From Realtà Mapei International n° 66 - 2/19/2018

Principivm - Only the best on display

Mapei’s greek subsidiary celebrated the group’s 80th anniversary with a special event and exhibition of modern mosaic works.

Location icon Athens

Mapei has been operating in Greece for many years now: Mapei Hellas SA, the Group’s Greek subsidiary distributing building products on the Greek and Cypriot markets, was set up in Athens in 2001.

Mapei also opened a manufacturing plant in Ritsona in central Greece in 2010 to become more competitive locally and improve services for Greek and Cypriot customers. Production was initially confined to cementitious powder adhesives for ceramics and stone material, but in 2015 it was extended by introducing a range of admixtures for concrete. Mapei solutions for ceramics and stone material, products for the building industry, thermal insulation, waterproofing and structural strengthening, and wall coatings are now manufactured at the production plant in Ritsona, where the Mapei Hellas SA headquarters and warehouse are also located.

From when it was first set up to the present day, and even during the economic recession that hit Greece so hard, Mapei Hellas SA has kept on growing unlike so many other Greek businesses. There is expected to be a particularly large increase in turnover in 2017: +30% compared to the previous year for a total of 14 million Euros. The subsidiary is planning further investments in logistics and other measures designed to boost production and to support this positive trend.

 

Constant attention to human resources has definitely been a key factor in this startling growth: Mapei Hellas SA currently employs 51 staff and is continuing to invest in training to improve staff performance and, hence, customer services.

Technical assistance is the field in which the Greek subsidiary stands out most on the local market compared to its competitors, providing a superior service to both end users of its products and distributors. Mapei Hellas SA’s team of expert technicians provides constant support for its business partners, both by organising training programs and seminars for professionals in the industry and by taking part in conferences held by research centres and institutes.

Over the years this has resulted in the Group’s Greek subsidiary becoming increasingly involved in major building projects, such as those to construct or renovate prestigious Greek and Cypriot buildings, including facilities for hosting the Athens Olympics, Athens Metro, the Acropolis Museum in Athens, the Larnaca International Airport in Cyprus and many others.

AN EVENING AT THE EMBASSY: ART AND VIPS
Mapei’s 80th anniversary was also celebrated in grand style in Greece. Mapei Hellas SA decided not only to organise an entire day’s celebrations but also sponsor a special exhibition that lasted almost 2 weeks from 21st June to 2nd July. We are referring to the “PRINCIPIVM” mosaic installation held at the Italian Embassy in Athens.

Mapei is widely known and respected for its attention to art. Based on its founder Rodolfo Squinzi’s belief that “Work can never be separated from art and passion”, the Group is constantly committed to supporting events, people and locations in the world of art: from its long-term backing for the La Scala Opera House in Milan, the National Trust for Italy (FAI) and Accademia Nazionale Santa Cecilia in Rome to its partnership in renovating such famous theatres and museums as the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice, and the aforementioned La Scala Opera House.

This faith in art and determination to keep on progressing to achieve better results was embraced by the Greek artist Olga Goulandris, who also admires the company’s remarkable technical expertise and constant investment in research. Mapei Hellas SA’s backing for this exhibition is also part of the subsidiary’s ongoing commitment to support local cultural events and sports.

Olga’s mosaic works displayed in the exhibition set out to explore the relations between different natural elements, making each work a seamless whole without compromising the individuality of its constitutive parts. The creative process she uses is called “intuitive mosaics”: there is no specific underlying plan, just constant experimentation into textures, colours and materials.

The artist first came into contact with Mapei a few years ago in Venice, and it was after finding out about the company’s various solutions that she created the works forming PRINCIPIVM. They are spheres covered with mosaics, whose irregular surfaces evoke the forms of the sea, motions of the sky, the effects of lights and fluttering landscapes. The mosaics were given a solid base thanks to Mapei products, in particular ADESILEX P22, ULTRAMASTIC III and ULTRATOP COLOR PASTE.

It took two days of hard work to install Olga’s works in the Italian Embassy garden in Athens set around a prestigious neoclassical-style building. Built in 1870 right in front of the Royal Palace and designed by the German architect Ernst Ziller as the private home of the banker Stephen Psycha, the building has been home to members of the Greek Royal family since 1902, such as Prince Nikolaos, who subsequently allowed it to be used as the home of the Norwegian and Italian Embassies. Owned by the Italian Government since 1955, the building also accommodates the Ambassador’s residence and chancellery.     

The opening ceremony of the PRINCIPIVM exhibition was held in this magnificent setting on 21st June. It was a chance for Mapei Hellas SA to invite lots of special guests: customers, architects, engineers, representatives of building contractors, leading figures from the local economy and industry, and plenty of journalists and VIPs from the Greek cultural-artistic scene. The number of important guests in attendance is further proof of the close ties between Mapei Hellas SA and the Greek industrial community of which it is an active member and supporter.

The event was also attended by His Excellency Efisio Luigi Marras, the Italian Ambassador in Athens, Veronica Squinzi, the Mapei Group’s Global Development Director, Flavio Terruzzi, Mapei Director for Europe and Africa, Fabio Fenech, Mapei Corporate Area Manager for Greece, and Laura Bosser, Mapei Corporate HR Manager, as well, of course, as the artist Olga Goulandris. Maurice Karam, the owner of CMC    (Mapei distributor in Lebanon), and George Psimolophites for GEVO (Mapei distributor in Cyprus) also attended.

All the guests were welcomed by Dr. Spyros Papagiannakis, the General Manager of Mapei Hellas SA, and were served a welcome cocktail.

Guests got the chance to visit the interior of the Embassy building before stepping out into the garden, where they were able to “experiment with” the artworks as an integral part of their surroundings, to the accompaniment of background music specially composed for the exhibition.

This was the setting in which the official speeches were given: Dr. Spyros Papagiannakis thanked Olga Goulandris and the Italian Ambassador for their involvement and support and emphasized the significance of choosing to host the event on Midsummer’s Day, when light overcomes darkness, which is the same message of hope for the future of Greece and Mapei Hellas SA that the Greek subsidiary is trying to convey.

The Italian Ambassador emphasised the importance of art and culture even in tricky economic times and underlined the excellent relations between Italy and Greece, mentioning Mapei as a company Italy should be proud of. Olga Goulandris thanked Mapei for supporting her art and exhibition and outlined the sources of inspiration behind the works on display. Veronica Squinzi also mentioned how long Mapei has been operating in Greece, noting that the Group plans to keep on helping its subsidiary grow in this country.

A second event organised by Mapei Hellas SA was held at the Italian Embassy the following evening. This was a less formal occasion during which the Ambassador, artist and General Manager of Mapei Hellas SA hosted various representatives from the Athens cultural scene and some Mapei customers.

Plenty of attention was focused on the gala evenings and exhibition in various local means of communication: newspapers, magazines, TV programmes, websites etc. The overall event and Principivm exhibition were rewarded in this year’s “Mapei References Grand Prix”, an annual competition Mapei reserves for the most important building projects involving its products.

 

Project data sheet

Yard artistic item
Location Athens, Greece
Subcategory SCULPTURES
Built in 2017
Opened in 2017
Application supply of products for srtistic mosaics installation
Start and finish date 2017
Application Type Installation of wall coverings
Realtà Mapei Tags: #mapeigems #support #culture

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