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InläggPostat: 2019-04-10 06:52:12    Rubrik: Svara med citat

by Alexia Vlachou

ATHENS, March 18 (Xinhua) -- Following Greece's deep recession, a vibrant wave of graffiti art has flourished in Athens in recent years. Many street artists express their messages on the economic crisis, unemployment and social injustice on the walls of abandoned buildings.

Street Art Conservators (St.A.Co.), a volunteer group of 10-20 professionals and student restorers, preserves these artworks as part of the new cultural heritage.

According to St.A.Co. members, the aesthetic improvement of the urban tissue through street art is recognized and welcomed in the city.

Their latest accomplishment was the restoration of an impressive owl mural, inspired by Jimmy Hendrix's quote "Knowledge Speaks-Wisdom Listens", which adorned a building in Metaxourgeio district in central Athens.

During a festival in Athens last year, street artist "WD" born in Bali and currently living in Greece, created the mural urging Greeks and foreigners to recall the owl's wisdom.

He chose the bird because the owl was one of the symbols of Athena, the goddess of wisdom in ancient Greek mythology, and the patroness of the city of Athens.

But, the graffiti was vandalized this February, when someone wrote the word "VIRAL" in pink paint on top.

The St.A.Co. took action.

"Our goal is to rescue and prolong the life of these pieces of arts since they are exposed to environmental pollution and damage from human activity," Eleftheria Mavromati and Calliope Orianou from St.A.Co. told Xinhua.

Five years ago, after a research project on public wall paintings, the young restorers decided to record and breathe new life into works of graffiti that had suffered extensive damage.

They dedicate days and weeks to preserve each work. For the owl mural, they started by making some trials to see which method to follow and what materials to use in order to remove the overpainting.

"With full respect to the design of the artist, we proceeded with the conservation of the surface of the painting with friendly materials towards the colors of the work," they explained.

Besides conservation activities, the group enjoys to organize walking tours to areas with significant street arts, as well as educational programs at schools where they present the history of graffiti, techniques and materials artists use.

Has Athens become a holy place for graffiti artists? "Maybe the combination of the ancient element with the modern is what inspires artists and lends Athens a certain allure," Mavromati and Orianou said.

In time of hardships a dialogue among artists is being developed. A walk in the streets of Athens today is enough to see that street art comments and takes side on what is happening in the society.

The economic crisis has provided fertile ground for developing further the art of graffiti in Greece.

With recession plaguing the country for seven years, numerous retail stores and shops have been forced to shut down in very popular business zones, leaving buildings abandoned but adored by street artists who can exhibit their talents in painting without being disturbed by landlords.

"Street art gives the opportunity to every neighborhood to claim their lost value in the city, to show that all neighborhoods deserve attention," the St.A.Co. restorers stressed.

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○ Meanwhile, in Japan, everything went on normally nike air max plus tn ultra scontate , tourists and residents remain largely unaffected by the matter

○ In recent years, as the popularity of Japan as a tourist destination increases, Chinese people have developed a love-hate relationship with their neighbor. Any political rift or societal change between the two countries can cause large-scale effects

Chinese tourists celebrate the Eve of Spring Festival at the foot of Mount Fuji in Japan on January 27. Photo: CFP

An update of an old issue in Japan has sent ripples across the East China Sea to shake China. After the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) announced its latest analysis of the inside of its crippled nuclear plant in Fukushima that showed the radiation level there has seemingly risen from 73 sieverts per hour to 530 - a potentially lethal dose - the news has been traveling fast on the Chinese Internet.

Last Sunday nike air max tn plus scontate , the Chinese Embassy in Japan issued a safety warning in reaction to this announcement, telling Chinese citizens to manage their travel plans to avoid potential radiation risks that may come if nuclear material leaks out into the surrounding environment. The warning caused even more discussion and when rumors started spreading, many Chinese became worried nike air max tn scontate , some even canceling their trips to Japan.

Trash bags filled with collected radioactive soils, plants and other trash are packed at a temporary waste storage site in Tomioka, Fukushima prefecture nike tn nere , Japan on February 24, 2016. Photo: IC

Business as usual

A couple of weeks after the news came out, people in Japan seemed as calm and reserved as ever. There are still many Chinese tourists on the streets and in shops. According to Chinese tourism agencies nike tn squalo bianche , their business has been basically unaffected.

The director of a large Chinese travel agency told the Global Times last Sunday that Fukushima wasn't a regular travel destination for Chinese tourists anyway, and the company doesn't offer any travel packages there.

Li Dan, manager of a branch of the Beijing-based Tianping International Travel Agency nike tn scontate , said that there haven't been any tour groups traveling to Fukushima since the 2011 earthquake and resulting tsunami. She also said that even tourists who travel independently do not usually go to Fukushima.

Last week, Will Davis, a member of the American Nuclear Society nike tn squalo scontate , refuted claims that radiation l"

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