Rizari Park

Rizari Park, photo: Mathias Völzke

Near the Athens War Museum, a green oasis of exclusively Mediterranean flora is situated between two busy avenues. The plants were bequeathed in 1844 by Georgios Rizaris, a former member of the Society of Friends (Filiki Eteria), perhaps the most important of the secret associations formed in the struggle for Greece’s independence from the Ottoman Empire. Rizaris’s wish was for a garden in the city center for the recreation of its youth. David Harding has taken two lines from Samuel Beckett’s poem Cascando (1936) to mark the park’s desire lines: “If you do not love me I shall not be loved / If I do not love you I shall not love.” In his recent research on Beckett, Harding came across an article that noted: “New Irish Offshore Patrol Vessels named the Samuel Beckett Class.” It turned out that over the past year, the PV Samuel Beckett has been patrolling the sea off Libya, rescuing refugees.

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