Reactions to expansion of fish farms – Peak impacts on tourism

In Memory of Local Artist George Xenoulis

February 28th, 2024

George Xenoulis, the renowned sculptor originally from Poros, recently passed away at the age of 79. The sculptor of the Mermaid of Poros, reflecting his love for the place where he grew up, left his indelible mark with the statue he sculpted for our island.

George Xenoulis lived on Poros from his childhood until the age of 19. Afterwards, he left for Africa, where he worked as a dental technician, as from a very young age he possessed tremendous skills in designing and molding figures, as well as in tool use precision. On this long journey, he was introduced to sculpture through the art of the indigenous people of Central Africa and was impressed by their original craftsmanship and the materials they used. A few years later, in Pretoria, South Africa, George Xenoulis studied the art of sculpture.

After many decades abroad, in the 1990s, he visits the place where he grew up after a long time. Deeply moved by his reconnection with Poros, he decides to offer his artistic work pro bono and created the Mermaid of Poros. The Mermaid, with Kimomeni mountain in the background, has adorned Poros since the turn of the millennium and has been the island’s mascot for all these years. In addition to the Mermaid, George Xenoulis envisioned another statue for Poros: a large bronze statue of Poseidon, rising from the sea, on the canal between Poros and Galatas. Unfortunately, the artist’s ambitious vision of creating this monumental sculpture was never realized due to various unforeseen challenges and obstacles he faced during his lifetime.

The tranquility and sensitivity he exuded, as well as the way he saw the complete harmony of nature as a basic element of life, are qualities that are strongly reflected in his works. The source of inspiration at all stages of his artistic career were ancient Greek mythology, Mediterranean nature and the sea. His design and sculptural skills allowed him to depict impressively realistic forms, which are distinguished by their liveliness and truthfulness. His works have been presented in national and international exhibitions and today they adorn various parts of Greece.

Our deepest condolences to the family of George Xenoulis. His contribution and his love for Poros will be forever in our hearts.

We are very grateful to Mr. Yannis Maniatis and the Hatzopoulios Municipal Library for the valuable information collected through its archives. We also thank Mr. Kostis Douzinas and Ms. Nancy Douzinas who spoke to us about George Xenoulis and shared with us his works from their personal collection.

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02 February 2024
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