• Homage at the tomb of Ioannis Kapodistrias, emblematic figure of modern Hellenism and first Governor of Greece
• Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki: United, we can face all the challenges and difficulties
• Corfu leads in the proposals for the celebration of the 200th anniversary of the Revolution
A Committee "Greece 2021" delegation visited Corfu, the birthplace of the emblematic figure of modern Hellenism and the first Governor of Greece, Ioannis Kapodistrias. Corfu is also the birthplace of other significant individuals who left a lasting and robust imprint in modern Greek history. "Ioannis Kapodistrias was a pure-at-heart patriot. He dedicated his life to freedom and the establishment of the modern Greek State," said Committee President Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki.
"Corfu," she added, "is a place where art and culture are a fundamental part of its identity. It is one of our country's jewels. Its people have marked our history with their achievements and struggles. Nikolaos Mantzaros composed our National Anthem using the lyrics of another distinguished native of the Ionian islands, Dionysios Solomos. Spyros Samaras composed the anthem of the Olympic Games, which is heard all over the world, and always fills us with pride." A place with such remarkable history would most definitely show an intense urge to participate in the anniversary celebrations for the 200 years since the Greek Revolution, and it did so by submitting a total of fifteen exceptional proposals to the Committee's platform, the largest number among the municipalities, along with the Municipality of Epidaurus. Committee Assembly members Professors Nikos Kanellopoulos, Napoleon Maraveyas, and Despoina Mouzaki also participated in the visit.
Homage to Ioannis Kapodistrias, the first Governor of Greece
The "homage" at the tomb of the first Governor of Greece, Ioannis Kapodistrias, in the Holy Monastery of Theotokos Platyteras, was a memorable and emotionally charged moment. The delegation paid tribute to this remarkable Greek who influenced the struggle for the Nation's liberation by linking his political career with the laying of the foundations of the modern Greek State. The Committee delegation also toured the Kapodistrias Museum - Centre for Kapodistrian Studies, the only museum in Greece dedicated exclusively to the great politician's life and work. "Greece is indebted to the distinguished personality of Ioannis Kapodistrias, the man who offered his political wisdom, his diplomatic skills, his experience, but above all his pure patriotism and his personal effort for the establishment of the Greek State," the President of the Committee wrote in the Museum's guest book.
The Ionian islands are a bridge between Greece and Western Europe
During the visit, the Committee delegation met in the Ionian Islands' Regional Building with the Regional Governor Rodi Kratsa-Tsagaropoulou and at the old Town Hall with the Mayor of Central Corfu and the Diapontia Islands, Meropi Hydraiou. In her statement at the end of the meeting, Mrs. Kratsa highlighted the remarkable history of the Ionian islands, which, she said, constituted the European part of Greece without ever being separated from it. "We are the bridge between Greece and Western Europe," she stressed and added that the islands served as the crossroads for Philhellenes to reach Greece and join the Revolution. As she pointed out, the goal of the Region, on the occasion of the 200 years since the Revolution, is to highlight the contribution of the Ionian Islands "in the great battles for freedom and independence" and to highlight the women who distinguished themselves in this effort. "Ionian people have always been united. This legacy guides us into the future. We must continue to be united, in solidarity, and use what the past has bestowed upon us, namely extroversion and cultural pluralism, as an inspiration for the future and an endowment for our modern identity," she concluded. For her part, referring to the 200 years since the Revolution, the Mayor Mrs. Hydraiou spoke of the beginning of a beautiful journey into the past that has references in the present and perspective into the future and aspires to the sustainable development of the area. "The Ionian scholars and political men contributed greatly to the groundwork for the Greek Revolution of 1821, with Ioannis Kapodistrias, the first Governor of Greece, as the leading man", she said, praising, among other things, the advancement, principles, and ideals employed by the influential politician, ideals integrally interwoven with the advancement and history of the area.
During these meetings, the President of the Committee expressed her sympathy for the natural catastrophe that affected the Ionian Islands during the last days and sent a message of unity and perseverance: "Greeks, when united, can face all challenges and difficulties. Our past proves it. Greece overcame a decade-long crisis. Today, we confront the pandemic and the developments in Greek-Turkish relationships with thoughtfulness and responsibility. The Greek people stand firmly on their feet when they are armed with this unique love for their country. We need this self-assurance to move forward in the future."
Productive discussion with local organizations on the proposals of the Municipality
The Committee delegation had an extremely fruitful discussion with productive and cultural organizations from the local community about the proposals submitted by the Municipality of Corfu and the prospects for the development of the island. The discussion took place in the Ionian Parliament's historic building, where, in 1863, the decree on the union with Greece was signed. Representatives of the Municipal and Regional Authority and the Members of Parliament, Stefanos Gkikas (ND), and Dimitris Biagis (KINAL) were present. It is stated that the proposals submitted by the Municipality of Corfu concern projects that aim at highlighting the past in a unique and modern way, through the use of digital technology, applications for educating the citizens on current key issues, such as waste management, but also ground-breaking initiatives such as the creation of innovation hubs and a laboratory for a pioneer teaching approach to benefit the students.
The representatives of the local community stated the fact that 2021 does not only signify the 200 years since the Revolution but also 190 years since the assassination of the first Governor of Greece, as well as 450 years since the historic Battle of Lepanto when a fleet assembled by Western states successfully confronted the Ottoman fleet. The discussion focused on how, with the bicentennial as the starting point, local communities can use ingenuity to highlight their past. In particular, in her speech, the President of the Committee pointed out that it is crucial for each place to find an intelligent way to exhibit its identity and through the collaboration and coalition with the diverse Greek regions to render the anniversary a common objective.