From the idea to the implementation

An educational gathering of the teachers in the Prefecture of Preveza on 10 June, 1950 gave birth to the idea of creating this now famous monument. Georgios Sakkas, then principal of the Kamarina Elementary School, proposed its creation.

In a short period of time, on September 1st of the same year, the Prefect of Preveza made an appeal for fundraising. His example was followed by the Preveza Elementary School Inspector, addressing all schools in the wider district. On 29 October, 1950 and while the fundraising was ongoing around Greece, the monument’s foundations were put in place in a symbolic ceremony. On 1 May, 1953, and while a sum of money had indeed been gathered, the Ministry of Education announced a Panhellenic contest between sculptors and architects. The study of Patroklos Karantinos and Georgios Zongolopoulos receives first prize. It envisioned a stone construction on a skeleton of reinforced concrete.

Officially, construction began in July 1954, but because the stones were inappropriate, the work was interrupted in order to search for new stones. Soon a new rock was selected (off-white without veins) and transported from a location 16 km north of Ioannina. The remaining material (sand, gravel, cement, water, wood) were transported to the top of the cliff originally by hand, but later on by means of an aerial mechanism of 270m created for this purpose. In 1955, work was interrupted again and on 30 April, the General Director of Epirus addressed an appeal to the mayors, community chairmen and school directors for a new fundraiser in order to finish the monument. In March 1957, continuing the work was approved, this time with the assistance of the army, so that implementation may proceed. Georgios Zongolopoulos and Patroklos Karantinos were responsible for the general supervision while the technical implementation, following their suggestion, was undertaken by marble technician Eleftherios Giftopoulos. A marble plaque on the base of the monument mentions all three names of the contributors: “Georgios Zongolopoulos, sculptor, Patroklos Karantinos, architect, technical supervision, Eleftherios Giftopoulos”. This time, the work towards completion of the monument lasted for about four years (1957-1960). In 1961, the monument was completed and the inauguration took place in the beginning of summer (June 10).