Welcome, 77 artists, 40 different points of Attica welcomes you by singing Erotokritos an epic romance written at 1713 by Vitsentzos Kornaros

Friday, March 21, 2014

Hearing to discuss Greece seniors complex

Hearing to discuss Greece seniors complexRochester Democrat and ChronicleDevelopers of a proposed senior living community on Island Cottage Road in Greece are holding a public information meeting on their plans on Saturday, March 29. "We've had some preliminary meetings with the town, completed a market study and came up ...


S&P affirms Greece ratings at 'B-/B', sees economy rebalancing

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Neoliberalism as Social Necrophilia: The Case of Greece

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Greece passes 'law of return' for Jews who fled

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Immigrant Deportation Bill Pulled

Greece’s coalition government abruptly yanked a measure in a draft law that would have allowed the deportation of immigrants making false claims


Meet the Genius Frat Dudes Who Turned Bro Humor Into A Multi-Million Dollar Media Empire

In 2010, Madison Wickham got a call from his old fraternity brother Ryan Young. Young was training to be a firefighter, but he also had a great idea for a website.

Wickham cringed.

A former psychology major at Texas State University, Wickham was working as a front-end Web designer and developer in Austin. Listening to people's terrible startup ideas went with the territory.

Young and Wickham had been brothers in the Kappa Alpha fraternity before graduating in 2007. While they were in school, a catchphrase caught on: "Total frat move." Brothers said it whenever they told ridiculous stories about girls, drinking, and college.

Young had seen other acronyms — such as FML (F--k My Life) and TFLN (Texts From Last Night) — explode on the Internet. He thought TFM had similar potential.

That was it; the whole idea was right there.

“I thought it had promise,” Wickham says.

Young ditched his firefighter training and teamed up with Wickham to create a blog featuring fratty one-liners followed by their acronyms. Wickham designed and coded the site, which launched on June 1, 2010, with total upfront costs of $150 for hosting (although they later did rack up some credit-card debt).

The site allowed readers to post TFMs of their own, which they started doing immediately. Before long, the site also popularized NF (Not Frat) and GDI (God Damn Independents — students who aren’t members of Greek life).

"A sick lax pinnie, khaki shorts, and sperrys is my required work from home dress code. TFM," one early post read.

"If I had a nickel for every time I heard the phrase 'You’re an asshole' I wouldn't be any richer. I'm too frat and too rich to give a sh*t about nickels. TFM," read another.


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They named their company Grandex and quickly expanded, creating sites for sorority sisters (Total Sorority Move) and recent graduates (Post Grad Problems). Combined, they now generate 18 million monthly unique visitors and 22 million pageviews. The sorority site accounts for nearly half of that traffic. The company has moved beyond one-liners to pictures of attractive women with shocking headlines, crazy party stories, and original content about college life. The company will clear several million in revenue this year.

Grandex Inc. has 24 employees who work in a 5,000-square-foot office in Westlake Hills, Texas. Amazingly, the partners never took a dime of investment money until this past January, when the company reluctantly raised its first round — just $100,000, from the former CFO of Dell Inc., Jim Schneider. They didn’t take his money because they needed it; they wanted him on board as an adviser, and a small investment would give him some skin in the game.

While many media startups today grow on the back of Facebook, Total Frat Move and Grandex focused early marketing efforts on Twitter. Its 140-character limit seemed like the perfect home for TFM's stream of one-liners.

Wickham and Young scrolled through Twitter profiles and tried to identify the frattiest-looking avatars — guys sporting Vineyard Vines shirts and baseball caps.

"We started following people who fit the part," Wickham says, "not just any fraternity guy, but that southern, stereotypical fraternity guy who we thought had a high probability of sharing it with friends."

The Twitter stalking was enough to drum up a loyal following without guerrilla marketing or paid advertising. The growth was slow and steady, and, by December 2011, Total Frat Move reached 1 million monthly uniques. Wickham says no single story put the site on the map; instead, it was the collection of one-liners that got passed along. It was a gradual explosion.

