September 2, 2010

Bartholomew Opens Art Exhibit At Halki Seminary

İstanbul’s Halki Seminary Reopens For Art Exhibition

31 August 2010
Today's Zaman

The Halki Seminary on Heybeliada, one of İstanbul’s Princes’ Islands, opened its doors for the first time in 30 years on Sunday for an art exhibition at the long-unused school building.

The Halki Seminary, which was closed to new students in 1971 under a law that put religious and military training under state control, will now serve as an art space for 25 days for a group exhibition titled “Tracing İstanbul” and featuring works of art by Greek artists.

İstanbul-based Fener Greek Patriarch Bartholomew opened the exhibition on Sunday evening, underlining in his speech his “hope that the seminary will reopen,” adding that the Greek Orthodox community expected “the government to do so as soon as possible,” the Anatolia news agency reported. Greek Culture Minister Pavlos Yeroulanos, who was also present at the exhibition’s opening, defined the inauguration in the seminary as historic, Anatolia said.

The exhibition -- brought together by curator and art historian Iris Kritikou and brought to life by a collaboration between the seminary, the Greek Consulate General in İstanbul and the City of Athens Technopolis museum -- is made up of works focusing on the images, colors and symbols of İstanbul. The 101 participating artists highlight mythological, historical and everyday-life moments from the millennia-old city in the exhibition, featuring work in various styles, including painting, sculpture, photography and video. The vast majority of the works on display have been created specifically for the exhibition, Anatolia said.

Part of the exhibition will also be on display at the Greek Consulate General in İstanbul. Both sections of the exhibition will remain on public display until Sept. 23, after which they will travel to Athens for an exhibit in October.

See the opening speech of Patriarch Bartholomew here.