We express our deepest respect to His Most Divine All- Holiness The Archbishop of Constantinople, New Rome, and Ecumenical Patriarch Sire Bartholomew and to Their Excellencies The Presidents of the Hellenic Republic, Konstantinos Stefanopoulos († 2016), Karolos Papoulias and Prokopios Pavlopoulos,
who placed the Project and the Journey of the Velimezis Icon Collection under their auspices.
We thank warmly the serving (1995 to today) presidents of the Board of Trustees of the Benaki Museum, Marinos Geroulanos († 2018) and Aimilia Geroulanou, as well as all its members, the present president and director Irini Geroulanou, the late director and academician Angelos Delivorrias († 2018), the archaeologist Electra Georgoula, responsible for the Velimezis Project, the Byzantinist Professor Anastasia Drandaki, the head of the Publications Department Dimitris Arvanitakis, the director of the Accounts Department Dimitris Droungas, as well as the personnel of the Museum. The expert scholar on the Collection Professor Nano Chatzidakis, the chief conservator of the icons of the Velimezis Collection Stergios Stassinopoulos and his collaborators.
Those who have served as Ministers of Culture and Foreign Affairs of Greece during the long period of the Collection’s travels and exhibitions, and the competent civil servants who willingly dealt with diverse contingent issues. Likewise, the ambassadors, consuls, cultural attachés in Greek embassies abroad, as well as their foreign counterparts in Athens and Thessaloniki, who supported our efforts. The directors and curators of the museums, in Greece and abroad, in which the Collection has been presented.
We recall most affectionately the enthusiasm of Lila Marangou when, with her friend Cornelia Hadjiaslani-Boura, she first saw part of the Icon Collection and advised me to meet the late Manolis Chatzidakis, who was the first to study the icons.
We thank too our specialist collaborators, professors, scholars, conservators and transporters of artworks, valuers, architects, set designers, actors, cantors, musicians and legal advisors, the photographers, translators, editors of texts and graphic artists of the innumerable pages of the publication programme.
We always remember fondly those who travelled with us so many times and shared their interest, support and affection for the difficult and multifaceted endeavour, as well as the dozens of volunteers and ‘Friends of the Velimezis Collection’ for countless hours of selfless service in preparing the exhibitions and the accompanying actions. We express our gratitude to the donors of works with which the Collection has been enriched from time to time, and to all the dear friends of the Collection everywhere, in Greece, Europe and America, who have supported and continue to support us organizationally, morally and financially. Especially Emilios Ph. Margarits, Olga Julius, Eleni A. Koltsidopoulou and the fellowtraveller Alexandros G. Makris with whom we have shared joys and sorrows in the course of this venture and particularly over the past fifteen years.
We express our gratitude for their support of the Velimezis Project, to the presidents and members of the Boards, the executive officers and the responsible personnel of the organizations and companies, as named in the List of Supporters.
Last but not least, we thank all those who have contributed and are contributing – each in his/her own way – to the fulfilment of the Project.