Athens Unpacked
Athens Unpacked
Aug 10, 2021
Eighth episode: From benefactors to buskers
Play • 31 min

How high & low cultures co-exist. The financial crisis hit Athens hard, but the arts flourished - against the odds. Germany’s massive Documenta14 arts festival transferred to Athens, ambitious cultural foundations mushroomed and street arts blossomed. Sofka visits the new Niarchos cultural centre and talks with magazine publisher Sudha Nair Iliades about big benefactors. Shipping magnates Onassis and Niarchos were rivals in love; their foundations now compete over their cultural legacies. We go to the lively neighbourhood of Psirri and seek out street art with George Papamattheakis. British cellist Chris Humphrys joined the ‘Camerata’ or Armonia Atenea orchestra when it was founded 30 years ago. He discusses classical music and plays us Bach in a park. Finally, we dance our way out with Balkan brass band Agia Fanfara and street music.

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