The National Hellenic Society (NHS) and National Hellenic Museum (NHM) programmatic collaboration on the traveling exhibit, “The Spirit of the Marathon” was showcased at the prestigious Museum of Science in Boston in celebration of the 119th running of the Boston Marathon. The Exhibit traces the history and impact of Marathon from its ancient roots, when the Greek herald, Pheiddippides, after a grueling 26.2 mile run, proclaimed victory over the Persians: defeat would have been an end to Athenian democracy and would have changed history.
The “Spirit of the Marathon” exhibit traces the race from its ancient roots to modern day venues in the context of compelling stories of runners that stirred the hearts of people worldwide. The exhibit’s four themes are: “The Legend and Spirit of Pheidippides”, “The Modern Marathon”, “Running with Purpose”, and “The Spirit Today”.
The underlying message of the “Spirit of the Marathon” is a race not measured solely in distance and time–but a celebration of purpose, accomplishment, and resolve. Fanis Economidis, NHS’ Program Committee Chair stated: “the Spirit of the Marathon is about the will to overcome obstacles, personal and collective; a testament to the resiliency of western civilization and celebration of our way of life in America, Greece and all free nations where democracy reigns. That battle of liberty still wages on despite the passage of thousands of years after Pheidippides echoed: ‘nenikikamen’–we are victorious!”
NHS Executive Director, Art Dimopoulos stated: “the NHS and our partners, the National Hellenic Museum, are delighted to have the opportunity to disseminate and celebrate Hellenic heritage to mainstream audiences. Our story is their story–our heritage is all-embracing and the values and themes we extol resonate with all.”