Corfù remembers Kapodistrias, European and Med visionary

Three-day conference deals with history, politics and art

12 October, 12:11

    (by Patrizio Nissirio) (ANSAmed) - CORFU, 12 OTT - Politician, diplomat, intellectual, doctor and even philosopher: all this was Ioannis Kapodistrias, a citizen of the Republic of Venice who became the first governor of free Greece after the revolution against Ottoman rule 200 years ago. His hometown of Corfu dedicated an international conference to his complex cosmopolitan figure - largely forgotten outside the Hellenic borders - of a democratic and liberal thinker who already imagined Europe and the Mediterranean in a peaceful coexistence.

    Historians, political scientists, art historians and artists discussed the 'lesson' of Giovanni Antonio Capodistria (Vittori was the original surname of the noble family, later identified with the city of origin of Koper, called Capodistria in Italian, today in Slovenia) for a Euro-Mediterranean world engaged in the difficult search for unity and sharing.

    In this sense, the presence of mayors and deputy mayors of the Slovenian Istrian cities Izola-Isola, Koper-Capodistria, Piran-Pirano, and Ankaran-Ancarano, was particularly significant. These places were also for a long time part of the Serenissima, as the Republic of Venice was called, where cultures have always intertwined and influenced each other.

    "Kapodistrias was a man with a humanistic philosophy, who had a vision of Europe as a place of freedom and peace," said Petros Gallias, the director, choreographer and event manager who organized the international conference together with the municipal administration of Corfu led by mayor Meropi Idreou.

    A student of medicine, philosophy and law in Padova, then medical doctor in Corfu, then diplomat in the service of Russia and Switzerland, he was chosen in 1828 as the first Greek head of state precisely for his intellectual and political caliber and his relentless commitment to Hellenic independence. But three years later, in 1831, he was assassinated by his opponents in Nafplio, the first capital of modern Greece.

    "We wanted to celebrate him here, on the island where he was born, bringing together history teachers, writers, artists and listening to music of his time, inspired by the revolution of 1821," Gallias said.

    "This is also to discover his private personality as a universal thinker, not only Corfiot, not only Greek, but European".

    Myth Euromed, an agency that deals with Euro-Mediterranean ties, also contributed to the conference in Corfu. It is run by the Italian - and Venetian - Alberto Cotrona, who recalls how the story of Kapodistrias and the Greek revolution that began in 1821 was "an inspirer of poetic fervor, as Lord Byron teaches, and political involvement", including for the Italian Risorgimento.

    During the three-day conference, the book 'Repubblica di Venezia' by Giovanni Vale, an Italian journalist based in Zagreb, was presented. It is the first volume of a series dedicated to exploring what today remains of the 'vanished nations', just like the rule of Venice, whose echoes continue to exist between Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Montenegro, Albania, Greece, and all the way to Cyprus. (ANSAmed).

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