Issue 08, March 2008
homepage > Foundation of a Centre for Hellenistic Studies in the Library of Alexandria
Foundation of a Centre for Hellenistic Studies
in the Library of Alexandria
Antonis  Papadimitriou, Marianna Vardinogiannis and Ismail Serageldine announce the  foundation of the “Alexandria Centre for Hellenistic Studies”, during a press  conference.

Following an initiative by the Onassis Foundation and the Vardinogiannis Foundation, both of which funded this ambitious plan, a Centre for Hellenistic Studies is to be inaugurated at the Library of Alexandria, in September 2008.


The foundation of the Centre was announced, during a joint press conference, by the Chairman of the Alexander S. Onassis Public Benefit Foundation, Antonis Papadimitriou, the UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador and member of the Library of Alexandria Board of Trustees, Marianna V. Vardinogiannis and the Director of the Library, Dr. Ismail Serageldine The Centre, to be named “The Alexandria Centre for Hellenistic Studies” shall offer classes in History, Philosophy, Literature and Fine Arts taught in English, and shall confer diplomas as well as Postgraduate and Doctorate degrees, in collaboration with the University of Alexandria. The Library of Alexandria shall provide the use of lecture and conference halls, whilst students from all over the world are to have free access to the Library's facilities for research purposes.

The project was announced during a press conference which gathered wide publicity.
The project was announced during a press conference which gathered wide publicity.

Mr. Antonis Papadimitriou characterized the foundation of the Centre as a “momentous event” since “it signals the development of a new cultural pole” of an international nature at the gateway of the Arab world, that should function as a “bridge between Egypt and the Arab world and global cultural inheritance”.

“It is worth re-examining our Hellenistic past”, stressed the chairman of the Onassis Foundation, “since it constitutes an unbelievably modern evolution of the ancient classical spirit and itsadaptation to needs and situations that have not ceased to be contemporary ever since. Anyone who has even slightly contemplated the issue has been impressed by how much modernity (without admitting it) owes to that particular era. We have a lot to gain from the study and examination of matters related to big and small politics, diplomacy, the history of science, the history of religion, literature, ethical and aesthetic questions and in general to philosophy that were posed during that period”.

Signing the  agreement for the foundation of the Centre
Signing the agreement for the foundation of the Centre

“Such an attempt”, continues Mr. Papadimitriou “could also be made at other academic centres. I am positive that many would actively seek to do so. The renaissance of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina and the political will behind it, the rebirth in the space of the last few decades, of a new Egypt, Arab but also modern and dynamic, have convinced us that this Centre deserved to be establish there…The Library of Alexandria, under the directorship of Dr. Serageldine and with the support of the Egyptian government is the most suitable institution in every aspect, for the success of this scientific endeavour”.
Antonis Papadimitriou ended by thanking once again Marianna and Vardis Vardinogiannis for their “impeccable cooperation”, noting that is perhaps the first time that two important Greek foundations jointly cooperate in the provision of material means but also immaterial support.

Marianna Vardinogiannis heralded the signing of the foundational accord as a “cultural alliance”. She warmly thanked the Chairman and Board members of the Onassis Foundation for their cooperation and announced that the lecture halls for the study of History and Philosophy shall be named “Pavlos I. Vardinogiannis”.

“Our aim is to impart all that knowledge, and the important and timeless values that the Bibliotheca Alexandrina embodies, to the whole world.  To nurture a new generation of scholars”, said the Library’s Director, Dr. Serageldine.

The Centre shall be managed by seven Board Members, headed by the Library’s Director, and an Academic Council comprising of esteemed academics specializing in the subjects researched at the Centre shall also be formed. The Academic Council will serve as an advisory body to the Management Board, in matters concerning the Centre’s operation, the compilation of the curriculum, the setting of criteria for the selection of students, the selection of lectures and the sum of related activities, while monitoring students’ academic performance.

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