The Archaeological Museum of Polygyros, a project of particular importance for the promotion of the cultural heritage of Halkidiki, but also for the tourism of the wider region, was inaugurated by the Minister of Culture and Sports Lina Mendoni.

In her address, Lina Mendoni noted that “This Museum was founded in 1971, based on plans by the outstanding architect Dimitris Fatouros. It was a small space, but it met the needs of that time. When the donation of the extremely important Lampropoulos collection came, the State had to find a solution to house these precious finds. Thus, the extension of the building was planned.

The building project was included in 2011 in the NSRF 2007-2013 of the Region of Central Macedonia and was completed in 2016. In 2018, the implementation of only a part of the exhibition was included in the Central Macedonia ERDF 2014-2020 with a budget of 460,000 euros. Obviously, this option was problematic, as the Ministry of Culture and Tourism did not propose to the Region the inclusion for funding of the entire exhibition programme. Thus, in December 2020, we decided to finance the completion of the exhibition with the amount of 950,000 euros from the Public Investment Programme of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism. From the resources of the Recovery Fund, administered by the Ministry of Culture, the project “Improvement of spaces and infrastructure for the hosting of events in archaeological sites and museums of Halkidiki (Surrounding area of the Archaeological Museum of Polygyros and Olynthos)” with a total budget of 1,091,612 euros is also financed. Polygyros and Halkidiki have been waiting 12 years for the reopening of their Archaeological Museum. Thanks to the exemplary work of the Ephorate of Antiquities, we can now return the Museum to the local community and the thousands of visitors to the region”.

The Regional Governor of Central Macedonia Apostolos Tzitzikostas said that “The Region of Central Macedonia financed the expansion of the Archaeological Museum of Halkidiki, increasing the total exhibition space to a total of 582 sq.m. We used European resources to create the modern exhibition, with the completion of which we are delivering to our fellow citizens and visitors an exhibition that highlights and promotes the history and excavation research in Halkidiki in a comprehensive way, enriches the timeless axis of the cultural routes of Central Macedonia, and at the same time makes the Archaeological Museum of Halkidiki a reference point not only for Halkidiki, but also for the wider network of museums in Macedonia and northern Greece”.

The exhibition of the new Museum is developed in four thematic sections: Place and History, Prehistoric Societies, Historical Times, Collections and Donations. Finds from the most important prehistoric settlements and cemeteries of Halkidiki, Agios Mamas, Olynthos and Toroni, Kriaritsi and Nea Skioni, are presented, while selected exhibits from the Roman period, tomb statues and columns, prepare the visitor before the completion of the Historical Periods section. In the room where the Collections are exhibited, the important Lampropoulos Collection occupies a dominant position. The exhibition is enriched with multimedia applications, such as an interactive map-timeline that traces the history of Halkidiki and sites of archaeological interest, interactive screens relating to the History of Research with the presentation of the most important stations and researchers in the region, the Written Sources that refer to events that took place in Halkidiki, as well as the personality of Aristotle, the great Stagiorite philosopher.

Also, through 3D Projection Mapping, the excavation activity is presented in a clear and descriptive way, in order to understand the process and the result of an excavation that leads to the conservation, study and presentation of the findings in the Museum. In addition, screens with landscapes and antiquities, enriched with images of long-lasting activities in the area, as well as videos from the temporary exhibition of the Lampropoulos Collection presented at the Museum in 2019, complete the multi-layered information for the public.

The opening of the Polygyros Museum was attended by Metropolitan Nicodemus of Kassandria, the members of the Parliament of Halkidiki, George Vayonas and Apostolos Panas, the deputy mayor of Halkidiki, Yiannis Giorgos, the mayors of Polygyros, Ast. Zographos, Aristotle Stelios Valianos and Sithonia Kyparissis Deblas, the head of the Ephorate of Antiquities of Halkidiki and Mount Athos George Skiadaresis, officials of the Ministry of Culture and representatives of institutions.

Before the opening of the Polygyros Museum, Lina Mendoni and the Deputy Head of Halkidiki Yiannis Giorgos signed a Cultural Development Programme Contract between the Ministry of Culture and the Region of Central Macedonia for the promotion of the Archaeological Site, in Stagira Halkidiki, with a budget of 100,000 euros. The subject of the contract is the preparation of studies to address urgent needs of the monuments and in particular the static problems of the Byzantine wall, as well as the design of access roads from the entrances to the archaeological site. It also includes works to ensure access, navigation, safety and visibility, as well as urgent maintenance work, in particular to reinforce parts of the wall of the classical citadel.

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