Athens Concert Hall (Megaron) has celebrated the anniversary of 20 years of functioning, with representatives of the state, culture and the country’s wider social network attending the anniversary event at the centre.

“The contribution of Megaron was decisive in the cultural development of our country,” Prime Minister George Papandreou stressed in a message read by Culture and Tourism Minister Pavlos Geroulanos.

The prime minister termed the Megaron “a valuable helper in the sector of culture” speaking of the benefits of the centre to education for children and young people as well as its contribution to “the country’s development effort”. Papandreou conveyed the wish for the Megaron’s “splendid course to continue with a greater opening to society”. He said “art and culture open the horizons, constitute a field of consultation, healthy dialogue even confrontation as well, but above all they constitute a basic motive power for the future.”

Meanwhile, Finance Minister Giorgos Papaconstantinou has said the government is paying the loan taken out by the cash-strapped Megaron. Papaconstantinou said the privately-owned concert hall took out a 95-million-euro loan in 2007 to cover its operational costs and that the centre will be forced to close down if it cannot meet the instalments. He said the state acted as a guarantor for the loan and has little choice but to pay. Source: ANA-MPA,