Diogenis Valavanidis receives Order of the Serbian Orthodox Church
Today, in the formal Hall of the Serbian Patriarchate, in the attendance of all members of the Holy Synod of Bishops, His Holiness Irinej, Serbian Patriach granted the high medal of our holy Church to Mr. Diogenis Valavanidis.
On this occasion the Primate of our Church held a welcome speech in which he talked about celebrant's deed. Diogenis Valavanidis, Belgrader of the Greek origin, whose grandfather Avram Valavanidis as a surgeon of the Serbian army in the Balkan wars died from typhoid fever, today received the high medal of teh Serbian Orthodox Church - the Order of Saint Emperor Constantine.
The Holy Synod of Bishops estimated that Diogenis Valavanidis was credited for the protection and preservation of Serbian churches and monasteries in Kosovo and Metohija and for discussing this issue with the Holy See.
For two decades, Mr. Valavanidis has been dealing with issues of protection of national heritage, and preservation of cultural and spiritual heritage, and as a man with the great diplomatic experience of a fighter for the national treasure of Greece becamean executive member of the International Association for Repatriation of the Parthenon Sculptures which gathers representatives of 17 countries throughout the world.
The president of the Center for the protection of the Serbian heritage, Diogenis Valavanidis is a grandson of the famous Dr. Avram Valavanidis, who, after the Greeks and the Orthodox were treated intolerably by the Turks, he decided to permanently move to Bitola. Dr Avram Valavanidis died of typhus in 1913 as a doctor of the Serbian Army.
The descendant of Dr Avram, Mr. Diogenis Valavanidis founded in Belgrade the Center for protection of the Serbian heritage, and got oral and written blessing of His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew for voluntary diplomatic engagement in the protection of the Serbian cultural and spiritual heritage.
In September 1995, Diogenis Valavanidis as a president of the Society of the Greek-Serbian friendship, soon after exodus of the Serbs from Croatia after the military action "Storm" managed to gather the Greek people after one press conference in Athens to send the greatest humanitarian aid that has ever reached Serbia - 470 tones.