Poems take center stage for the National Hellenic Museum in Greektown


CHICAGO It’s a story that has stood the test of time: Homer’s Odyssey.

At the National Hellenic Museum, it was a two-day Homer-A-Thon in partnership with the University of Illinois at Chicago. Students, museum board members and neighbors gathered to read aloud three-minute sections of Homer’s poem.

“The Odyssey contains themes that are still relevant today,” said Marianne Kountoures, executive director of the National Hellenic Museum. “It speaks to the human condition and all of our experiences. There is the overcoming of trauma, the effects of war, self-doubt and there are also the lasting bonds of love.

The museum’s executive director also highlighted the idea of ​​Nostos.

“That is to say a return and this attraction to home,” Kountoures said.

Also noted was the importance of celebrating cultural ties between continents, which is a crucial part of the museum’s work.

“At the museum, our mission is to share Greek history, culture and art from ancient times to modern Greek America,” Kountoures said. “We celebrate Greek American history and we want to share those stories not just with Greek Americans but with all communities.”

The National Hellenic is preparing for a return to pre-pandemic museum hours with a grand reopening in early fall. In the meantime, they are hosting a series of special events to welcome back community members. Next step: partnership with the Illinois Institute of Technology for a forum focusing on the influence of Greek architecture.

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