The Delphic Centre can become an institution that expresses the ideals, cultural values and even the concerns of modern Europe.Konstantinos G. Karamanlis
The European Cultural Centre of Delphi (E.C.C.D.) was founded in 1977, upon the inspiration and initiative of Konstantinos Karamanlis with the view of setting up a European and worldwide intellectual centre in Delphi.
The first thoughts and discussions started in the 1930s when, in the aftermath of the Delphic Festivals (1927 & 1930), the Parliament and the Senate passed a law providing for the establishment and organisation of an International Intellectual Cooperation Centre similar to the “treasures” of the ancient Greek city of Delphi. In 1957, Greece filed a draft proposal to the Council of Europe for the foundation of an Intellectual Centre in Delphi, which was also accepted.
The construction of the conference venue began in 1966, based on the architectural plans of architects Kostas Kitsikis and Antonios Lampakis. The construction was completed in 1970. The cost was covered by state funds and funds of the Council of Europe.
In 1977, by an act of the Greek Parliament, the E.C.C.D. was established as a “corporate body under private law”, under the supervision of the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and the auspices of the Council of Europe.
According to its founding law, its aim is to “serve international cultural interests” and “develop common cultural principles that will unite the peoples of Europe” through the “publication of studies on European culture, the organization of cultural meetings and other artistic activities…”
To this end, the E.C.C.D., during its longstanding activity in the field of culture, has organized numerous events and run several programmes, such as:
- Delphi Academy of European Studies, which focuses on the diachronic and synchronic study of European history and culture and the ways in which Europe today responds to the multifaceted challenges of political, economic, and cultural globalisation.
- International Meetings on Ancient Drama, which promoted cultural dialogue between different theatrical traditions and functioned as a multicultural and multilingual laboratory where new proposals on ancient drama could be performed, recorded, and put to the test.
- Seminars in Ancient Greek, aiming at the training of classical philologists and secondary school teachers in European countries in ancient Greek.
- Panhellenic Debating Competitions with the participation of high school students from all over Greece and the support of the Hellenic Ministry of Education.
- Art Programme, the result of the various activities of which was the creation of a Sculpture Park and a permanent Collection of Contemporary Art in Delphi.
Today, guided by its statutory mission and rich tradition, the E.C.C.D. sets as a priority the exploration of issues directly related to the rapid developments experienced by humanity in the fields of culture, thought, politics and sciences, and enriches its programmes with new annual initiatives, such as:
- Delphi Dialogues, where eminent thinkers and world-class scientists discuss burning issues of current affairs and problems that humanity will have to face in the near future.
- Theatre Education Programme, which aims to bring the younger generation into contact with contemporary trends in theatre and the working methods of great masters of world theatre.
- Conference on Antiquity & the Modern World, with the aim of promoting a creative dialogue between classical antiquity and contemporary culture.