On 03.11.2012 the monument “Abduction of Europe” was unveiled in the port area of Agios Nikolaos.
The city’s mayor Dimitris Kounenakis declared:
“Under the given particular historical circumstances, we want to convey a message of unity, peace and solidarity among the peoples of Europe.” The monument is the work of the painter, sculptor and regisseur Nikos Koundourou.
Even Rembrandt and Titian had dealt with the Abduction of Europe, in Pompeii she was depicted as a fresco, and as her admirer of modern times Fernando Bottero created her a monument in Florida.
Europe in Breisach
A very beautiful and imaginative abduction of Europe is that of the artist Helmut Lutz from the year 2000 on the cathedral square in Breisach. It bears the title “Europe Reaching for the Stars”. The bull is of Greek marble, his horns and princess Europa standing on his back are made of bronze.
Europe in Strasbourg
Even in front of the Europe Palace in Strasbourg an abduction of Europe is flaunted. It is a gift of Crete to the European Parliament in 2005, and was created under the hands of the brothers Nikos and Pantelis Sotiriadis from Agios Nikolaos, Crete, which weighs almost 6 tons and consists of three different materials: steel (Taurus), bronze (young princess ) and glass.
In 1948, the king’s daughter was honored on the German 5 Mark note, and the most popular kidnapping today is possibly this shown on the Greek 2 Euro coin.
And what does Greek mythology say?
Europe was the daughter of the Phoenician king Agenor and nationally renowned for her beauty. Her fame came fell upon the ears of Zeus, who immediately invented a plan for the conquest of Europe and implemented it into practice.
Transformed as a bull with a beautiful soft fur, he mingled with the herd of Agenor and came close to the beach, where Europe lingered with her playmates. The mutual teasing between the girl and the bull became more and more trustworthy and Europe suddenly jumped on the neck of the animal. Zeus hesitated not for one moment …. he immediately sped away with his love … right up to the Cretan coast, where they went in at modern day’s Matala shore. In Gortyn they begat Zeus 3 sons: Minos, Sarpedon and Rhadamanthus.
Read more about the charming sea side town Agios Nikolaos.