The Branch of the Hellenic Foundation for Culture participates in the project entitled “OLKAS: From the Aegean to the Black Sea. Medieval ports in the Maritime Routes of the East”, co-funded by the European Union, «Joint Operational Programme “BLACK SEA 2007-2013” and national resources.
The project is coordinated by European Center of Byzantine and Post-Byzantine Monuments (Thessaloniki, Greece) and in addition to the Branch of the HFC includes as partners research institutions and NGOs from Constanta (Romania), Varna (Bulgaria), Istanbul (Turkey) and Tbilisi (Georgia). The associate partners of the project include representatives from Odessa (Ukraine), Moscow (Russia) and Baku (Azerbaijan).
The aim of the project named after a Byzantine merchant ship olkas is to highlight the Medieval ports from Aegean to the Black Sea, as a modern tool for development of cultural tourism in the Aegean region, the Black and Caspian Seas.
During the project the following activities will be undertaken:
– Documentation of 32 selected ports among which Ukraine is represented by Odessa, Belgorod-Dnestrovsky, Feodosia, Sevastopol (Chersonessos) and Kerch;
– Production of a documentary film about ports selected for the project;
– Organization of a portable photo-exhibition to be exposed in Thessaloniki (end of 2012) and in Istanbul, Odessa, Constanta and Varna (2013);
– Creation of a web-site about the selected Aegean and Black Sea ports;
– Implementation of educational programs for students (Varna, Constanta, Istanbul);
– Organization of an International Scientific Symposium in Thessaloniki.
The official opening of the OLKAS project and the first meeting of its Steering Committee took place in Thessaloniki on April 28-30, 2012.