Gagosian Gallery opens a new selling outpost with the launch of the new Greek gallery at 3 Merlin Street in Athens.
The new Benaki Museum building is located at 138 Pireos Street, one of the central development axes of Athens.
The existing building, which is organised around a central courtyard, is already being refurbished, thanks to co-funding by the Ministry of Culture and the European Union.
The new building covers a total area of 8,200 m2 with underground areas of 2,800 m2 and an internal courtyard of 850 m2. The exhibition halls span 3,000 m2. There is an amphitheatre capable of seating 300, as well as areas to house the Museum services.
In 2005 the Theocharakis Foundation bought and restored one of the last standing old buildings of the centre of Athens. The building was renovated and its interior was reformed so that it could function as an exhibition area and as a concert hall. The building has 6 floors. On the lower ground level there is an Auditorium with the capacity of 175 seats. On the ground floor there is the reception area and an art shop. A café can be found on the first floor while the second third and fourth floor function as exhibition areas. On the fifth floor the permanent collection of the Modern Greek painter Spyros Papaloukas is housed.
The Museum of Folk Musical Instruments is located at Plaka, in an old building that used to be the house of the Greek writer and politician George Lassani (1793 - 1870). The collection of the instruments belonged to Fivos Anogarakis, who donated to the Greek state. It contains various instruments of the 20th century. The display of the museum is organized by the classification system made by Von Hornsbostel –Csachs. According to this system the instruments are categorized by their materials and the vibrating movement through which the sound is produced.
The institution is known for its well organized exhibitions of famous art works that are borrowed from museums and galleries from all aver the world. On the ground floor, the first room usually is occupied by the current exhibition. The exhibition might also continue to the basement, where there is also the café of the museum facing the back yard.
The Byzantine and Christian Museum has a long history. It was officially founded in 1914, even though is existence is connected to the Christian Archaeological Society which was older. Initially the museum was housed in Villa Illisia, one of the few remaining buildings of 19th century in Athens. This building was completed in 1848 by the architect Stamatis Kleathis. It functioned as the winter home of the Sophie de Marbois-Lebrun, Duchess of Plaisance. In reality the Villa Illisia is a complex of buildings with an extended courtyard. The central building has two stores and externally is covered with marble. The whole complex combines the neoclassic style with romanticism and even with elements of the traditional Greek Architecture. Initially the museum was set in the central building. Nowadays, however the permanent collection is shown in an underground multi-level building made by Manos Perrakis, which is situated underneath the complex of Villa Illisia. The central building of the Villa will be restored and used as a space for temporary exhibitions.
The Benaki Museum is set in a neoclassical building which was completed in 1895 by the architecture Metaxas. It was known as Harokopos mansion until it was bought by the Benaki family in 1910. New wings were added to the original building which eventually in 1930 was transformed into a museum.
The Benaki Museum holds several permanent collections. It also organizes interesting exhibitions usually of contemporary art.