International Sculpture Symposium

Location: Venerato

(Event dates: 15/6 – 2/7)

The dream of Paliani’s residents to safeguard the institution of the International Sculpture Symposium and create a large outdoor Sculpture Gallery which will be open to the public is slowly but gradually coming true!

The International Sculpture Symposium of Paliani takes place at a special-purpose area in Venerato. The symposium is usually supported by the Municipality of Heraklion. Human figures “emerge” out Cretan limestone through an artistic process surrounded by mystery and magic, an eerie world that only sculptors may create with their art, free and open for the public to attend, witness and enjoy.


This international event was born out of an idea by sculptors Tsoumplekas and Chris Manolis Harkoutsis and was embraced immediately by the then mayor.

With no experience and with the financial support of institutions and entrepreneurs, as well as the tireless work of municipal services and ordinary citizens, that first International Sculpture Symposium was held in September 2006 in the municipal area outside the monastery Palianis. Sculptors from Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Turkey and Greece worked for a month, eager to give the municipality their wonderful artworks, and contributing to turning this original idea into a reality.

This was the starting point back in the summer of 2006. Today, sculptors from various countries enjoy the hospitality of the local municipality over a month and create their works before the eyes of art lovers. The works remain at the municipality and the artists hold the copyrights.