mi). According to Eurostat, the Athens Larger Urban Zone (LUZ) is the 7th most populous LUZ in the European Union (the 4th most populous capital city of the EU) with a population of 4,013,368 (in 2004).
The heritage of the classical era is still evident in the city, represented by a number of ancient monuments and works of art, the most famous of all being the Parthenon, widely considered a key landmark of early Western civilization. The city also retains a vast variety of Roman and Byzantine monuments, as well as a smaller number of remaining Ottoman monuments projecting the city's long history across the centuries. Athens is home to two UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the Acropolis of Athens and the medieval Daphni Monastery. Landmarks of the modern era, dating back to the establishment of Athens as the capital of the independent Greek state in 1833, include the Hellenic Parliament (19th century) and the Athens Trilogy consisting of the National Library of Greece, the Athens University and the Academy of Athens. Athens was the host city of the first modern-day Olympic Games in 1896, and 108 years later it welcomed home the 2004 Summer Olympics. Athens is home to the National Archeological Museum, featuring the world's largest collection of ancient Greek antiquities, as well as the new Acropolis Museum.
- Wells, John C. (1990). Longman pronunciation dictionary. Harlow, England: Longman. p. 48. ISBN 0582053838. entry "Athens"
- "Contents and Principles of the Programme of Unification of the Archaeological Sites of Athens". Hellenic Ministry of Culture. www.yppo.gr
- CNN & Associated Press (16 January 1997). "Greece uncovers 'holy grail' of Greek archeology". CNN.com. Archived from the original on 6 December 2007.
- "Ancient Greek Athenai, historic city and capital of Greece. Many of classical civilization's intellectual and artistic ideas originated there, and the city is generally considered to be the birthplace of Western civilization"
- BBC History on Greek Democracy – Accessed on 26 January 2007
- Encarta: Ancient Greece[dead link] – Retrieved on 26 January 2007. Archived 2009-10-31.
- "The World According to GaWC 2008". Globalization and World Cities Study Group and Network (GaWC) based at the geography department of Loughborough University. 2008.
- "City Mayors: World's richest cities by purchasing power". City Mayors. 2008.
http://www.citymayors.com/economics/usb-purchasing-power.html. Retrieved 12 May 2008.
- "City Mayors: Cost of living – The world's most expensive cities". City Mayors. 2008.
- Hellenic Statistical Authority " PRESS RELEASE:Publication of provisional results of the 2011 Population Census", Hellenic Statistical Authority (EL.STAT.), July 22, 2011, accessed August 14, 2011.
- Athens Facts (2011). "Athens Facts & Figures". aviewoncities.com.
- "Characteristics". Hellenic Interior Ministry. www.ypes.gr. Archived from the original on 4 January 2007.
- "ΕΛΣΤΑΤ Απογραφη 2011". www.statistics.gr.
- CNN & Sports Illustrated (5 September 1997). "Sentiment a factor as Athens gets 2004 Olympics". sportsillustrated.cnn.com
Wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Academy_of_Athens_(modern)
Wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Athens
Wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Athena_Varvakeion_-_MANA_-_Fidias.jpg
Academy of Athens, Athens, Greece Map
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