The UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador, Mrs Marianna V. Vardinoyannis, took the initiative to start a campaign aiming at the sensitisation of the international common opinion in favour of Greece; the re-establishment of the name of our country in countries abroad and the reinforcement of its place internationally.
She initially made her intentions known with her statements, on June 2nd, having the famous composer and great philhellene, Jean Michel Jarre, by her side, who came to Greece in order to hold two concerts, and who declared that he is the first and strong supporter of this campaign.
Statements by Jean Michel Jarre:
It is a great honour that I am here today; I have visited Thessalonica before. And I share this moment with my beloved friend, almost my sister deep in my heart, Marianna Vardinoyannis. I am also here because I believe that my work should be known through Greece.
This is a very special moment for me that I am in Greece, so that, coming from abroad and being a great friend of Greece, I am able to say to the Greek people how close to them I am in this difficult economic situation where you all live in at this time.
I feel Greek, I feel Greek today and as a European citizen and a friend of Greece, I believed that we should say to your country how close to you we feel.
For me, Greece is the birthplace of culture; everything began here. If I am here today and play my music, it is because of your country, because of what it offered me. If we have democracy in Europe, this is owed to this country. You should be proud in Greece, even if you are going through a difficult period you should not be ashamed; you should be proud or yourselves, because what happens here in Greece could happen anywhere tomorrow.
Following our discussions, we decided that we, as UNESCO Goodwill Ambassadors, should start an international campaign in order to support Greece; to support the greatness of Greece, the identity of Greece.
The heritage of Greece is part of a universal soul. You have contributed 60,000 Greek words just in the English language. This means that we all speak Greek; that we all share the joy as well as the pain of your country.
Lets believe in the future and through my music, in tonight’s concert, I will try to give the maximum of energy, vigour and hope for all my Greek friends.
Mrs Marianna Vardinoyannis is a very good friend of mine and is the essence of generosity and constitutes an example of humanity independently of the economic size. Humanity is not an issue of money but an issue of heart. What I like in UNESCO is that beyond Mrs Vardinoyannis charitable character, demonstrated through her concern about children and women that are in need in all over the world, this is something astonishing because maybe it is not acknowledged in Greece, however, it is acknowledged worldwide.
Statements by Marianna V. Vardinoyannis
Tonight, we decided, to take the initiative, to spread the message worldwide that Greece is something different from what the international common opinion recently thinks of. Our aim is to change peoples opinion concerning Greece. Along with Jean Michel Jarre, we have been collaborating within UNESCO for about 15 years. We have done a lot of things in order to support people in need and the cultural heritage globally. Now, we set the campaign in favour of Greece as our priority. I am proud for our country. On June 24th, in UNESCO, we will speak with all the other Goodwill Ambassadors, who have surely been sensitised for Greece, and love Greece; to tell them the truth about our country, to ask them to support it internationally.
It is worth noting that Jean Michel Jarre had officially come to Greece for the first time in 2001, in order to hold two concerts in Herodion Theatre aiming at supporting the Association of Friends of Children with Cancer “ELPIDA”, and had presented the Hymn to the Acropolis as the first world presentation; he also signed in public in favour of the return of the Parthenon Marbles.