Alexis Tsipras Is First Greek PM to Visit National Hellenic Museum in Chicago

Alexis Tsipras became the first Greek Prime Minister to visit the National Hellenic Museum in Chicago on October 15th. The Greek PM, during his official U.S. visit, is scheduled to meet with President Donald Trump in the White House on Tuesday.

In his speech, the Greek Prime Minister praised the Greek Diaspora and thanked the about two-hundred guests that gathered to meet him and his long time partner, Peristera Baziana.

Watch the video:

Prior to joining the reception, Prime Minister Tsipras, NHM President Laura Calamos, Ph.D., NHM Board of Trustees Chairman John P Calamos, Sr., and NHM Trustees, conducted an impromptu extensive tour of the Museum.

The National Hellenic Museum celebrates the cultural contribution of Greeks and Greek-Americans to the United States while promoting Greece’s rich cultural heritage, both in ancient times and today.

[L-R] Joanne Koudounis, John S. Koudounis, Betty Batziana, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, John P. Calamos, Sr., and Dr. Laura Calamos. Photo Credit: Starr McCaffery 2017
Formerly known as the Hellenic Museum and Cultural Center, the National Hellenic Museum is located in Chicago’s Greektown, at the corner of Halsted and Van Buren Streets. It moved to the current location in December 2011, in a 40,000-square-foot building designed by architect Demetrios Stavrianos. Its exhibits span Greece’s history from 1200 BC through today and there are objects and artifacts from each period of Greek history.

The museum currently hosts the exhibitions Reaching for the American Dream: The Greek Story in America, Conversations on Community Spaces and Aegean: Creation of an Archipelago.

In March, the NHM brought famed judges and attorneys, cross-examined experts, in order to decide whether the Parthenon marbles should be returned to Greece or not. In front of an audience of 800 who also voted. It was decided that the priceless sculptures should return to Greece. The jury ruled 8-4 for the Marbles’ return to Acropolis where they belong, and so did the people who voted. Only one of the five judges cast a dissenting vote, arguing that the sculptures created by the ancient Greeks belong to the world and should remain at the British Museum where they have resided for 200 years.

Another annual event hosted at the museum is Kouzina. Running for nine years now, the  event aims at connecting new generations of the Greater Chicago Area with Greek culture, food and Greek-American history. It offers unique dishes as well as classic dishes and a wonderful wine selection.

The National Hellenic Museum also offers Greek language and culture classes with the use of arts and crafts, music, dance, theatre, poetry, and storytime to familiarize students with Greek traditions and culture. Students are grouped in age groups from 3 years to adult. School programs are also offered, using Museum exhibitions and collections as a foundation for learning.

Watch Greek reporter’s live tour of the National Hellenic Museum: