Documenta held abroad for first time
The contemporary art fair will remain in Athens until mid-June
13 April, 2017
German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier (C) receives a gift from the President of the Acropolis Museum, Dimitris Pantermalis (3-R).
An installation by Spanish artist Daniel Garcia Andujar entitled The Disasters of War.
Visitors watch a performance by artist Mary Zygouri titled The Round up: Kokkinia 1979 - Kokkinia 2017.
Documenta, the prestigious contemporary art fair that started in 1955, opened for the first time in somewhere else than Germany on 8 April. It is being co-hosted by the Greek capital Athens as a symbol of the two countries’ good relations, AFP reports.
German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, who launched the event with his Greek counterpart Prokopis Pavlopoulos, said that he saw it as a way for “the political and economic barriers separating us to be overcome so we can better understand the world surrounding us”.
This is the 14th edition of Documenta, which is traditionally held every five years in the German city of Kassel. In 2012 it attracted 860,000 visitors. For the first time this year it will take place abroad for half of its duration, under the slogan Let Us Learn from Athens.
Documenta will stay in the Greek capital until mid-June, after which it will travel back to Kassel where it will remain open until 17 September.
Immigration is among the main topics in Documenta, whose opening programme featured a concert by the philharmonic orchestra of the expatriated Syrians, founded in 2013 in Germany.
More than 1 million refugees and migrants have passed through Greece since 2015 and another 50,000 people are in temporary camps set up there.
Horsemen paraded at the foot of the Acropolis as part of the programme on 9 April, a throwback to the processions in ancient Athens. They will travel 3,000km to Kassel in 100 days following the route used by refugees on their way to Germany in 2015.
Among the exhibits in Documenta is the Parthenon of Books - a temple replica made of 100,000 books from around the world that were forbidden at some point or still are.