The Benaki Museum: new era, new air

The Benaki Museum: new era, new air

In addition to its archaeological and Islamic art collections, the Benaki Museum has built a new venue dedicated to contemporary Greek art.

Born in Alexandria and bred in Mediterranean culture, Antonis Benaki created a significant collection over a lifetime that he donated to the Greek State. Opened in 1931, the museum that bears his family name was re-opened in 2000 in the family home in Syntagma. But it is in the industrial brownfield of Gazi, a 1950s red-brick and glass building that used to be a car dealership, that its annex, devoted to contemporary art, was opened in 2004. Built around a large courtyard, a tribute to the Mediterranean habitat, the building offers one of the largest collections of Ancient art: statuettes from the Cyclades, busts, artefacts from ancient Syrian sites, as well as Byzantine icons... Most particularly, do not miss the icon of Saint Anna, mother of the Virgin Mary, done in the 15th-century Cretan school tradition. In addition to installations by Cosmas Xenakis and Zafos Xagoraris, it hosts the Athens Photo Festival every summer in June and July. This event is the largest dedicated to the image in this part of Europe, including the Balkans. If you are in Athens at that time, do not miss it. The young Greek photographers, who are highly original and creative, deserve to be better known.

Benaki Museum
Pireos 138 & Andronikou
118 54 Athens

+30 210 345 3111