One of the most emblematic personalities of contemporary Greece, Melina Mercouri, had a brilliant career both within modern cinema and the country’s political scene. The Greek legend was distinguished for her spontaneous character, the passion for representing Greece as a cultural ambassador abroad, and her campaign to return the Elgin Marbles back to their original owners, the Parthenon and the Acropolis Museum.
The Ministry of Culture hosts a single-day event for the commemoration of 25 years since Melina Mercouri lost her life. The event, entitled ‘Melina, we remember you’, will take place on Wednesday 6 March at the Greek Film Archive Foundation. The event will begin with the projection of the renowned drama film Stella, which was first screened at 1955 Cannes Film Festival. Stella was directed by Michael Cacoyannis and represents one of the living masterpieces of the Greek Film industry. A follow-up panel discussion will ensue with former colleagues of Melina Mercouri, namely Manuela Pavlidou, Christoforos Argyropoulos, Manos Zacharias and Stella Chrysoulaki discussing Melina’s biography both as a person of interest and an individual.
The Wednesday event is only the first from a series of processions that are scheduled to take place during March to pay tribute to Melina Mercouri’s heritage to the Greek civilisation. Two follow up events are planned in cooperation with Municipal Peripheral Theatres (DIPETHE) and the Melina Programme . The Melina Programme initiated as a pilot ministerial initiative back in 1994, during Melina Mercouri’s second tenure as the Greek Minister of Culture. The initiative seeks to upgrade the value of arts and culture education in the Hellenic society and undertake actions that would materialise this vision. In her commemoration message, Minister of Culture Myrsini Zorba argued that Melina’s initiatives still remain important in the modern age. There are countless interventions which improved the cultural dimension of the Hellenic society, such as the establishment of the DIPETHE institution, the campaign for the return of Parthenon Marbles, even the Melina Programme itself. All of them constitute major institutional and political heritage of Melina’s efforts for a better Greece.