Maria-Niki Koutsoukou

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B&M Theocharakis Foundation for the Fine Arts and Music

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.

Benaki Museum (central building)

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.

Numismatic Museum

The Numismatic Museum is in the house of the famous archaeologist, Heinrich Schliemann. The building- designed by Schliemann’s friend Ziller- was completed in 1881. It is one of the few buildings of that era that remain intact and standing in Athens. It combines elements of an Italian Renaissance house and the neoclassical style that was popular in Greece at that period. Its interior is beautifully decorated with mosaics, murals and painted ceilings. The decoration of the mosaics is inspired by Schliemann’ s finding at the excavation of  Mycenae. The murals and the ceilings imitate the paintings that were found in the Pompeii. The building’s beauty alone justifies a visit.

Byzantine and Christian Museum

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 National Art Gallery and Alexander Soutzos Museum

The building of the National Art Gallery and Alexander Soutzos Museum is a modern three store building that was completed in 1976. It contains a collection of 117 paintings that belonged to Athens University and the private collection of Alexander Soutzos that was donated to the Greek State after his death.

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.

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