Total Frat Move is one of several popular guy-oriented destinations that, along such sites as Barstool Sports, Guyism, and Brobible, target the demographic identified a few years previously by Tucker Max. They all owe their success, at least in part, to a willingness to publish the sort of raunchy, politically questionable content their audience loves. A recent lead story on Total Frat Move showed two women kissing. The headline: “Playboy Models Make Their Own ‘First Kiss’ Video, It’s Astoundingly Boner Provoking.”

Wickham says the sexually explicit material hardly appears on Total Sorority Move and Post Grad Problems. He says it’s rare on Total Frat Move, most content being "PG-13 and below."

"The R-rated stuff accounts for a small minority of our overall traffic and content offering," he says. "Raunchy comedy is definitely a part of the TFM brand, but that's not solely what defines the brand. It's comedy and entertainment for 18- to 24-year-old males, so this type of content will always be a part of the TFM offering."

Other content published by Grandex has been criticized as racist, sexist, and classist.

An early TFM one-liner might be interpreted as a joke about nonconsensual sex: “Had to buy plan B the next day because neither of us remembered the details of everything that went down after the bar. At least she let me use her dad’s credit card. TFM.”

In November 2013, a Missouri State student was offended by a TFM article that argued that women with short hair are less attractive. At the time, it was one of TFM’s most-read stories.

“Surely a website whose top trending article is 'Why Girls Should Not Cut Their Hair Short' is from an ancient era, not the 21st century, where gender equality has become the societal norm?” Taylor Brim wrote in November.

A Stanford University sorority member was appalled to find posts knocking liberals and prudent women while celebrating rich brats:  

"Turns out Obama and I do have something in common. We both love spending my dad’s money. TFM.”

“No sex on the first date technically makes it the last date. TFM.”

“Anyone who works hard (in school, in their job, in anything besides ‘fratting it up’), lives anywhere besides the South, doesn’t have a large trust fund, has different political ideas (i.e., is not a Republican) or isn’t part of Greek life is NF [Not Frat] and therefore is to be relegated to below-human status," the student wrote

“Anyone who works hard, lives anywhere besides the South, doesn’t have a large trust fund, has different political ideas or isn’t part of Greek life is NF [Not Frat] and therefore is to be relegated to below-human status.

. “The posters on this website act like arrogant fools ... Being stuck-up, uneducated, and misogynistic is anything but what Greek life is about.”

Sometimes, TFM draws attention to inappropriate college behavior and encourages reform. In October, a leaked email from a Georgia Tech fraternity, Phi Kappa Tau, was published by Total Frat Move; it read like a how-to guide on raping women and was signed “In luring rapebait.”

Total Frat Move called the email the “rapiest ever.” Within hours, Gawker site Jezebel picked up the story. The email made national headlines and was discussed on CBS. Thanks to the attention TFM brought to the email, the Georgia Tech fraternity was put on probation and the email’s sender was suspended from the house. The offender issued a public apology: “I am deeply sorry ... As hard as it may be to believe, it was written as a joke for a small audience that understood the context and that it is neither my nor my fraternity’s actual beliefs on the subject. I have now come to realize this is a very serious topic that should not be taken lightly.”

For Wickham’s team, deciding what to publish is a delicate balance between entertaining and educating its college-age readers.

“We use our best judgment and determine what is and isn't appropriate based on the collective moral compass of our content team,” Wickham says. “There are certainly lines that we will not cross, but it is nearly impossible to create entertaining content without someone being offended by your work. What makes TFM so authentic (and popular) is that the content is so true to the lifestyle of the millennial generation.” It’s an antidote, he says, “to the abundance of watered-down, inauthentic content coming out of the entertainment industry.”


Building the Business

Grandex has been profitable from the beginning. It had to be since neither of the cofounders came from family money. Initially, Young and Wickham implemented Google AdSense to scrape by, but advertising was never their intended business model.

"We figured if we could create content that resonates with 18- to 24-year-old young adults and got them coming to a website every day, then we could build business models around the audience," Wickham says. "We were capturing our customers before we had anything to sell them."

Seeking to replicate the success that College Humor had with Busted Tees, they launched an apparel arm, Rowdy Gentleman, in 2011. They designed one shirt, a pocket T with the 1984 Reagan-Bush campaign logo, (the site has a decidedly Republican tilt), ordered 72 of them (the minimum allowed), then promoted them on the site.

Now Rowdy Gentleman carries a number of shirts and hats, most notably its American-pride T-shirt, which boasts "Back to Back World War Champs." The apparel is sold in 80 brick-and-mortar stores, and more than 63,000 orders were placed online last year. Wickham says Rowdy Gentleman now accounts for 80% of Grandex's total revenue.

Grandex is exploring other revenue-generating opportunities. They’ve teamed up with a travel company on spring-break promotions. "Total Frat Move" the book debuted at No. 7 on The New York Times best-seller list (and received a mixed review from Tucker Max himself). A movie is in development. And the company recently hired a full-time app developer to design a suite of college-related apps.

The developers' first smash hit for Grandex was a "Flappy Bird" clone called "Fratty Bird." It’s like the original, except the bird sports a backward baseball cap and flies past a series of frat houses.

Though the app is running an AdMob banner, it’s not a big moneymaker, having brought in just $50 on its second day.

But that doesn't mean people aren't playing it. Wickham's team promoted the app on all of its channels, and the game rose to the No. 7 free-app position in the App Store within 24 hours. By the next day, it had 120,000 downloads and had served 1.5 million ad impressions. It’s proving to be a powerful branding tool for Grandex. A line of "Fratty Bird" T-shirts might be in the pipeline.

With all their college-related endeavors combined, Wickham and Young are making a good living. Wickham says his company is generating multiple millions a year. He wouldn't give an exact number but said annual revenue is somewhere between $2 million and $10 million.

As Wickham and Young might say on their site: Starting a blog with $150 and a few dumb jokes and turning it into a multimedia empire. #TFM

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COMFORT FOOD: Greek potatoes launch full-meal deal

TheChronicleHerald.caCOMFORT FOOD: Greek potatoes launch full-meal dealTheChronicleHerald.caI may have mentioned once or twice over the years how much I adore those lemony potatoes you get at all the wonderful Greek restaurants around Halifax. They are so delicious and flavourful all the way through because of the lovely method of cooking ...


Minister and unionists fail to agree on future of 212 teachers

The union representing secondary school teachers in Greece (OLME) failed to reach an agreement on Friday with Administrative Reform Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis over the future of 212 teachers who entered the public sector mobility scheme on reduced wages... ...


Greek to Run for Mayor in 2016 Tarpon Springs Elections

Greek former Vice Mayor and City Commissioner of Tarpon Springs, Chris Alahouzos has announced that he will be running for mayor for the next elections which are to take place in 2016. In a speech that he delivered on March 16, Mr. Alahouzos ...


Fox named Greece business person of year

Fox named Greece business person of yearRochester Democrat and ChronicleBusinesses receiving awards for new or renovated buildings include: The Village at Unity, Beatrice Place, The Mall at Greece Ridge, Stoney Creek Development, Latona Crossing, Stephen Gaudino CPA, Braces of Greece, Doodle Bugs!, Forklift Café, New ...


BAP workshops set for Greece, Turkey

BAP workshops set for Greece, TurkeyUndercurrent NewsThe Global Aquaculture Alliance's Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) division is holding two workshops on responsible aquaculture in the Mediterranean in mid-May. The free two-day workshops will be held in Athens, Greece, from May 13 to 14 and in Bodrum ...


Greece Rejects Hellenikon Bid

Greece has given the Lambda Development company, the only bidder to develop the former Hellenikon Airport site, until March 26 to increase its offer.

The post Greece Rejects Hellenikon Bid appeared first on The National Herald.


Midwest Pan-Hellenic Youth Ball Turns 10

CHICAGO, IL – The annual student-run Midwest Pan-Hellenic Youth Ball, also referred to as the “Greek Prom,” celebrated its 10-year anniversary this February, attracting over 280 young members of the Greek community for a masquerade-themed night of dinner and dancing. Planned and hosted by local Hellenic student associations, the Pan-Hellenic Youth Ball serves as a […]

The post Midwest Pan-Hellenic Youth Ball Turns 10 appeared first on The National Herald.


Kerry Gives President Obama’s March 25 Greeting

Secretary of State John Kerry sent the United States' annual Greek Independence day greetings to Greece. The text of his statement follows:

The post Kerry Gives President Obama’s March 25 Greeting appeared first on The National Herald.


TNH Presents the 50 Wealthiest Greek-Americans: 2014

Imagination, skill, knowledge, persistence, and timing – the people who populate our 50 Wealthiest Greek- Americans annual list enjoy all of these gifts, in greater or fewer amounts. This special issue, brought to you each year by TNH, offers a look at those in our community who have reached the pinnacle in their fields and […]

The post TNH Presents the 50 Wealthiest Greek-Americans: 2014 appeared first on The National Herald.


Displaying items by tag: greek independence day

The Hellenic American National Council (HANC) joins all the other Greek organizations in the United States and the Greek Diaspora in the Celebration of the 193rd Greek Independence Day. The Greek struggle for independence against the Ottoman yoke was long ...


Minister Tables Legislation to Build New AEK Stadium

A Greek government minister has tabled a bill that would allow the construction of AEK Athens’ new stadium “Hagia Sophia.” As the Greek sports


Musical visitors fuse Chinese and Greek cultures

The Greek and Chinese cultures came together on Thursday evening at Athens Concert Hall for a concert by two famous virtuosos of traditional Chinese musical instruments,


Three-Month Deadline to Pharmacists for Discounts on Non-Prescription Drugs

The Troika will be monitoring prices of non-prescription drugs in Greece for a period of three months in order to decide whether they


Lottery Scratch-Cards Set to Return to Greek Market

After an eleven-year absence, lottery scratch-cards are set to return in Greece. According to Greece’s Ministry of Finance, an agreement was reached with the


How Europe Slowly Made Itself Immune To Russia's Threats

The Oxford Institute for Energy Studies is out with a note on the Ukraine crisis' potential impact on Europe gas imports (spotted by Mike Levi).

The conclusion: most of the continent would not be affected should Russia step on the gas hose leading out of Ukraine.  

Europe is in a better position to handle a potential disruption than it was on previous occasions (2006 and 2009). Following the completion of the Nord Stream pipeline in 2012, only about 50% of the Russian gas to Europe transits via Ukraine, down from 80% previously. Russian gas to Northwest and Central Europe is largely supplied through the Nord Stream pipeline (from Russia to Germany via the Baltic Sea) and the Yamal-Europe pipeline (from Russia via Belarus and Poland to Germany).  

Oxford views the threat of a shutdown of the non-Ukraine infrastructure as remote. 

Here's the list of overall Russia import totals. The leader, Italy, has a number of different fallback options, including beefing up imports from Northwest Europe or North Africa. Turkey, No. 2, remains slightly more exposed, though it could simply increase its LNG imports, a not-inexpensive but perfectly viable option.

The list of countries that get the greatest chunk of their gas on a percentage basis from Russia also have some built-in cushions. Although Bulgaria and the Czech Republic get huge percentages of their gas from Russia, they both have more than a month's-worth of backup storage. Mosts at risk, then, is Greece and Romania, who get about 50% of their supplies from Russia with no apparent backup storage. Not listed are Serbia and Bosnia, which also get at least half their supplies from Russia — Oxford says those countries were most affected

The most enlightening nugget in the report is the scenario by which a gas cut-off is most likely to occur. It turns it would have less to do with geopolitics and more to do with finance: Naftogaz Ukrainy, the principal gas firm in Ukraine, is $2 billion in debt to Gazprom, the Russian state oil giant. In the past, Oxford says, this debt build-up has led to a gas cut-off. 

Such a dispute now seems possible, even likely, (i) because the political and strategic dispute between Russia and Ukraine is so serious, and political tensions so high, that the possibilities of reaching a negotiated settlement of the financial issues are limited, and (ii) because Naftogaz’s indebtedness is chronic, and is part of a larger problem – that of Ukrainian state indebtedness. 

But overall, the means at Russia's disposal for striking back at increased sanctions, at least as far as energy goes, seem more limited than ever.

SEE ALSO: New York's 6,300 Miles Of Gas Mains Are Half A Century Old

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No gamble for National Lottery technology supplier

That said, it has served the playing public, relatively glitch-free, for nearly three decades. Greek firm Intralot, unveiled yesterday as the National Lottery’s new technology supplier, has the unenviable task of pulling the plug on the old system and ...


Syrian Forces Reclaim Historical Crusader Castle From Rebels

The historic Krak des Chevaliers, once a rebel stronghold, is retaken in a Syrian military advance


Bogus ambassador cheated Halkidiki taxi drivers

Police in Halkidiki, northern Greece, said on Friday that they were seeking a 64-year-old man alleged to have swindled 3,600 euros out of two local taxi drivers by posing as an ambassador and promising them an exclusive cooperation shuttling diplomats to ... ...


TAIPED sells another state property for 1.8 million euros

The Greek privatization fund, TAIPED, on Friday announced the sale of another state asset, a property in the municipality of Maroussi, north of Athens, for 1.8 million euros. The property, which covers a surface area of more than 5,000 square meters, was ... ...


Ingenious drugs cache discovered at Athens airport

Narcotics officers at Athens International Airport on Friday arrested a 39-year-old Nigerian national after discovering an ingenious cache of drugs. According to a police report, the 39-year-old, who had arrived at the Greek capital via Cairo, had conceal... ...


Shelter opens in Patra for vulnerable migrants

Greek nongovernmental organization Praksis and the Hellenic Red Cross have inaugurated a new shelter in Patra aimed at providing relief to dozens of migrants sleeping on the streets of the western port city. The project is funded in part by the government... ...


Deportation provision may return, says PM's aide

A contentious provision that would lead to any immigrants who make false claims against law enforcement officers being deported from Greece is likely to be brought to Parliament for a third time, the government’s general secretary Takis Baltakos said on F... ...


Campaign gathers more than 3 tons of food for the needy

A campaign spearheaded by Skai TV with the cooperation of the Church of Greece has succeeded in gathering more than 3 tons of food items and distributing them to the needy. Thousands of people all over Greece have responded to the campaign by donating 3.0... ...


Court rules 2012 bond haircut legal and warranted

The Council of State, the country’s highest administrative court, on Friday rejected an appeal by Greek bondholders seeking compensation for having to accept a severe haircut on the value of their investments in the debt restructuring that took place in M... ...


Manchester Central Library reopens after £50m revamp

Vincent Harris's neoclassical treasure, closed since 2010, celebrates its 80th birthday restored to its former glory• Gallery – take a sneak peek here

For almost four years, hundreds of thousands of books belonging to Manchester have been stuck down a salt mine in Cheshire, patiently waiting for the city's Central Library to reopen after a £50m makeover.

Many were priceless treasures: Shakespeare's Second Folio from 1632 and a handwritten copy of the Codex Justinianus, a 12th-century code of law originally compiled for the Roman Emperor Justinian.

While the manuscripts were in temperature-controlled chambers 1,600 feet (500 metres) below soil, planners, architects and builders were working above ground to bring the magnificent Grade II*-listed neoclassical structure back to its former glory.

On Saturday. the doors of the revamped complex will finally open.

Manchester Central Library celebrates its 80th birthday this year, but looks much older. The original architect, Vincent Harris, was reportedly inspired to create its striking rotunda form by the 2nd century Pantheon in Rome. Though loved by most, it has always looked as if it perhaps landed in modern Manchester by mistake, having got lost en route to Italy or Greece a few thousand years ago, hemmed in by the neo-Gothic splendour of the town hall on one side and the Edwardian baroque red bricks of the Midland Hotel on the other.

Harris made one important concession to the environment, however, building the library from durable Portland Stone, which copes well in even the rainiest climes.

The biggest public lending library in Britain after Birmingham's, it was opened in 1934 by King George V, who described it as a "splendid building" which offered "magnificent" opportunities for the city.

But by the time the library closed in the summer of 2010, the domed roof of its once glorious reading room was riddled with asbestos and the warren-like layout of gloomy corridors and forbidding stairwells had become a no-go area for the younger generation of readers.

"In the old library, 70% of the building was not accessible to the public. We've reversed that so now 70% is open," said Neil MacInnes, head of libraries at Manchester city council.

Targeting young readers is key: there's even a "gaming area" with Xboxes and Playstations, as well as a children's library modelled on The Secret Garden (written by local lass Frances Hodgson Burnett) in the 20,000 sq ft of new space carved out underneath the town hall extension.

From the outside, the library looks the same, but step in through the main "Shakespeare's entrance" – which features a painstakingly restored stained glass mural depicting some of the bard's best-known characters – and it feels like a new building. Instead of being greeted with a brick wall and stairs, visitors enter an open-plan atrium packed with interactive displays on local history and a cafe selling Lancashire crisps, Goosnargh cakes and Manchester fruit loaf.

A glass wall on the far side gives a glimpse into what the old library was like – narrow rows of metal shelving housing dusty old books. Look up through a new glass window and you see the 300-seater reading room on the first floor, one of the few computer-free parts of the new complex.

The restored reading room is undoubtedly the jewel in the crown. Acoustic engineers have worked hard to reduce the echo that used to amplify sounds so much so that "if you shut a metal door nearby it sounded like a car bomb going off in here", Roger Williams, Manchester city council's press officer, recalls. Retained is the quote from Proverbs 4 which has always encircled the dome: "Wisdom is the principal thing therefore get wisdom: And with all thy getting get understanding. Exalt her, and she shall promote thee. She shall bring thee to honour when thou dost embrace her. She shall give to thine head an ornament of grace; A crown of glory she shall deliver to deliver to thee." The new design celebrates the mundane as well as the sacred: one display case contains sweet wrappers from the last 80 years, all found stuffed down the desks by peckish visitors sneaking a sugar rush during their reading.

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The 10 greatest works of art ever

From mysterious 30,000-year-old cave paintings to a 'cathedral of the mind' by Jackson Pollock, art critic Jonathan Jones names his favourite artworks of all time – and where in the world you can see them. What would make your top 10?• The 10 weirdest artworks everThe 10 sexiest artworks everThe 10 most criminal artists ever

Leonardo da Vinci – The Foetus in the Womb (c 1510-13)

Leonardo expresses the human condition in a nutshell – indeed, his rendition of the womb resembles an opened horsechestnut casing. Inside is the beginning of us all laid bare. Five hundred years ago, this artist and scientist could portray the human mystery with a wonder that is not religious but biological he holds up humanity as a fact of nature. It is for me the most beautiful work of art in the world.• Royal Collection, Windsor Castle

Caravaggio – The Beheading of Saint John the Baptist (1608)

Caravaggio shows a murderous moment in a prison yard. The executioner has drawn a knife to sever the last tendons and skin of John the Baptist's neck. Someone watches this horrific moment from a barred window. All around is sepulchral gloom. Death and human cruelty are laid bare by this masterpiece, as its scale and shadow daunt and possess the mind.• St John's Co-Cathedral, Valletta, Malta

Rembrandt – Self-Portrait with Two Circles (c 1665-9)

You are not looking at Rembrandt. He is looking at you. The authority of genius and age gaze out of this autumnal masterpiece with a moral scrutiny that is terrifying. Rembrandt seems to see into the beholder's soul and perceive every failing. He is like God. He is the most serious artist of all, because he makes everyone who stands before him a supplicant in the court of truth.• Kenwood House, London

Chauvet cave paintings (c 30, 000 years ago)

Who painted these exquisitely lifelike portraits of animals? There was no such thing as writing in the ice age so nothing is known of the names, if they had names, of these early people. Cave artists may have been women; they may have been children. What is known is that Homo sapiens, our species of human, makes its mark with these paintings that are as beautiful and intelligent as anything created since.• Chauvet-Pont-d'Arc Cave, Ardèche, France

Jackson Pollock – One: Number 31, 1950 (1950)

The art of Jackson Pollock is a modern mystery. How, from flinging paint on a canvas laid on the ground, did he create such beauty and inner structure? Like a solo by Charlie Parker or Jimi Hendrix, his freeform improvisations loop and lurch and yet achieve a profound unity. Pollock only held this together for a short period of brilliance. This painting is a cathedral of the mind.• MoMA, New York

Velázquez – Las Meninas (c 1656)

The king and queen stand where you are standing, in front of a gathering of courtiers. Velazquez looks from the portrait he is painting of the royal couple. The infanta and her retinue of maids (meninas) and dwarf entertainers are gathered before the monarch. In the distance, a minister or messenger is at the door. In a bright mirror, the royal reflection glows. This painting is a many-layered model of the world's strangeness.• Prado, Madrid

Picasso – Guernica (1937)

When Picasso started to paint his protest at the bombing of Guernica, the ancient Basque capital, by Hitler's air force on behalf of Franco in the Spanish Civil War, he was at the height of his powers. Thirty years after painting his subversive modernist grenade of a picture Les Demoiselles d'Avignon, his cubist intelligence was now enriched by the mythology and poetry unleashed by the surrealist movement. He also looked back to such historical paintings as Raphael's Fire in the Borgo as he set down the greatest human statement of the 20th century.• Reina Sofia, Madrid

Michelangelo – Prisoners (c 1519-34)

Michelangelo's Prisoners, or Slaves, were begun for the tomb of Pope Julius II but never finished. In its entirety – including the Dying and Rebellious Slaves in the Louvre and the statue of Moses on the final, reduced version of the tomb eventually erected in Rome – this constitutes the greatest unfinished masterpiece in the world. Yet Michelangelo did not leave things unfinished out of laziness. It is an aesthetic choice. The tragic power of these prisoners as they struggle to emerge out of raw stone is an expression of the human condition that equals Shakespeare's Hamlet.• Accademia Gallery, Florence

Parthenon Sculptures (447-442 BC)

The long marble frieze, colossal broken statues of reclining gods, and frenzied carvings of centaurs fighting humans that Lord Elgin removed from the Athenian Acropolis two centuries ago are best known today as objects of controversy – which is sad, because we should be marvelling at their genius. Most of the best ancient Greek sculpture is only known through Roman copies. This is the greatest assembly anywhere of the real thing: the very art that created the idea of the "classic". Gaze on the lowing heifer that inspired Keats's Ode on a Grecian Urn and the goddesses whose robes uncannily resemble pictures by Leonardo da Vinci. Artistically, beyond the squabbles, it doesn't get better than this.• British Museum, London

Cézanne – Mont Sainte-Victoire (1902-4)

The broken vision of Cezanne is a glittering array of glimpses and hesitations and reconsiderations. The intensity of his gaze and the severity of his mind as he attempts to see and somehow grasp the essence of the mountain before him is one of the most moving and revelatory struggles in the history of art. Out of it, very quickly, came cubism and abstraction. But even if Cezanne's researches had led nowhere, they would put him among the greatest artists.• Philadelphia Museum of Art

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Samaras: European partners say Greece has achieved its objectives

a relationship complemented by the vast number of Russian tourists that will continue to grow. It is very important for us, it is not something that can change and the privatization process is unrelated to the developments in Ukraine. There was an ...


‘Greek’ Star Jake McDorman, Real Navy SEALs Join Bradley Cooper's ‘American Sniper’ (Exclusive)

Jake McDorman, who starred on “Greek” and can currently be seen on “Shameless,” is in talks to join Bradley Cooper and Cory Hardrict on the battlefield in Clint Eastwood's “American Sniper,” an individual familiar with the Warner Bros.