The first international exhibition of Orthodox icon contemporary art has been held in Athens, sponsored by the Coptic Church in Greece together with UNESCO and the Egyptian Cultural Centre. The exhibition opened on 24 September and runs till tomorrow 28 September.
Participating in the opening were Patriarch of the Greek Orthodox Church Ieronymos II, Coptic Orthodox Metropolitan of Jerusalem Anba Antonius, and Bishop of Greece Anba Pavlos.
The exhibition displayed icons from many places over the Orthodox world.
From Egypt, iconographer Adel Nassief participated with a 122 x 65cm icon of the Flight of the Holy Family into Egypt. It depicts in tempra the Child Jesus, His mother Mary and St Joseph in a boat sailing on the Nile. The river bank hold typical Egyptian scenery of fields, temples, pyramids, and symbolic churches with domes and crosses as a premonition of Christianity entering Egypt. An Egyptian woman carries the onkh, the cross-like symbol of life in ancient Egypt, in one hand and a bunch of lotus flowers symbolising peace in the other. The palms carry the red dates that Copts today use to denote the blood of the martyrs who died for their faith during times of persecution.