The Odyssey, one of the founding texts of European literature, and its hero Odysseus are setting out on a new journey – this time across the linguistic expanses of Europe. In order to mark the Greek Presidency of the European Union, the Paris Field Office of DG Translation of the European Commission, in collaboration with Field Offices across Europe, has initiated a travelling exhibition of the Odyssey in the official languages of the EU. They have collected books in all twenty four languages as a testimony to the timelessness and ubiquity of this ancient epic in European culture, as well as to the linguistic diversity of Europe. Other than discussing issues related to languages and translation, the project aims to encourage debates on the Europeanidentity, current situation in the Euro-Mediterranean region, as well as common European heritage and its reflections in national cultures.
The exhibition, entitled Odysseus sails again, was opened on 5 May 2014 in Zagreb with a multilingual reading of Chapter Five of the Odyssey. Thus the eternal wanderer Odysseus set off on his latest voyage from Croatia, a country whose shores and islands – so the legend has it – he had already visited many millennia ago. After a short stopover at the Library of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Zagreb, he traveled on to Paris, Rome, Ljubljana, Vienna, Bucharest, Budapest, Sofia, Tallinn… until finally, after this latest journey, he returns once again to his native Greece – visiting first Piraeus, then Thessaloniki.