On Monday 25 March 2024, the Benaki Museum opens to the public the renovated rooms on the third floor of the Benaki Museum of Hellenic Culture on Koumbari Street. Rooms 33-36 present the history of modern Greece, covering the period from the War of Independence to the Greek-Italian War and the occupation by the Axis forces. The creation of the Greek state, the rule of Ioannis Kapodistrias, the reign of Otto and the first Constitution, the reign of George I, the Balkan Wars and the era of Eleftherios Venizelos, the Asia Minor Catastrophe, the interwar period and the War of 1940 come to life through relics, personal objects, court dress and works of art.

Robert Burford (1791-1861). Περιγραφή μια άποψης της Ναυμαχίας του Ναβαρίνου που εκτίθεται τώρα στο Πανόραμα, επί του Strand. Φιλοτεχνημένη […] από τους επίσημους χάρτες και σχέδια […], Λονδίνο 1828
Robert Burford (1791–1861). Description of a View of the Battle of Navarin now exhibiting at the Panorama, Strand. Painted […] from the Official Plans and Drawings […], London 1828

For 23 years the exhibition has remained stable. However, the exhibition “1821 Before and After” held to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the declaration of the Revolution, and the exhibition “Asia Minor. Heyday- Catastrophe – Displacement- Rebirth“, which was held to mark the 100th anniversary of the Asia Minor Catastrophe, were the occasion for the museum’s collection and archives to be revisited, “discovered”, highlighted and utilized objects that were in storage. In addition, objects from private collections were donated to the Museum, enriching its collection.

Κωνσταντίνος Μαλέας (1879-1928), Καΐκια στον Βόσπορο, Λάδι σε μουσαμά, Κληροδότημα Βέρας Κουλούρα
Konstantinos Maleas (1879-1928), Caïques on the Bosporus, Oil on canvas, Bequest of Vera Kouloura

The Museum’s management decided not to simply reposition the exhibits in their old locations but to take the opportunity to design a re-exhibition that would follow a new museological approach and incorporate technological and digital capabilities. In addition to the new texts in the captions, visitors will have the opportunity to search for information through digital applications and, for some selected objects, to ask the artificial intelligence (A.I.), in a bold and innovative initiative of the Benaki Museum.

Οι ηρωίδες του 1940, 1940-41,Χρωμολιθογραφία,Εργαστήρι Χαρακτικής Ανώτατης Σχολής Καλών Τεχνών
The heroines of 1940, 1940-41, Color lithograph, Laboratory of Etching, Athens School of Fine Arts

Emphasis is placed on philhellenic objects, works of modern Greek painting, and personalities directly associated with the Benaki Museum, such as Emmanuel Benakis and his son Antonis, the Museum’s founder, Penelope S. Delta and Eleftherios Venizelos.

The re-exhibition was supervised by the scientific director George Manginis and the curatorial team that worked on the exhibition consists of Maria Dimitriadou, Polina Kosmadakis, Xenia Politou and Tasos Sakellaropoulos, with the contribution of Mary Vergou, Panoraia Benatou, Aliki Tsirgialou and Konstantinos Stefanis and the coordination of Vasiliki Daniil. The Conservation Department of the Benaki Museum undertook the conservation and mounting of the works.

25 March 2024 – A Museum open to everybody

Linking the theme of the new permanent exhibition on the third floor – “Modern Greece” – with the celebration of the national anniversary, the Benaki Museum invites the public to visit the Museum of Hellenic Culture on 25 March 2024 from 13:00 to 18:00 with free admission.

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