Breaking into a gallop to save the Skyros horse
Vers l'Avenir, 7th January 2005, by Anne-Françoise Bertrand.

Because she is very fond of Greece, horses and art, Aliki Steen decided to do whatever it takes to save the Skyros horse.

Aliki Alexandra Lannoy-Steen was born in Athens, Greece, from a Greek mother and a Norwegian father. In 1983 she came to Brussels for her studies, then worked for several years in finance, her latest position being director of global internal communication for a large international banking group. A couple of months ago, putting her career temporarily on standby, she decided to dedicate her time to her two passions: art and horses. The objective was to bring assistance to her family who nine years ago initiated a programme for the preservation of an endangered horse.

In 1996, four Skyros horses were sent from Salonica to the Ionian island of Corfu, where the Dimitriadis-Steen family provided lodging for the horses when practically no one knew about the existence of this breed. The Skyros horses found on Corfu an additional, if not unique, opportunity to survive as in the meantime, the family became aware of the horses' situation on the island of Skyros and their imminent danger of becoming extinct.

Today, the SILVA breeding programme counts 24 purebred horses and it is important to continue making the public - and also potential breeders - sensitive to this cause. "To secure the survival of the Skyros horse, we need to create refuges of genetic material in sites out of Skyros and Corfu, not only in Greece, but abroad as well".

Fourteen artists for one horse

Aliki had the idea to create an innovative biodiversity-related art concept that would enable the SILVA Project to further promote the Skyros horse. She contacted a hundred artists and asked them to make in their own style a work of art on the Skyros horse. Today, fifteen artists from Greece, France, the U.S. and Belgium present their paintings, sculptures and art photography at the Andenne Town Hall. The exhibition also provides didactic information about the Skyros horse, its history and its fantastic capacity to be used as a mount for children and children with special needs.

At the Andenne exhibition, you can support the Skyros horses by buying original works of art or reproductions such as greeting cards and posters. While visiting it is not impossible that you bump into politicians, decision makers and EU officials, since Aliki has also contacted high-level personalities who are interested in this praiseworthy and commendable cause.

The exhibition is held from the 8th to the 16th of January, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Andenne Town hall. Entrance is free. For more information please contact 0475/37 29 79.

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