Marinakis donates seafarer monument to Piraeus
The statue, created by Piraeus-born sculptor George Rousis, has been erected in front of the church of Aghios Nikolaos, the patron saint of seamen, on the Akti Miaouli
Quintessential shipping city finally gets the tribute to seafaring profession that it deserves, thanks to an initiative by Evangelos Marinakis of Capital Maritime & Trading.
PROMINENT Greek shipowner Evangelos Marinakis has funded a 'Memorial to the Unknown Seafarer' at a strategic spot in Piraeus, Greek shipping's home port.
While at least a couple of the country's maritime-minded islands boast generic monuments, this was something that Piraeus itself lacked.
The statue, created by Piraeus-born sculptor George Rousis, has been erected in front of the church of Aghios Nikolaos, the patron saint of seamen, on the Akti Miaouli.
The unveiling was conducted by His Eminence Metropolitan Seraphim, the bishop of Piraeus, the mayor of Piraeus Yannis Moralis, Union of Greek Shipowners president Theodore Veniamis and Mr Marinakis.
Mr Veniamis said that the memorial "honours our city, Greek seamanship and all those who lost their lives while carrying out their duties at sea."
He said that the country should support the seamanship of the future and ensure that more Greek ships were brought back to the national flag.
According to Mr Marinakis, seamanship had "played a special role for Piraeus and for our country since antiquity."
He said that such a monument should have been created "many years" earlier in view of the contribution of seafaring to the city and the national economy. However, "better late than never," he said.
The shipowner is no stranger to the concept of philanthropy. In another recent illustration of largesse, he stepped up as lead sponsor in a $1m fundraising campaign to fund the threatened Modern Greek Studies department at Ohio State University where Greek has been taught for more than a century.
The rescue of the programme has seen creation of the Miltiadis Marinakis Professorship for Modern Greek Language and Culture, named as a tribute to the owner's father.
Miltiadis Marinakis (1930-1999) was born in Crete where the family owned a successful foundry and ship repair business. He later moved to Piraeus where he worked on ship repairs and established his own shipping company, before moving into politics as an MP in the conservative New Democracy party.