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Presentation of the publication 'History Has a Face'

The Hellenic Centre, London, 16 December 2021

The presentation of the publication History Has a Face – Figures of 1821 in Othonian Greece by the Belgian Diplomat Benjamin Mary, co-published by the Sylvia Ioannou Foundation and the Historical and Ethnological Society of Greece, was organised by The Hellenic Centre and the Sylvia Ioannou Foundation on Thursday 16 December 2021.

Charikleia G. Dimacopoulou, scientific supervisor of the publication, delivered a speech entitled ‘Faces of History. History has a face’.

About the speech
This book is a facsimile edition of an album containing more than 300 drawings- portraits of Greeks having fought during the War of Independence and taken in the years 1839-1844 by Benjamin Mary (1792-1846), the first Belgian diplomatic envoy to Greece during the reign of King Otto. The portraits include most of the members of the National Assembly of 1843-1844, as well as many of the spectators of the sittings of this assembly. The book includes biographical notices for all the people identified by the research team, and long introductions on Mary’s life and work, the political situation in Greece in the years 1839-1844, the National Assembly, Mary’s visit to Cyprus in 1845, finally the historical and artistic value of the album. The speaker will concentrate on the importance of the testimony this book on the period of Otto’s reign, both historically and socially and the artistic value of the portraits.

The publication is the English translation of the book Ἡ Ἱστορία ἔχει πρόσωπο – Μορφὲς τοῦ 1821 στὴν Ἑλλάδα τοῦ Ὄθωνα ἀπὸ τὸν βέλγο διπλωμάτη Benjamin Mary.