The Hellenic Marine Environment Protection Association (HELMEPA) has officially opened the children’s artwork exhibition ‘Sailing in Clean, Blue Seas’ with a ceremony on Wednesday 23rd October at the Hellenic Maritime Museum in Piraeus, where child members of the HELMEPA Junior Program, together with the President of the Hellenic Maritime Museum and Members of the Board of Directors of HELMEPA, gathered.
The event, jointly organised by the Museum and HELMEPA, showcased ties between the Greek maritime tradition and the history and environmental consciousness of younger generations.
The Exhibition is comprised of 56 group works belonging to 920 students aged between 5 and 13 years, who hail from 30 cities, villages and islands from across Greece. These youngsters were participants in annual Competitions run by the HELMEPA Junior Program between 2006 and 2013.
Many supporters of both the Museum and HELMEPA honored the event with their presence. They included the Secretary-General of the General Secretariat for Youth, Mr P Kanellopoulos; representatives from the Ministries of Education and of Culture and Sports; the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the City of Piraeus, Mr J. Xipolias and the Presidents of the Museum of the City of Athens Vouros-Eutaxias Foundation.
In welcoming her guests, the President of the Museum, Ms A. Anagnostopoulou-Paloumbi, spoke of the important mission bequeathed to the Museum since 1949; the nurturing among youth of a passion for the sea and for maritime professions. She warmly thanked HELMEPA and expressed the wish that a closer cooperation between the Museum and HELMEPA would begin. “HELMEPA for the past 30 years has been a platform from which the social responsibility and heightened environmental awareness of Greek shipping takes flight,” she said.
During his address, HELMEPA’s Director General, Mr D. Mitsatsos, thanked the President and the Board of Directors of the Museum for kindly hosting the Exhibition. He made poignant reference to the value the Museum holds in the hearts of all and to the need for its preservation as part of our country’s maritime history and tradition. Children, he added, must learn about this history and tradition “because each exhibit is linked with those sacrifices made by Greek seafarers so that our country enjoys freedom today”.
Four youngsters, three girls and one boy, members of the HELMEPA Junior Program from the Heliades Private School in Salamina, whose work is on display in the Exhibition, spoke on behalf of the 15,000 children who have taken part in these competitions between 1993 and today. They highlighted the reasons for which they take positive action towards the protection of the marine environment and Ms Paloumbi then went on to award each of them with commemorative gifts from HELMEPA.
A guided tour of the Exhibition followed, during which guests admired the directness of the children’s messages conveyed through their works of art and the vibrant and imaginative means through which they appeal to those older than them to respect the marine environment as well as their concerns for its degradation and for their future.
The Museum’s opening times are Tuesday-Saturday, 9am to 2pm. For further information, please call 210-4516264/210-4286959 or email email@example.com.