ATHENS — The Greek police on Saturday evening arrested the former artistic director of the country’s prestigious National Theater, who has been the target of accusations of sexual abuse and harassment that have buffeted the Greek arts world over the past weeks.
Dimitris Lignadis turned himself in at the Athens police headquarters shortly after being informed that a warrant had been issued for his arrest on rape charges, his lawyer, Nikos Georgouleas, said in a text message. Speaking later outside police headquarters, where his client was being held, Mr. Georgouleas said his client denied the charges.
“Everything that is being heard, he denies,” the lawyer said.
Mr. Lignadis is the most high-profile among the numerous directors and actors to have been named in a torrent of accusations that have rocked the Greek arts world. And the charges against him are among the most serious. He resigned from his post at the National Theater earlier this month after reports emerged suggesting that he had sexually harassed young actors, which he furiously denied. After his resignation, more reports emerged, alleging more serious abuse.
The upheaval in Greece’s arts world has come after an Olympic sailor, Sofia Bekatorou, accused a top sailing official last month of sexually abusing her in 1998. Her charges represented the first high-profile accusation of sexual assault and abuse of power in Greece since the #MeToo movement swept the world, bringing down powerful figures in sports, the media and beyond.
On Friday, Greece’s culture minister, Lina Mendoni,
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