The major retrospective exhibition “Konstantinos Parthenis: The Ideal Greece of his Painting” was inaugurated yesterday afternoon at the National Gallery by the Minister of Culture and Sports, Lina Mendoni. This is the first exhibition by a Greek artist at the new National Gallery and the last exhibition planned and implemented by the recently deceased director Marina Lambraki-Plaka.

“When we inaugurate an exhibition,” said Lina Mendoni, “it is a very important moment, as the treasures of a museum are shared, communicated, and become the property of the general public. This retrospective exhibition of Konstantinos Parthenis is of particular importance, not only for the cultural events of Athens, but also for the National Gallery, which presents to its audience the work of one of the leading creators of Greek visual art.

However, this is the first time we are at the National Gallery without Marina. I say this with very deep affection. Marina conceived, designed and realized the exhibition of Konstantinos Parthenis.  I have referred many times to her stubbornness, that which, from a young girl, gave her the indomitable, subversive strength to achieve her goals. It is this stubbornness that helped her to continue working on this iconic exhibition, right up to the last moment, believing that even what happened could be overcome. This is, before she leaves, her last work for the National Gallery, and as she said, “she offers it to us with all her love for Parthenis, for the Gallery, for Greek art”.

The choice of Constantine Parthenis for the first retrospective exhibition of a Greek artist at the reborn National Gallery is no coincidence. Just as the title of the exhibition, “Konstantinos Parthenis: The Ideal Greece of his Painting”. Parthenis and his work symbolize the renewal of Greek painting, the introduction of new currents and trends, their harmonious connection with tradition in the creation of a new artistic expression.”

Addressing the new director of the National Gallery, Syrago Tsiara, Lina Mendoni said: “Dear Syrago, you are taking over the National Gallery as a completely modern museum, with all the potential and the prospects and specifications that point the way to the future, a Gallery that can meet everyone’s expectations. Sincerely, I sincerely wish from the bottom of my heart, conveying also the feelings of my colleagues, that you will start a new, creative chapter for the Gallery, opening it to the Greek public – which has yet to get to know it – and to the whole world, in the new step of your personal career. I think this will be the best memory of Marina Lambraki-Plaka”.

The exhibition presents more than 150 paintings, drawings and personal objects by Konstantinos Parthenis. The National Gallery is the owner of most of Konstantinos Parthenis’ paintings, drawings and documents, which are mainly donated by his children. The exhibition will remain open to the public until 28 November. The event was attended by the Chairman of the Board of the National Gallery Apostolos Botsos, the Deputy Minister of Culture Nikolas Yatromanolakis, the Secretary General of Culture George Didaskalou and the Secretary General of Contemporary Culture Eleni Doundoulaki.

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