23 JUNE 2018
Amnesty International’s strong message of solidarity at Athens International Airport in support of the global “I Welcome” campaign
Today, June 23rd, Athens International Airport became home to a Tapestry named “I Love Greece” reflecting a strong message of solidarity and humanity among the people across the world.  
The monumental Tapestry unveiled today at the airport’s arrivals, was “designed” and offered as a gift to Amnesty International by the acclaimed Greek artist, Sophia Vari, in support of Amnesty’s global campaign “I Welcome” for the people seeking refuge.
This action and universal message is warmly embraced by the world-famous artist Sting, supporter of Amnesty since the mid 80s, who honored the event at Athens Airport today.  
Symbolizing the Greek welcome offered to hundreds of thousands of men, women and children from Syria fleeing war and persecution, at a difficult point in time for Greece itself, the tapestry will be on permanent display in the arrivals hall of Athens International Airport, for millions of passengers to pass by it, reflect and remember.
On the occasion of the unveiling of the “I Love Greece” Tapestry, on Saturday, June 23rd, 2018, -very close to the World Refugee Day on June 20th, Mr Gabriel Sakellaridis, Director of the Greek Section of Amnesty International, stated: 
“Fleeing the atrocity of war and persecution, more than one million people travelled through Greece in the previous years, in order to provide their families with the hope for a safe and decent life. The majority of people in our country did not close their eyes before this, they did not hide nor expressed fear, contrary to most European governments. The people demonstrated solidarity to those who needed it more than all of us, isolating racism and xenophobia.  These are the people Amnesty International would like to honor and thank by offering Sophia Vari’s work of art to Athens International Airport.”
Artist Ms Sophia Vari, creator of the “I Love Greece” Tapestry, stated:
“I strongly support the idea of thanking the people of Greece for their generosity and solidarity with those less fortunate arriving on our shores. I am proud that it will be displayed for the enjoyment of millions of travelers arriving in Greece every year”.
The event and universal message is supported by the world-renowned musician Sting, member of Amnesty since the mid 80s, who attended the unveiling at Athens Airport today. He and Shaggy are currently on their 44/876 Tour with concerts scheduled in Athens on June 22 and 23.
Sting, a longtime supporter of Amnesty International, stated:
 “For over 30 years, I have actively supported Amnesty International’s work to defend and protect human rights. Their campaign to support refugees is both urgent and vital. I am proud to lend my support and honoured to join with renowned Greek artist Sophia Vari who has generously donated her art for the creation of this magnificent tapestry.”
The CEO of Athens International Airport, Dr Yiannis Paraschis, stated: “During recent years, we have been witnessing the consequences of war, as millions of refugees left their birthplaces, seeking a better life and a welcoming, saving hand. Athens International Airport proudly supported the creation of this magnificent tapestry “designed” by the renowned Sophia Vari, and, of course, the important action of Amnesty International. As of today, we are spreading across the message of solidarity and humanity to visitors from across the globe.”
AIA Press Office
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