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Municipality of Athens: Exhibition-hymn to rebetiko

Opens on 10 February

at the Arts Centre and the Olympia Municipal Theatre

On February 15th

at the Athens Municipal Gallery

with free admission

The Municipality of Athens presents the thematic exhibition Rebetiko, an exhibition about love, refuge and all the concepts that accompany this “great modern Greek cultural event”, as the composer Nikos Mamagakis has beautifully described it. Rebetiko is an exhibition of contemporary art with international appeal, organised by the Athens Municipality Culture, Sports and Youth Organisation (OPANDA) in three venues: from 10 February to 3 April, at the Arts Centre and the Olympia, Maria Callas Municipal Music Theatre and from 15 February to 3 April at the Athens Municipal Art Gallery.

The exhibition, addressed to all Greeks and especially to those who love traditional music, aims to illustrate rebetiko and its mythology through a contemporary perspective. What is mainly examined is the way in which contemporary art “converses” with rebetiko, and the way in which contemporary Greek artists approach and interpret it. Also, how a contemporary visual artist can emotionally connect with and render through images the rebetiko songs, which, according to the scholar of Greek popular culture Ilias Petropoulos, are “the chants of the wounded, simple, pure and sentimental souls of Greece”. Most of the works were commissioned by the Municipality of Athens to Greek artists specifically for the exhibition.

Bellou beside Callas at Olympia, Municipal Music Theatre “Maria Callas”

In the foyer of the Olympia Municipal Theatre, where the last few years an exhibition of photographs and personal items of Maria Callas has been set up, we will see side by side a showcase with records and personal items of Sotiria Bellou. These objects belong to OPANDA and are permanently exhibited at the Melina Cultural Centre. The gesture is simple, since it consists of moving a display case from one space to another. But it leads to a conversation between two great personalities of the 20th century. By placing Bellou next to Callas, the well-known quote by Tsarouchis comes to life: “I love Callas and Sotiria Bellou. And I don’t feel divided. Let those who are scandalized by this struggle to understand what is happening to me.”

The foyer of the Olympia Municipal Theatre will also host works by: Panos Koutroumbousis, Maria Louizou, Dimitris Merantzas, Myrto Xanthopoulou and Thalia Chioti.

Arts Centre of the Municipality of Athens

The Arts Centre presents contemporary artworks: paintings, photographs, sculptures, videos, sound installations and performances.

The artists participate: Lakis and Aris Ionas / The Callas, Vassilis Gerodimos, Apollonas Glykas, Anestis Ioannou, Giorgos Kontis, Dimitris Merantzas, Rena Papaspyrou, Elias Sipsas, Aspa Stasinopoulou, Petros Touloudis, Maria Tsagari, Panos Charalambous and Konstantinos Hadjinikolaou

On the opening day, February 10, at 19:00, there will be a performance by Panos Charalambous.

“Rebetiko” is accompanied by a bilingual catalogue, which includes texts by the participating artists, guest writers (Niki Yannari, Christos Dermentzopoulos, Makis Malafekas, Giorgos-Ikaros Babasakis, Giorgos Tzirtzilakis, Theophilos Traboulis), as well as scholars of rebetiko, such as Kostas Vlisidis, Gail Holst-Warhaft, Tony Klein, Giorgos Kontogiannis and Gaia Zaccagni). All of the texts focus on the importance of rebetiko today.


Exhibition curator:

Christoforos Marinos, Curator of exhibitions and activities of OPANDA

Assistant Curator:

Evita Tsokanda

Design of the catalogue:


Texts and photos in high resolution can be downloaded here.

Exhibition duration:

Thursday 10 February – Sunday 3 April 2022

The entrance to the exhibition space is in accordance with the current sanitary protocols.

The use of a medical mask is mandatory during the public’s stay in the exhibition space.

Gallery of the Municipality of Athens (Metaxourgio building)

Leonidou & Millerou, Avdi Sq. Information: 210 5202420

Opening hours: Tuesday – Saturday 11:00 – 19:00, Sunday 10:00 – 16:00, Monday closed.

Municipality of Athens Arts Centre

Vass. Sofias, Eleftherias Park
Information: 210 7232604, 210 7224028, Metro stop: Metro: Megaron Music Hall

Opening hours: Tuesday – Friday 11:00 – 19:00 Saturday – Sunday 10:00 – 15:00, closed on Mondays.

Olympia, Municipal Music Theatre “Maria Callas”

59 Akadimias Street, Information: 210 3642540

Opening hours: Tuesday – Friday 11:00 – 19:00 Saturday – Sunday 10:00 – 15:00,Monday closed.