Sun. Mar 7th, 2021
Ex-Artistic Director of Greece’s National Theater Held After Rape Arrest Warrant


ATHENS — The Greek police on Saturday evening arrested the former artistic director of the country’s prestigious Nationwide Theater, who has been the target of accusations of sexual abuse and harassment that have buffeted the Greek arts globe in excess of the previous weeks.

Dimitris Lignadis turned himself in at the Athens police headquarters shortly following becoming informed that a warrant had been issued for his arrest on rape fees, his attorney, Nikos Georgouleas, explained in a text message. Speaking later on outdoors police headquarters, the place his consumer was becoming held, Mr. Georgouleas explained his consumer denied the fees.

“Everything that is becoming heard, he denies,” the attorney explained.

Mr. Lignadis is the most higher-profile amongst the many directors and actors to have been named in a torrent of accusations that have rocked the Greek arts globe. And the fees towards him are amongst the most major. He resigned from his publish at the Nationwide Theater earlier this month following reviews emerged suggesting that he had sexually harassed youthful actors, which he furiously denied. Right after his resignation, additional reviews emerged, alleging additional major abuse.

Credit score…Efi Skaza/Eurokinissi, by way of Agence France-Presse — Getty Photos

The upheaval in Greece’s arts globe has come following an Olympic sailor, Sofia Bekatorou, accused a prime sailing official final month of sexually abusing her in 1998. Her fees represented the very first higher-profile accusation of sexual assault and abuse of electrical power in Greece considering that the #MeToo motion swept the globe, bringing down effective figures in sports activities, the media and past.

On Friday, Greece’s culture minister, Lina Mendoni, explained she had asked the country’s Supreme Court to investigate a barrage of accusations of sexual assault, generally individuals involving the abuse of minors.

In her remarks, Ms. Mendoni underlined the want for “catharsis” in Greece’s cultural sector and explained that sexual abuse, specifically towards minors, have to not go unpunished.

The unfolding scandal has fueled a vehement political battle in Greece. Ms. Mendoni’s detractors blame her for appointing Mr. Lignadis to the Nationwide Theater in 2019. Defending her ministry’s actions, Ms Mendoni explained that neither she nor the country’s prime minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, had acknowledged Mr Lignadis “personally,” and knew him only as an actor.

“Mr Lignadis is a hazardous guy, but that has emerged now,” the minister explained. She explained she felt “deceived” by him.

“With deep acting talent he experimented with to persuade us that he had practically nothing to do with all this,” Ms Mendoni explained, referring to the accusations of abuse.

Mr. Mitsotakis, the prime minister, also referred to the mounting amount of accusations of sexual abuse and harassment in the Greek doing arts throughout a televised meeting with President Katerina Sakellaropoulou on Friday.

“The sexual abuse of minors is the most abhorrent model of this phenomenon,” Mr. Mitsotakis explained at the meeting. “In the public dialogue that has thankfully begun we have to reach the best achievable political and social consensus if we are to tackle the dilemma,” he explained.

Greek prosecutors are anticipated to begin summoning witnesses subsequent week for their broader inquiry into allegations of abuse and harassment in the Greek arts globe, commencing with the head of the country’s actors’ union, Spyros Bibilas, who explained the union has been deluged with complaints by actors reporting alleged abuse.

In a statement issued following Mr Lignadis’ arrest on Saturday, Greece’s Justice Ministry explained that judicial authorities “will do what ever is important in purchase to make certain every thing comes to light on this pretty shady situation and for justice to be carried out.”

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