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The work session of the DIAZOMA Association 12th General Assembly, which took place on the islands of Naxos and Delos from Wednesday, September 18 to Sunday, September 22, 2019, has been completed with great success.
As every other year, the choice of location was a considered decision. The choice of Naxos resulted from the strong interest expressed by all the relevant bodies, and the Municipality of Naxos and Small Cyclades in particular, to develop a cultural route for the island of Naxos focusing on the island’s significant natural and cultural monuments. Moreover, the choice is pertinent to the efforts being made by DIAZOMA and relevant bodies towards the restoration of the ancient theatre of Delos.
Utilizing the know-how gained from similar projects, DIAZOMA has commissioned the development planning and marketing study thanks to the vital contributions of AEGEAS NPC and Aegean Airlines, who sponsored the sum of 20,000 euro each. Moreover, AEGEAS NPC was the co-organizer of this year’s General Assembly, donating an additional 20,000 euro. We would like to extend our warmest thanks to Aegean Airlines and AEGEAS NPC for their contributions to the Association’s actions.
During the General Assembly, 450 DIAZOMA members and friends visited significant archaeological sites on the island of Naxos (Temple of Apollo, Kastro and the Archaeological Museum, Temple of Demeter at Sagri, Temple of Dionysus at Yria, the ancient quarry and the statue of Dionysus at Apollona, museums in Apeiranthos), following the prospective Route being designed. Professor Emeritus of Classical Archaeology at the University of Athens and Secretary of the DIAZOMA Association Mr.Vasilis Lambrinoudakis guided association members around the aforementioned archaeological sites of Naxos. At the Temple of Dionysus, members and friends of DIAZOMA also enjoyed a musical performance by members of the Greek Youth Symphony Orchestra, led by its founder and musical director Mr. Dionysis Grammenos (clarinet) and the string quartet of Ms. Phoebe Rousohatzaki (violin), Ms. Marianthi Karagianni (violin), Ms. Alkisti Misouli (viola) and Ms. Eustratia Chaloulakou (violoncello).
On Friday, September 20, 2019, we visited the Sacred Isle of Delos. Professor Lambrinoudakis briefly narrated the history of Delos, while civil-engineer Mr. Kostas Zambas presented the study for the restoration of the theatre, commissioned by the Association with the kind sponsorship of OPAP S.A. to the amount of 100,000 and the contributions of our fellow citizens.
At the ancient theatre, DIAZOMA members were able to enjoy a recitation of the Homeric Hymn to Apollo performed by actress Ms. Lydia Koniordou accompanied by Mr. Dionysis Grammenos on the clarinet. Members were also able to visit British sculptor Antony Gormley’s exhibition on the island.
On Saturday, September 21, 2019, the work session of the Diazoma General Assembly took place at the Naxos Town Hall Amphitheatre. The first part of the work session was devoted to the Naxos Cultural Route. Professor Vasilis Lambrinoudakis opened the session with a speech entitled “The Journey of a Lifetime”, sharing his vision for the creation of a Naxos route linking all the magnificent cultural monuments of the island.
Subsequently, researchers Ms. Valia Karakitsou, archaeologist and executive with the research and consulting company STADION S.A., and Mr. Dimitris Koutoulas, Tourism Marketing Consultant and Assistant Professor at the University of Patras, presented the central concepts underlying the developmental planning and marketing study they are preparing. Once completed, the study will be made available to the island’s residents and authorities, with a view to the program’s inclusion in the the next NSRF, which is expected to commence in 2021.
Mr. Petros Themelis, Professor Emeritus of Classical Archaeology and Vice-President of the DIAZOMA Association, presented the myth of Ariadne in Naxos. The Naxos Cultural Route unit was completed with a video-screening and local bodies presenting the “Local Development Touches” that will also be included in the route, linking the island’s monuments with entrepreneurship and the island’s thriving primary sector.
In the second part of the work sessions, the action reports of the DIAZOMA Association and the actions planned for the following year were presented. In a speech entitled “Our Mark”, the DIAZOMA Association President presented the life cycle of the new holistic programs for Cultural Tourism- the Cultural Routes and Archaeological Parks that place monuments at the center of citizen’s lives, prosperity and sustainable development. He also stressed that the main priority of all bodies involved is the management, organization and running of cultural tourism products.
Furthermore, Treasurer Mr. Georgios Kouroupos presented the Association’s financial report for the years 2018 and 2019 and the budget for 2020. Architect-civil engineer and Board of Directors member Mr. Konstantinos Boletis spoke of “The Poetics of Multidisciplinary Cooperation”. Ms. Mary Belogianni, president of the Audit Committee, presented the Audit Committee Report for the year 2019.
In closing, we would like to extend our warmest thanks to the Municipality of Naxos and Small Cyclades, the travel Agency SOMEWHERE WE KNOW, local associations and authorities and the members of the DIAZOMA association for their contributions in the organization of our General Assembly. We are also grateful to our Corporate Members VIKOS S.A and APIVITA for providing the water and sunscreens on our tours. Finally, we express our thanks and gratitude to Professor Vasislis Lambrinoudakis, inspirer of the Naxos Cultural Route, whose help was crucial to the successful organization of our General Meeting.