Greek University Calls for Maintaining the Hellenic Institute in Venice

venice-thumb-largeA resolution adopted by the University of Crete Department of Literature calls on the Greek government to maintain and strengthen the Greek Institute of Byzantine and Post-Byzantine Studies in Venice.

The Hellenic Institute in Venice was established in 1951 and is the only Greek research center abroad. The institute publishes books and a yearly scientific magazine, holds seminars and lectures and hosts scientists and researchers while they are working on scientific projects. It also has a valuable collection of Byzantine holy icons and objects of the Venetian-Greek community.

A new draft law tabled in parliament puts the character and function of the institute at risk, causing the University of Crete to send a resolution to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which has authority over the institute.

The full text of the resolution is as follows:

“The members of the University of Crete Department of Literature are watching with great concern the Ministry of Foreign Affairs initiatives to change the character of the Greek Institute of Byzantine and Post-Byzantine Studies, our country’s unique research center abroad, and without substantial consultation on the Draft Law tabled.

We call on the leadership of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to continue its consultation with the scientific and educational community, and to take decisions based on the untrammeled development of the Institute in the fields in which it has succeeded and has become internationally distinguished. The Greek state should enhance the Hellenic Institute and not divert it from its scientific – research mission.”