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Alongside the ‘Mount Athos: Treasures of the Protaton’ exhibition the first scientific conference dedicated to the Protaton was organised. The conference explored the Protaton’s dual role as the administrative and spiritual centre of Mount Athos and as a church, a centre of worship for the whole of the Athonite monastic state. A large number of the papers presented at the conference focused on the history of the Protaton, its architecture and its monumental paintings – the work of Manuel Panselinos, a leading painter of the Palaiologan era. Of especial importance were the papers that dealt with the problems, and proposed solutions, regarding the conservation and restoration of both the church and its wall paintings. 

The conference formed part of the programme of events for the 41st Demetria Festival and was realized in collaboration with the Thessaloniki Office of the Organisation for the Promotion of Hellenic Culture – Cultural Olympiad. 

The opening ceremony of the conference, which was held in the Conference Hall of the Society for Macedonian Studies on Saturday 21 October 2006, was attended by the Ecumenical Patriarch, His All-Holiness Bartholomew, who inaugurated the proceedings. The conference was also addressed by Elder Nikodemos Lavriotes on behalf of the Holy Community and Mr. Vasilios Papageorgopoulos, Mayor of Thessaloniki and President of the Board of the Mount Athos Center. The ceremony closed with a speech by the hegumen of Iveron Monastery, Archimandrite Basil, on the theme ‘Manuel Panselinos: Theological Comments on his Life and Work’.

The conference was continued in the Thessaloniki History Centre on Monday 23 and Tuesday 24 October 2006. Through the four thematic units that were developed during the course of the conference, presentations were made on Karyes as the administrative and spiritual centre of Mount Athos; the historical, symbolic and artistic value of the Protaton Church; the work of the Protaton Restoration Committee concerning the conservation and restoration of the Protaton Church and its wall paintings, and the magnificent work of Manuel Panselinos, the leading iconographer of the Palaiologan era.    


Date: 21, 23 and 24 October 2006
Venue: Conference Hall of the Society for Macedonian Studies (opening ceremony) and the Thessaloniki History Centre (conference proceedings)
Conference programme:: click here

Conference Scientific Committee
Nikolaos Makrantonakis, Professor Emeritus, University of Ioannina 
Athanasios Paliouras, Professor Emeritus, University of Ioannina
Nikos Nikonanos, Professor Emeritus, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki 
Ioannis Tavlakis, Director, 10th Ephorate of Byzantine Antiquities
Ioakeim Papangelos, Doctor of Archaeology
Organisation of Conference
Director: Demetrios Salpistis
Co-ordinator: Anastasios Douros
Secretarial support: Maria Giannelou, Eleni Saxoni
Technical support: Costas Tachtsidis
Parallel events
Mount Athos: Treasures of the Protaton (May-December 2006)

Agion Oros: Keimilia Protatou (exhibition catalogue in Greek)
Mount Athos: The Treasury of the Protaton (shorter English version of the catalogue)







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