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LETTER FROM the Orthodox Archbishop of Athens and of All Greece (See in blue below...)

PEOPLE HAVE WRITTEN to me from all around the world and also shared their comments face-to-face.

Their backgrounds are varied, but I think that what most of them have in common are a strong sense of hope and optimism.

Some of these visionaries are artists, some are specialised in things Greek, while others are simply casually interested in the country or its history.

I would like to publish in this section a selection of comments from some of those people I know and from others I have not had the pleasure to meet in person.

I will also scan and show here some official communications from authorities in different countries in response to my art and efforts to represent the best of my country.

Please check back frequently!

Thank you.

-- Katerina


Ieronimos B
ARCHBISHOP OF ATHENS
AND OF ALL GREECE

Dear Mrs. Kondovraki,

See the letter in Greek

You gave me great joy with your wonderful work of embroidery on the theme of the birth of Jesus Christ the Savior.

This task of yours gives you satisfaction as well as lifts you up in Heaven.

There is nothing more serene, peaceful and profitable to the soul than searching in the Holy Scripture, in the lives of the saints, (nothing more profitable) than listening to the byzantine music, and approaching the ecclesiastical art like you so capably do.

I wish your days can be filled with God-sent joy, spiritual progress and all happiness.

May God bless you.

With warm wishes,
Ieronimos B,
Archbishop of Athens and of all Greece.

(View the letter in Greek.)


PATRIARCHATE OF ALEXANDRIA AND ALL AFRICA,
Metropolitan Dionysios,
General Patriarchal Inspector,
Director of Pantainos Magazine.

Dear Mrs. Kondovraki,

I received your kind letter and your works of art. I thank you very much for sending them to me.

I admired the detail of your artworks and I commend you for their high quality.

Glory and honor is waiting for you, who enclosed in your heart Jesus and Greece.

I congratulate you and wish you with all my heart every success for your high and artistic creation for the glory of our Nation.

With my blessings,

Praying to the Lord,

Leondopolis Elder Metropolitan,

Dionysios

General Patriarchal Inspector

(View the original letter in Greek.)


 
Link to Scanned Letters
Click image to view scanned letters

Samples

FROM: Office of the Sec. Gen. of NATO in Brussels

Part of the test reads: "On behalf of the Secretary General of NATO, I would like to thank you very much for your beautiful embroidered NATO logo."


FROM: Russian Embassy in Athens

I received a letter in response to my having sent the embroidery of the Russian emblem, and the double-headed eagle, which also happens to be the emblem of Russia.

Here is a summary of the text of the Russian response:

"We want to thank you very much for your love for our country, which is expressed through your works. Your works have deeply touched our hearts. We wish you to be well and to have professional success."


FROM:
President of
European Council

Brussels

Dear Ms Kondovraki,

I thank you for your recent letter addressed to the President of the European Council which has been referred to our office for a reply.

Mr. Jansa, Prime Minister of Slovenia, is not in a position to reply to all the letters and petitions he receives, and we thank you on his behalf for your comments, which have been duly noted.

Thank you for taking the time to share your work with the Council of the European Union.

Yours sincerely,

(View scanned letter.)

The above letter was in
response to mine

In it I introduced myself, the art and activities, and my vision. (Follow this link to read this section of my letter.)

I then focused on how I perceive the name "Macedonia" as having been misappropriated.

Here is an excerpt:

"I would like to clarify that General Tito of the former united Yugoslavia, for political reasons named today's FYROM, 'Macedonia' whose name at that time was 'Vardasca'. It happened in the year 1945, right after World War II ended and before I was born.

"The former Greek European Deputy and President of the political party LAOS, Mr. Karatsaferis, had presented to the European Parliament an old stamp which was imprinted with the name 'Vardasca', which was a confirmation of the fact that FYROM has its own name and it is 'Vardaska'.

"How is it possible that this small country, whose economy is supported essentially by Greek businessmen and entrepreneurs has the audacity to turn itself against our country Greece claiming a name and history which is not theirs?"

(Click here to read this section of my letter.)

My third and concluding page gives some details on a few of my embroideries and the newspaper in which where they were published. I also mention that I have received five letters from Buckingham Palace and four from the United Nations, as well as others from various personalities around the world.

I will be publishing these on this Web site in due course.

(The third and final page can be
read here.)


 

AFTER BEING CRITICIZED for human rights violations, China went ahead and hosted the Olympic Games. I thought it would be important to include three letters that I got in response to my Greek Art Promotions in a respectable international newspaper.

But before I do, just to let you know that below those there are other letters to me on all types of subjects.

See those first, if you prefer:

GOOD THAT you portray Confucius and Buddha for China. That communist state needs to change. Their leaders are power hungry and not righteous. Good that you remind the world through the Middle East Times that China has had great men in the past

But the government only looks enviously at the Western riches and try to follow that path while holding onto their position. The communists killed good people and damaged their own heritage. A tragedy. But they can always start again from this moment. May they find their way. May you also be a guide for them.

Danan Kapp
Indonesia

THE CONFUCIUS theme makes a nice change from displaying Greek themes

I admire your objectivity and openness to give your time and effort to make this difficult work to embroidering pictures, embracing other countries, such as China.

I hope that the Chinese government will respond to your plea and you will be able to have a successful exhibition in Beijing during the Olympics.

