THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC ATTENDS THE INNAUGURATION OF THE INTERNATIONAL FRIENDS ASSOCIATION OF THE TEMPLE OF EPIKOURIOS APOLLO. ATHENS 16-5-2016
THE PRESIDENT OF THE HELLENIC REPUBLIC
Mr President and Members of the International Friends Association of the temple of Epikourios Apollo at Bassae,
It is with sincere pleasure that I participate in today's presentation of the International Friends Association of the Temple of Apollo Epikourios, an event that coincides with the 250 years since the French architect J. Bocher, guided by Pausanias, identified the ruins of this temple in 1765.
On behalf of the Greek State I express our sincere thanks for the work of the International Friends Association of the Temple of Apollo Epikourios, for the international promotion, the protection, preservation, conservation and restoration of this unique Monument of ancient Greek Culture.
Let us not forget that it was this uniqueness that led UNESCO in 1986 to include first among all Greek Monuments the Temple of Apollo Epikourios on the list of the World Heritage Monuments, perhaps as the most emblematic.
The uniqueness of the Monument consists of its architectural and sculptural perfection, owed respectively to Iktinos, the architect of the Parthenon on the Acropolis and Paeonios the sculptor of the Victory of Olympia, as well as the unparalleled coexistence of three Greek styles: Doric, Ionic and Corinthian. The Doric style specifies, in particular, the external colonnade; the Ionic style is reflected on the internal half-columns and the frieze, which is housed in the British Museum since 1815; and the Corinthian style specifies the elements of the single column in the Cella of the Temple which, as several scholarly opinions converge, is an abstract representation of Apollo. It should be noted that this Corinthian column was probably the model for all subsequent samples of this style.
I wish you all the best and I reassure you that you will have my sincere support as you carry out your mission in defending not only the Ancient Greek Heritage but also the World Cultural Heritage, since it is commonly accepted that the ancient Greek spirit is the cradle of the European and World Civilization.