The Identity of the Mount Athos Center
WHAT IS THE MOUNT ATHOS CENTER
The “Mount Athos Center” is an urban-non-profit organization, founded in 2000 by the Municipality of Thessaloniki in collaboration with the Holy Community of Mount Athos and it essentially forms the institutional continuation and the natural “evolution” of the monumental exhibition “Treasures of Mount Athos”, held in 1997, within the framework and under the auspices of “Thessaloniki: Cultural Capital of Europe”.
The Center is located in the heart of the city, at the historic Nedelkos Mansion, on 109 Egnatia Road, a building which was donated by the City of Thessaloniki for the Centers’ activities.
FOUNDING, CHARTER, AIMS
On May 13, 2000, in Karees, at the meeting room of the Holy Community of the Holy Mountain, the founding act for the formation of the Mount Athos Center was signed by the representatives of the Municipality of Thessaloniki, Mayor Vasilis Papageorgopoulos, the Primate of Mount Athos, Elder Ioannikios Dionysiatis, and the three overseers, Elder Athanasios of the monastery of Zographou, Hieromonk Kyrionos of the Monastery of Saint Panteleimon and Elder Ephraim of the monastery of Konstamonitou.
The decisions of the two responsible bodies corresponding to the two parties involved in the formation of the Mount Athos Center had preceded the signing of the act, one being the City Council of Thessaloniki and the other being the Holy Community of Mount Athos, in response to the official proposals and increasing requests placed upon them by the Coordinating Committee for the Exhibition the Treasures of Mount Athos, in implementation of its decision, that there would be some continuation of that great and historic event, which received world notice and was declared as a major highlight for the year 1997, and was celebrated globally.
The Aims of the Mount Athos Center, as they are described in its charter, are the following:
A. The utilization and proper management of the preserved building of the former Nedelko Clinic, property of the Municipality of Thessaloniki located on 109 Egnatia Street, where the exhibits of religious-worship and artistic value will be housed, along with articles that comprise the functional continuation of the Exhibition “Treasures of Mount Athos.”
B. The organization and function of a legislative body of study, research and demonstration of Mount Athos and its long lasting historical bond with the city of Thessaloniki.
C. The organization and function of exhibits which will display the long monastic tradition of Mount Athos, the role, of Orthodox Monasticism in general, its historical and cultural path, the great spiritual and cultural heritage and the contemporary mission of Mount Athos.
D. The organization of a library with all the publication, if possible, Greek and foreign, pertaining with Mount Athos, Orthodox Monasticism and Byzantine Culture.
E. The organization of conferences, talks, symposia and other such events which will support and demonstrate the aims of the Mount Athos Center.
F. The publication of scientific studies, monographs, catalogues, reprints etc. from the libraries of the Holy Monasteries and other Athonite establishments, the events of the Mount Athos Center or the on sight collaborations and requested studies.
G. The organization and function of a designated special meeting room “Epitropikon” of the Holy Community inside the building of the former Nedelko Clinic, which will serve the needs of communication of the Sacred Community and will operate under its full and exclusive competency.
H. The realization of national and European programs, as well as the development of collaborative relationships with international bodies of similar activity.
I. The development of every other related activity.
An important course of events is already materializing its aims
• The organization of the large exhibit of “Manuel Panselinos from the Holy Church of the Protaton” featuring the outstanding work of the legendary iconographer Manuel Panselinos, the most celebrated representative of the Palaiologean art renaissance (April-September 2003).
• The publication of rare and out of print books, like “The History of Mount Athos” by Kosmas Vlachos (1903, series of Athonite Selections no. 2 – 2005), the republication of the work of Gabriel Millet with the inscriptions found on the Athonite Monasteries (1904, series of Athonite Selection no. 1 – 2004) and the special publication “Saint Demitrios in the Art of Mount Athos” (2005).
• Yearbooks with valuable educational, scientific research studies, photographs, etc.
• Cataloguing and publication of the iconographic programs of the churches of Mount Athos.
• Photography Exhibitions, such as the captures the archives of Fred Boissonnas (1928-1930) and of photographer G. Poupi from the religious ceremonies on the Holy Mountain.
STRUCTURE, ORGANIZATION AND FUNCTION
The Mount Athos Center is run by a governing body of seven Legislative Council members presided over by the Mayor of Thessaloniki (ex officio). The council has an honorary president the current Overseer of Mount Athos. As for the other six members of the council, three are appointed by the Council of the Municipality of Thessaloniki and three are representatives from the Holy Community of Mount Athos. The position of vice president is held by one of the council members from the Holy Mountain. In the event of the absence of the president, he is represented by one of the appointed members from the city council of Thessaloniki.
The Legislative Council has the responsibility of governing the organization, planning its programs, projects and events, its correspondence and relation with Mount Athos and the entirety of institutions and organizations in Greece and abroad.
The Legislative Council has a four year term and takes over when the current municipal authority assumes responsibility.
The present Legislative Council is comprised of:
Yiannis Boutaris, Mayor of Thessaloniki, President, L.C.
Holiness Elder Nikodimos, Hieromonk Lavriotis, Representative of the Holy Community, Vice President
Holiness Elder Varnavas Vatopedinos, Representative of the Holy Community, Member
Holiness Elder Nikodimos Agiopavlitis, Representative of the Holy Community, Member
Panagiotis Avramopoulos, President of the Municipal Council of the City of Thessaloniki, member
Sriros Pegas, Deputy mayor of culture, education & tourism of the city of Thessaloniki, member
Giorgos Gerakis, City Councilman of the City of Thessaloniki, member
Dimitrios Salpistis, Special advisor for the Mount Athos Center
Anastasios Douros, Secretary of the Legislative Council of the Mount Athos Center
Egnatias 109 - Nedelkou Building
54635 Thessaloniki, Greece
Egnatias 109 - Nedelkou Building
54635 Thessaloniki, Greece