The island of Tinos, home to some of the country’s finest marble sculptors, is keeping the tradition alive, and not just through the quarries that continue to produce top-quality marble. The island’s biggest strength lies in its Preparatory and Professional School of Fine Arts of Panormou, which serves as a hothouse for young artisans. Indeed, many graduates of the school have also been involved in reconstruction work at the Parthenon and other significant monuments.
This year the school, which was opened in 1955, is celebrating 50 years of successful operation, which it is observing with a special event on September 3 at 7 p.m. at Pyrgos, held in cooperation with the Society of Tinos Studies. The keynote speakers at the event are school director Babis Kritikos and society head Dimitris Sofianos.
Over the course of these 50 years, noted Kritikos in a past interview with Kathimerini, things at the school have changed a lot and demand is still high. The director stressed that the school is in dire need of infrastructural improvement, but unfortunately lacks the funds. He also notes that the students are not drawn only from the island; there are many young people coming to the school from all parts of the country. The buildings are not big enough to accommodate the studios so the school has to stuff 40 students into one small classroom. Many of the classes are held in an old primary school built in the 1800s. Some efforts were made a few years to change the legal framework of the school, but unfortunately none of the proposals ever panned out.