Break down the wall - Haidari mural, Feb. 2017
Break down the wall - Haidari, February 2017
On 19th of February 2017, a new peace mural painted by 20 refugee children (from the largest refugee camp in Greece with 3 500 refugees living there in container houses) and 18 Greek children was put on display in the hall of the Municipality of Haidari near Athens.
To remind, such a mural has the same size as Picasso's Guernica (7,8 x 3,5m). It has the significant message of a wish by the children to break down the wall which Europe has erected to keep out refugees.
The President of the Republic of Greece, Procopis Pavlopoulos opened this event.
Besides the President of the Republic of Greece, the ceremony was attended by the Minister of Education, the Vice Minister of Defence, mayors of the communities along the 'sacred road' linking in Ancient Times Athens to Eleusis and many people of the community itself.
The initiative came about largely thanks to Spyros Mercouris who simply loves Kids' Guernica / Guernica Youth ever since he experienced these murals for the first time in Kastelli, Crete 2006. For him the search for peace - ειρήνη is connected with love - αγάπη
The children's activities were co-ordinated by Thomas Economacos who knows how to work with children.
The plan is to make further attempts to involve the Municipalities of Egalio, St.Barbara, Aspropyrogo, Athens – who are all located along the Iera Odos ('Sacred Road), so that their children shall also paint on a canvas. In the final end the plan is to hold a large exhibition of peace murals in Eleusis.
However, whether Eleusis itself will eventually join the project is uncertain as no one from that municipality attended the official ceremony. The city of Eleusis has been designated to be European Capital of Culture in 2021.
The President of the Republic of Greece, Procopis Pavlopoulos will put under his aegis the entire project relating to the Iera Odos ('Sacred Road') connecting Athens to Eleusis. It would be great if these actions would contribute in future to the transformation of the 'Sacred Road' into a 'Road of Peace'.
This tremendous mural sets a new mile stone in ongoing efforts to link the working with children and youth with the much harder issues in need to be tackled if peace is to be secured and sustained, especially in a world in which weapons export is on the increase and the potential of another great war ever more given due to ideological fanatics having come into power like Trump in the United States.