When Jenny Mikakos reunited with Greek Culture Minister Lina Mendoni

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By Mary Sinanidis

Victoria’s former Labor health minister Jenny Mikakos and Greece’s conservative New Democracy Culture Minister Dr Lina Mendoni live in different hemispheres and stand on opposite sides of the political fence.

What they share, however, is a love of culture, Greece and female camaraderie.  

Far from the media frenzy surrounding the Open Horizons display, they met on Friday afternoon at the Greek Consulate of Melbourne for a meaningful tet-a-tet. 

“It was lovely to meet with Dr Mendoni again to personally thank her for her determination in sending us this priceless exhibition,” Ms Mikakos told The Greek Herald, remembering her 2019 vacation to Greece when an impromptu visit laid the foundation of the Open Horizons display currently on show at the Melbourne Museum.

READ MORE: Ancient Greek statues ‘speak’ of migration and multiculturalism at the Melbourne Museum – Greek Herald

Greek Culture Minister Lina Mendoni with former health Minister Jenny Mikakos when they met in Athens in 2019

It was also the start of a bond between the two women. “She is a very warm and enthusiastic person and I expressed how impressed I was with the exhibition and how I’m sure it will be a great success,” Ms Mikakos said.

They each gave each other gifts, Ms Mikakos was presented with a gift representing Asclepius god of medicine and Dr Mendoni was offered a beautiful scarf with Aboriginal artwork.

The greatest gift of course, was the one offered to the Melburnians who have the opportunity to enjoy antiquities in Melbourne from the National Archaeological Museum of Athens, the largest in Greece. 

This meeting followed Dr Mendoni’s visit to the Governor of Victoria, the Honourable Linda Dessau AC and a private tour at La Trobe University.

*Open Horizons: Ancient Greek Journeys and Connections can be viewed at the Melbourne Museum until Sunday 14 August.

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