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Greek city gives Aristotle to park – QNS.com

Greek city gives Aristotle to park

A popular Astoria park, named for a Greek city, will soon have another tie to the European country. On Saturday, April 5, a bust of Greek philosopher Aristotle will be unveiled at Athens Square Park, located at 30th Avenue and 30th Street, during a ceremony slated to begin at 1 p.m. Entertainment will begin at noon.
The Greek city of Halkidiki donated the statue, which was sculpted by George V. Tsaras, to the city of New York for placement in the Queens park.
Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe and Vasilios Vasilakis, the Governor of the Greek city of Halkidiki, are both expected to attend the ceremony, which was organized in conjunction with Athens Square Inc., an organization dedicated to improving the park.
“They [Athens Square Inc.] have been working to design and fund the renovation,” said Parks spokesperson Trish Bertuccio.
The group raised $45,000 to pay for the maintenance of the statue, said Vice President George Delis. The Stavros Niarchos Foundation donated $25,000, Astoria Energy LLC $10,000 and a private donor provided $10,000.
The statue had been ready and waiting in Greece until Athens Square Inc. collected the money, Delis said.
“We waited 10 years for this statue,” he said, explaining that he had traveled to Greece two years ago to negotiate the work’s release.
The bronze bust of Aristotle will join depictions of fellow Greeks - mythical goddess Athena and philosopher Socrates - in the park.
A fourth space for a statue remains open, and the parks group is already planning to place a statue of playwright Sophocles in the area. However, they expect the statue and maintenance fees to reach $100,000.
“If anyone wants to give us the money, we will dedicate the statue in their name,” Delis said.

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