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The rescue, revival and integration of Ancient Theaters in Greece: a model for economic, social and cultural development

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Hellenic News
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The week of April 18  Stavros  Benos, President of DIAZOMA, former Minister of Culture in Greece and former Mayor of Kalamata,  Vassilis Lambrinoudakis, Professor of Archeology at the University of Athens and General Secretary of DIAZOMA, will lead the DIAZOMA delegation in Washington DC, in order to present their  initiatives to the Academia, the Greek-American community, the American citizens supporting the Hellenic culture and heritage and the World Bank development experts.  The objective of the presence of the DIAZOMA delegation in Washington, is to inform and explain on how the DIAZOMA citizens’ initiative emerges as a good practice, by successfully supporting the revival of ancient theaters in Greece and making a difference for the economic, cultural and social sustainable development in Greece.


Background information


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DIAZOMA, which is Greek means tier, like the tiers found is ancient amphitheatres,  is a citizen’s grassroots not for profit organization, that pursues the conservation, revival and integration of all the ancient Greek and Roman theaters in Greece  leading to sustainable economic and social development.  DIAZOMA supports the rescue, excavation, revival and use of ancient theaters as a strategic entry point for tourism and economic and cultural development at the local level.


In a short period of time, since 2008, the DIAZOMA initiative shows a wide range of accomplishments, ranging from enhancing citizens’ awareness and engagement, supporting technical studies for the rescue, excavation, restoration and revival of the Greek and Roman theaters, and advancing models for strategic planning that integrates “smart” solutions for cultural and tourist sustainable development. You can read more about the the DIAZOMA initiative and accomplishments here:


Key achievements: Since 2008 DIAZOMA achieved the following:


Grassroots mobilization

From all around Greece, more than 1000 citizens as well as cultural associations joined DIAZOMA in order to recognize, embrace and support the revival of ancient theaters within the social, cultural and economic life of the local communities. DIAZOMA strengthened the citizen initiative by creating the Network in which citizens and associations can participate and collaborate with each other.


Mapping, technical studies, revival

DIAZOMA supported:

-the creation of a scientific inventory of 125 ancient theaters around Greece,

– the production of 35 technical studies for restoration and integration in everyday life

– the restoration works of more than 50 ancient theaters and their integration into cultural and local tourist development, since 2008, under the leadership of the Ministry of Culture in Greece.


Strategies for cultural, tourist and economic development

New strategies for cultural, tourist and economic development were designed and are at various levels of implementation, such as the cultural and tourist itineraries and archeological parks for the ancient theaters in selected regions in Greece (Epirus, and South Peloponnese).


In particular, a cultural and tourist pilot itinerary has been designed and is under implementation in Epirus region of North West Greece combining  ancient sites and theaters, local products as well as hosting options. The aim is to use this itinerary as a model for similar cultural routes in other parts of the country.


Education and new technologies to inform and support the revival of ancient theaters

DIAZOMA is developing ICT strategies for the promotion of ancient theaters and for easier access by visitors, through cell phones etc. DIAZOMA is also promoting innovative educational programs which were developed in selected sites through partnerships with high school students around Greece.


Leverage investment

DIAZOMA is leveraging funding for the revival and integration of Ancient theaters from the European Union, prominent foundations, local and regional authorities, private enterprises, and most importantly from citizens living close to the monuments.


Mobilization of the Greek Diaspora

Associations of the Greek Diaspora in Europe and USA Canada are supporting the various phases of work for the rescue and revival of the ancient theaters.


Planned events, Washington DC, April 20-23, 2016,


As per now, the following events are planned during the week of April 19th, 2016.


  1. A Panel discussion at the University of Georgetown on Ancient Greek Theater(s) in Modern Landscapes: survival, practices, revival, reinterpretations – The case of DIAZOMA

Friday April 22, 2016, 6:30-8:00 event. 8:00 – 8:30  Reception

Convener:  Modern Greek Studies Program, Georgetown University,

Public: students, faculty and wider Metropolitan Community

Contact: Ismini Lamb [email protected]

  1. A Presentation at the World Bank on “The revival and integration of ancient theaters in Greece: a model for economic and cultural sustainable development” Thursday April 21, 2016 at 12.30 to 2.00 pm, The World Bank


Hellenic WBG – IMF Staff Association

EU National Institutes for Culture, DC (EUNIC) – 2016 Protecting our Heritage

Hellenic Foundation for Culture

Public: WB staff and other key actors in the area of culture and tourism for sustainable development

Contact: Aigly Zafeirakou [email protected]


In parallel, Diazoma will have the opportunity to discuss its initiatives with the young professionals community in DC engaged in the cultural agenda.



Stavros Benos the President of DIAZOMA, former Minister of Culture in Greece and former Mayor of Kalamata

Vassilis Lambrinoudakis, Emeritus Professor of Archeology at the University of Athens and General Secretary of DIAZOMA

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