With this book Christos Christodoulou has further confirmed his already major offering to the promotion of the history, the customs, the traditions, the touristic and archaeological sites and all other activities in Macedonia, brought to particular fruition in his television programmes for ERT, "ERT in Northern Greece" and "FT 1 Across the Country" during the years 1978 -1991.
In his book Mr. Christodoulou mentions the valuable cinematographic and photographic archives (of historical, political and ethnic significance) of the brothers Yannis and Miltos Manakis from Grevena which are unkown to the Greek people and are now the property of the authorities in Skopje. During my term as Minister of Industry from 1958 to 1961, when at my initiative I brought the cinema under the authority of the Ministry of Industry, I briefly mentioned the great contribution made by these two brothers at the inauguration of the First Thessaloniki Film Festival in 1960. The brothers Yannis and Miltos Manakis from Avdela, Grevena were pioneers not only in Greece but throughout the Balkans; before their death they produced 67 documentaries and 12.500 photographs that dealt with Macedonia, Epirus, Thessaly and the Balkans in general.
This material is in the town of Monastir (Bitola) which has always been a center of Hellenism and came under the control of Serbia in 1913.
The photographs and the documentaries of the Manakis brothers recorded the historical form of the Macedonian Struggle, the Balkan Wars and so much else. Mr. Christodoulou's persistent and patient collection of material of interest to Hellenism and his description of important historical events and critical national struggles has not only brought to the attention of the Greek and international public the pioneering work of the Manakis brothers but at the same time has shed light on a contemporary facet of the problem.
The authorities in Skopje exhibit the work of the Manakis brothers as their own historical, cultural and intellectual heritage thus violating not only elementary rules among nations but also directives concerning the ownership of intellectual property.
This book by Mr. Christodoulou, for which I most warmly congratulate him and which is most properly being published in English by the Organization for the Cultural Capital of Europe Thessaloniki '97, is a spur to political and intellectual leadership to denounce internationally this new activity of the authorities in Skopje and to pursue the return of these archives of such historical value to Greece, the loss of which I am forced to admit, rests first and foremost on our own shoulders.
(preface by Nikolaos Martis)