“It is with deep sorrow and love that the Board of Directors and the staff of the Benaki Museum bid farewell to Aimilia Geroulanou. Her presence at the Museum has been crucial for all.
Daughter of Pavlos and Irene Kalliga and granddaughter of the Museum’s founder, Antonis Benakis, an archaeologist herself, she has always been a dynamic and pioneering personality throughout her life. She initially collaborated with Manolis Hadjidakis on the great Byzantine exhibition at the Zappeion in 1964 and later, when the Colonel junta dismissed her from the Byzantine Museum, she began volunteering at the Benaki Museum. She was always open to people and their ideas, always sensitive and eager for social contribution.
He had the foresight to initiate the creation of the Museum’s Photographic Archive, the first in Greece, initially as a collection of photographs of monuments and objects of Byzantine and post-Byzantine art and later as an organized archive with a broader subject matter covering the history and culture of modern and contemporary Greece.
In 1979, he took the lead in setting up another department of the Museum, the Educational Programmes, the first education department in a Greek museum. Both of these pioneering steps contributed to the formation of the multifaceted character of the Benaki Museum.
The fruit of her personal involvement with gold jewellery was her book ” Diatreta” (1999).
Her contribution to the Foundation continued from the positions of member of the Administrative Committee (2000-2005) and President (2005-2018), during one of the most difficult times for cultural institutions. Her boundless optimism, sincerity, humour and above all her unwavering faith in people and the Museum have been the invaluable cohesive material of the Benaki Museum’s creative family. Her active and long-lasting activity not only at the Benaki Museum but also at the Greek Guiding Association and the Municipality of Athens left a deep and positive imprint on the social and cultural life of Greece, an imprint that all those who knew her and worked with her measure with respect and love.
Her warm embrace will be greatly missed.”