The Minister of Culture and Sports Lina Mendoni inaugurated the Archaeological Museum of Kythnos, a vision for the inhabitants of the island that they have been waiting for thirty years to come true. The Museum is housed in the old, one-room, primary school of Chora, in buildings constructed according to the first state program for the construction of schools (Royal Decree of 1894), according to the plans of the engineer Dimitris Kallias, which were granted by the Municipality of Kythnos to the Ministry of Culture and Education. The creation of the museum was implemented with funding from the Regional Program NSRF 2014-2021 of the South Aegean Region and a budget of 1.600.000 euros.
The archaeological material of the exhibition comes from the excavations carried out so far in important sites of Kythnos, such as the ancient city and the early settlement of Maroulas, which have been carried out since the 1990s by Alexandros Mazarakis-Ainian. More specifically, the exhibits come from systematic surface research and excavations in the ancient city (Vryokastro), from collections and rescue interventions in the countryside (farmhouse in Maistralia, extra-urban sanctuary in Agia Marina), from collections of scattered finds – mainly architectural elements of all periods from various locations on the island, and from the excavation in the Mesolithic settlement of Maroulas.
As Lina Mendoni said, “In 1994, together with Alexandros Mazarakis-Ainian, we organized a conference on Kea and Kythnos. In the text of the conclusions, all the delegates came up with what was the wish of the islanders: To create an archaeological museum on their island. Thirty years later, this dream is becoming a reality thanks to the will of the Ministry of Culture and Sports, the diligence of my colleagues at the Ephorate of Cyclades Antiquities, the Archaeological Service, the South Aegean Region and the Regional Governor George Hadjimarkos, who in 2016 embraced the desire of the people of Kythnos and started the process for its inclusion in the NSRF 2014-2021. Today, we inaugurate the 16th museum of the first four years of Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ government. Today, it is with great pleasure that the Ministry of Culture and Tourism is awarding Kythnos its first archaeological museum. Giving a museum to local communities is very important because you are giving part of their identity. For the Ministry of Culture and the Archaeological Service, the attribution of cultural infrastructure to a place, to the citizens, to the inhabitants, whether it is a museum or an archaeological site that is highlighted and organized, is a special day, a day of joy. In essence, the State, through its competent body, is giving to the local community what belongs to it. Our islands have two huge comparative advantages. Their unique cultural heritage and a particularly beautiful natural environment. These two must be preserved intact because the sustainable future of the island societies depends on them. The exhibits of the Archaeological Museum of the island show the very important, crucial, in some historical periods, the relationship of Kythnos with the wider history of the archipelago, but also with the high level of culture, which is produced on this island, as in all the Cyclades, in the long historical period”.
The opening of the Archaeological Museum of Kythnos was attended by the South Aegean Regional Governor George Hazimarkos, the Vice-Regional Governor of Cyclades George Leontaritis, the Mayor of Kythnos Stamatis Garderis and the Head of the Ephorate of Antiquities of Cyclades Dimitris Athanasoulis.