Cyprus Mail

Paphos to award gold key to city to prominent academic

Helene Ahrweiler

A CEREMONY will be held at Paphos town hall on Friday to honour prominent historian and academic, Helene Ahrweiler. She will be presented with a symbolic gold key to the city.

The ceremony will take place in the presence President Nicos Anastasiades, said a municipality spokesman.

“We are very honoured to welcome the Professor to Paphos and felt the necessity to recognise her huge contribution to Greek history and European civilisation,” he said.

He added that Ahrweiler has made an exceptional contribution to the cultivation, preservation and promotion of the cultural heritage of Hellenism, and displayed commitment to the ideals and values of a united Europe, as well as being an advocate for freedom, democracy, justice and peaceful coexistence between all people.

Ahrweiler is in Paphos at the invitation of ‘Pafos2017- European Capital of Culture’and will address a lecture on Friday evening at 7.30pm at Palia Ilektriki cultural centre.

Anastazia Anastasiou, Pafos2017 communication and marketing officer said: “This lecture is a continuation of a programme entitled ‘Encounters’, held at this venue and we invite prominent guests from the world of art and culture. Helene Ahrweiler is our third guest, the first two were renowned Greek artists.”

Anastasiou said that the lecture will be given under the title: “Does the past have a future,” and that places to see one of the most important intellectual figures of the century are full.

Helene Ahrweiler, (Glykatzi) is an eminent Greek university professor and Byzantinologist. She is also a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador for Greece.

The 89-year-old has held many prominent academic positions and was the first woman to hold the position of Principal of the University of Paris 1 Pantheon-Sorbonne.

French president Jacques Chirac offered her the Medal of the Battalion Commander of the Legion of Honour (one of the highest awards of the French Republic), honouring her scientific work and directorship in various French universities, as well as at the Cultural Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris.

During her academic career, she also became an Honorary Doctor of various Universities in the world, including, London, Belgrade, New York, Nouveau Brunswick, Lima, American University of Paris, Harvard and Haifa. She is also a member of various Academies in Europe. In 2007, she received the title of Honorary Doctor of the Media Studies Department of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.

She has received numerous decorations from the French government: Commander of the Légion d’honneur, Commander of the Ordre national du Mérite, Commander of the Ordre des Palmes académiques and Commander of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.

In 2008 she was named amongst the 100 greatest Greeks of all time.

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