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May 18, 2010

SHIPPING: The New Argonauts - Time Magazine (Monday, Aug. 06, 1956) a small text of the article

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Lord of the 697-ton Creole, and the hero of a new Greek legend, is Stavros Spyros Niarchos, 47, world's biggest independent shipowner. The legend of Niarchos, fondly referred to in the world's press as the "Golden Greek," is a blurred montage of shipboard launching parties, at which he bestows diamond bracelets and gold Faberge cigarette boxes on the beautiful and highborn women (e.g., the Duchess of Kent) who christen his ships, repartee in the royal enclosure at Ascot, champagne flowing like home brut in the nightclubs of London and Paris. Unlike most legends, it is woven from whole fact.
When the world's most prized collection of antique French silver went on sale.
Niarchos put up $250,000 to keep it intact for the Louvre. On his visits to Greece, Niarchos hands out gold sovereigns on the streets of Athens like a rich man's John D. Rockefeller. Some of his more offhand gestures have included chartering a steamship for a royalty-only romp in 1954 chaperoned by Greece's Queen Frederika. Niarchos obligingly provided another steamer last summer so that Elsa Maxwell could take an all-star supporting cast (Olivia de Havilland, Aly Khan, the Duke and Duchess of Argyll) on a Mediterranean junket while Niarchos cruised the other end of the sea aboard the Creole; he was "too busy" to go along.