Thematic exhibition

Delphic Festivals

An attempt to revive the Delphic Ideals

The Delphic Festivals have been the brainchild of the Greek poet Angelos Sikellianos and his wife, american archeologist Eva Palmer. The couple envisioned the festivities as a revival of the Delphic Ideals and aspired to the creation of a space where nations could come together and create mutual understanding. The Delphic Festivals were organised in 1927 and 1930 on the archeological site of ancient Delphi. The choice of the site had a symbolic purpose since it hosted for centuries the most important and long-lasting amphictyony of ancient Greece, an alliance of several cities with strong bonds and political power, that is said to have inspired the creation of several leagues of nations throughout history.

The festivities included a guided tour of the antiquities which had been recently revealed, athletic games, reenactment of ancient dances, talks and the presentation of ancient tragedies, namely Aeschylus' "Prometheus Bound" and Euripides' "The Suppliants". The Delphic Festivals attracted prominent intellectuals from Greece and abroad but also were severely criticised by part of the press. Although they financially ruined the couple who refused to receive any sponsorships and subsidies, and soon after that, divorced, they said to have sparked the interest for the establishment of festivals in Greece in ancient theatres like the Epidaurus festival.