9th January 2003

 

HOLY HONOUR FOR SPEEDY GREEK SWIMMER

 

University of Lincoln student Georgious Aristotelis ‘Aris’ Sakellariou was the first to retrieve the cross at a traditional Orthodox Church ceremony of casting the cross on the water in Istanbul on Monday.

 

This ceremony celebrates the baptisim of Christ and has not been performed in this way for the last 50 years.

 

Aris, who is a Greek national studying Conservation and Restoration at the Lincoln School of Art and Design, is currently working with Restaurateurs Sans

Frontičres in Istanbul.

“He visited the ceremony with colleagues and fellow Greek students,” said university lecturer John Greenwood, who is also in Turkey at present.

 

The cross was cast into the waters of the Golden Horn, or Haliç, in Istanbul by the Patriach, the head of the Orthodox Church, and Aris was the first to swim out and reach it.

 

“To retrieve the cross was a great honour for Aris and his family,” said John. “His grandmother cried when she found out.

 

“We celebrated that night but have to keep out of the way of irate Greek mothers in the area who wanted the honour for their son!

 

“It really is a big thing here and the news was splashed all over the television and newspapers. One of the local Greek mothers reported Aris to the police for trying to steal the cross as they thought he was an outsider planted by the university!”

 

An Associated Press copyright photograph of Aris retrieving the cross can be viewed online at:

 

http://www.in.gr/news/article.asp?lngEntityID=428764&lngDtrID=244

 

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For more information contact: Jez Ashberry, Press and Media Relations Manager

University of Lincoln (tel: 01522 886042)

email: jashberry@lincoln.ac.uk

 

Check for the latest university news at www.lincoln.ac.uk/news