Petit Futé's opinion on BENAKI MUSEUM
An immense collector, Anthony Benaki has spent thirty-five years collecting all these objects, dating from prehistory to the present day, housed today in this elegant museum of neoclassical architecture. This enthusiast then donated his house and rare pieces to the State in 1931. And to extend the experience, a gigantic, very modern annex has also opened its doors on Avenue Pireos, housing high quality temporary exhibitions.
On the ground floor , objects dating from the Roman, Byzantine and post-Byzantine periods. In particular, beautiful gold jewellery, mosaics and religious objects. Room 12, magnificent icons. Note in particular the one depicting Saint Anne and the Virgin and a superb altarpiece.
On the first floor are displayed popular art objects marking the development of Hellenism during the periods of foreign domination.
In particular, there is a very fine collection of costumes from the 18th and 19th centuries and, in room 14, a magnificent interior reconstruction. Rooms 17 and 19 house a mansion in Kozani, Macedonia. You will notice the alternation of sculpted vases and double-headed eagles characteristic of neo-Hellenic art. Room 23 houses an admirable collection of illustrations of the Parthenon. In room 26, a huge altarpiece depicting Saint John the Baptist, the Virgin and Child, Christ and Saint George slaying the dragon.
On the second floor , you can walk through the culture and economy of Greek society before the war, through books, traditional musical instruments and other tools of the time.
On the third floor, the objects evoke the passage between the War of Independence and the formation of the modern state. At the entrance is a membership card of the Philiki Etaireia, the secret society formed in preparation for the War of Independence. Many weapons in this room as well as portraits of generals. At the back of the room, photos of Costis Palama, a poet engaged in the struggle for independence, and Constantin Cavafy, a poet of the Greek diaspora.
Museum and shops. The Benaki Museum is one of the great gifts that increased the assets of the State, and at the same time it is the oldest museum organization, operating in Greece as an institution under private law. It consists of 6 exhibition spaces (the main building, the Pireos Building, the Museum of Islamic Art, the Yannis Pappas Studio, the Ghikas Gallery and the Delta Residence) and special departments such as the library and the shop.
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Opening time and information on BENAKI MUSEUM
Wednesday and Friday from 9am to 5pm, Thursday and Saturday from 9am to midnight and Sunday from 9am to 3pm. Closed on Tuesdays. Admission: 9 €.