Le Soir, 8th January 2005, by Luc Scharès.
Andenne - For the preservation of the Skyros horse

For the SILVA founding members the objective is to preserve a rare and unique breed of horses. Having played a major role in Greek history, the "Skyros horse" is a prime example of the symbiosis between man and animal. It may have been Skyros horses that Alexander The Great took with him when he left Macedonia to conquer the world. It is not surprising that this valuable horse is on show today.

At the exhibition, artists from Greece, France, Belgium and the United States present in their own style a horse that is today threatened by extinction. Only thirty pure-bred horses are currently left on the island of Skyros. Up to the 60's the horses allowed themselves to be approached by farmers and agriculturists for work, mainly threshing wheat. When modern threshing equipment was introduced the Skyros horse became virtually redundant. Today, the entire species is in desperate need of a new future.

Moreover, a law in Skyros forbidding that purebred ponies be exported off the island has resulted in the practice of mating the Skyros horses with donkeys, thus creating mules which can be exported. This practice is, of course, disastrous for the continuation of the breed.

SILVA, a non-profit organisation was founded for the preservation and breeding of the Skyros horse in Corfu, Greece. Sure-footed, intelligent and good-tempered, the Skyros horse also makes an ideal mount for children with special needs. The Skyros horse is not only a relic from antiquity, but the living reality of an economical, strong, good-natured and active horse, suitable for children to ride and care for.

During the exhibition, for most art works visitors are offered the opportunity to buy either the original work, or high quality reproductions such as greeting cards.

The exhibition is held at the Andenne Town hall, Lime-tree Square n°1, Andenne, 8th to 16th of January 2005. Information: 085/82 63 22.

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