The Ministry of Culture is proceeding with the tender for the expansion and modernization of the Archaeological Museum of Chios. The extension of the building, with an area of 2,000 sq.m., is being developed on an area of 8.5 acres granted to the Ministry of Culture by the Municipality of Chios. The existing building – with an area of 2,500 m2 – is almost doubled in size and new areas are added, which modernize its operation and upgrade the provision of services to visitors.

The Minister of Culture, Lina Mendoni, said: “The upgrading of the country’s museum infrastructure has been a priority for the Ministry of Culture in recent years. We are developing a broad programme of interventions and projects to bring our public museums in line with modern international museum standards. After almost sixty years of operation, the building complex of the Archaeological Museum of Chios of particular architectural value, which was awarded the first prize in an architectural competition, is being upgraded structurally, functionally and aesthetically. It becomes accessible to disabled people and is upgraded in terms of energy. With the planned extension, which was also designed by Dimitris Antonakakis and his team, the building doubles its exhibition and storage space. Its facilities are modernized in accordance with the current operating, safety and accessibility regulations, while the services provided to visitors are upgraded and follow international standards. I am particularly grateful to the Municipality of Chios and the Mayor Stamatis Karmatzis for the concession of the adjacent land, as well as to Dimitris Andriopoulos for donating the necessary studies”.

The building of the Archaeological Museum of Chios, a project of the architects Suzana Antonakakis, Dimitris Antonakakis and Eleni Desyllas, came about after their design was awarded first prize in the Panhellenic Architectural Competition in 1965. The main characteristics of the Museum at the time of its construction were the adaptation to the terrain and the environment, the possibility of independent entrances to the Museum, the temporary exhibitions and the laboratories through controlled open spaces – internal courtyards, the correlation of closed and open spaces in the Museum’s exhibition halls. As part of the architectural competition there was provision for the possibility of siting the future extension of the Museum, specifying its location, form and relationship to the building being constructed.

The Museum is located within the rezoned declared archaeological site of the town of Chios. The Mezaria, the area where the building has been erected, was occupied by old Muslim cemeteries. In the northern part of the western courtyard of the Museum, where the construction of the annexes is planned, an excavation was carried out in the past at a depth of 4.5 m. during which part of the necropolis of the Hellenistic period was revealed.

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