Lui Allen
Leicester, England

I WENT TO Athens for the Olympic Games and was amazed by how professional they were.

I was interested to read about how the temple of Olympian Zeus was built. But I was disappointed that you want to tell people about the enemies of Greece, like in this one and an earlier one with Alexander the Great.

Today everyone talks about enemies and fighting - in Iraq, Israel and the Palestinians, blacks and whites. We are all tired about people who treat other people like their enemies.

Please stick to just saying what you think are the good things about Greece and leave talk about enemies to terrorists and others. We need positive and uplifting things.

Dana


BRAVO FOR the women Bouboulina and Manto!

Why do we only distinguish people during wars, how about during peace? Who needs war when life has enough struggles?

I suggest that you make a picture of great women of today. Will you do it?

Letís not wait for another war to recognize the great women of our time.

Mandy Silverton
Nice, France


I ACCIDENTLY arrived at your Greek Promotion when I was looking through the Middle East Times Web site. It was a welcome and unexpected break from what I was looking for ... fighting between police and students in Alexandria.

I clicked on a page and instead of going where I wanted to it took me to your Alexander of Greek ideals.

That was good. I spent a few minutes then I went back to what I wanted.

Fred S.
Sydney, Australia


SPORTS ARE good. The Olympics are good. Greece deserves a gold medal for starting the Olympics. Sporting competitions can unite people. That is good.

War is bad. War heroes are only heroes to their own people. They are disliked by others. Greeks may want to give Alexander a medal. But how about the rest of the world? No. They think he does not deserve a medal.

But peace fighters are real heroes. People who bring civilization without military weapons should be honored. A few are Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Mother Teresa, Nelson Mandela. They had no swords, but they had love and they were truly brave and sacrificial.

Marjorie
LA, Calif., USA


IT IS SAD that such a magnificent structure as Hagea Sophia is not being used as a church of God. No-one really owns it. It was dedicated to God and is spiritual in purpose. It is a shame that it was converted into a museum and tourist attraction.

I am not against the Turks, don’t get me wrong. Everyone does the same to great monuments of spirituality. They valued them for their age, historical value and art, while they ignore their religious use and value.

Adriana W.
Ontario, Canada


ALEXANDER the Great, your man of "Civilisation and Culture" not only set fire to Persopolis but he burned books and libraries when conquered the Great Persian Empire.

R K Marnani


IT IS GOOD to believe but why does the Greek Orthodox church and the Roman Catholic church fight each other? They are trying to steal each others believers here in eastern Europe.

What is this? It is disgraceful. I wonder if Jesus and mother Mary are happy with all this. You are showing a good side of the Greek Orthodox Church but I hope you also respect other people of other religions too. Otherwise you don’t really help the world…but just are nationalistic.

Dragan C.


I ASSUME you know that the Middle East’s three monotheistic communities are all celebrating holy days at this time of year? Christians celebrated the birth of Jesus, Jews have observed Hanukkah – in which they remember the miraculous liberation of the Jewish temple from Hellenistic domination – and Muslims are beginning the Hajj pilgrimage.

As we say, learn from the falls of the great or don’t learn at all.

Prof. S. Volodya
Russia


I READ your series of arts for a long time now and I am learning about Greece and the Olympic games. I am not happy to read you are the only artist at the Olympic games. We need more people to educate people about another side of sport. Keep up the good work.

Wen P.
Hong Kong


THE WORLD is made up from people of different religions. I am Moslem. I believe that Maryam is one of most virtuous and saintly women who gave virgin birth to Isa. Did you know in Koran we have a whole chapter named after Maryam? She is an example for us all and the best woman.

People of the book must understand each other. Jews who follow the Tora, Christians who follow the Gospel, and Muslims with Qur’an, we must all be tolerant with each other.

Ikram K.
Islamabad


I AM PROUD to be a Londoner. Our city is not perfect, but I think it is the greatest city in the world. Your embroidery and your attitude towards our capital is heart warming. Thank you. I hope that you truly have a chance to present the artpiece to Her Majesty.

John B.
Orpington, England


YOUR PAINTING of Big Ben is great. I like the warm colours you have selected and the choice of flowers and greenery around the clock tower. I am an amateur artist myself, but I have not tried embroidery in any serious way.

Elena S.
Nicosia, Cyprus


YOUR GREEK promotions are usually great and I think they are very valuable. But something is troubling me. You are giving this Lady Virgin Mary embroidery to the Metropolitan Anthimos of Thessaloniki.

I hope he receives it with humility. The Greek priesthood should be ashamed of its sin and corruption. The Greek Orthodox Church is narrow and politicized. The church tries to hold onto its power and its awesome amount of possessions. Meanwhile there are poor and suffering people all around them. The church is mixed in with politicians and all are out for their own benefit. Who is loving the people as Jesus taught by his words and deeds?

Donít get me wrong. I donít believe sin is a monopoly of the Orthodox Church. The Catholic Church as an institution is no better. And the Protestants leaders must be repentful.

Also, the Orthodox Church has got to love beyond their church, and even beyond Christianity. Christians must love all people, that includes Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims, etc. Our Bible says that God sent His Son because He loved "the whole world". That means not just Christians, but everybody else too. How convenient it is to forget this.

God bless you.

Your brother in Christ,
Apostolis Stavropoulos