Athens: Revamped National Gallery to be released in 2019

The exclusive donation of “Stavros Niarchos” Foundation, finally allowed the completion of Building B’ as well as the complete renovation of Alexandros Soutzos National Gallery-Museum. Additionally, Building B’ will be named “Stavros Niarchos Foundation” Wing and will be hosting its permanent paintings collections. The expansion of the Gallery’s exhibition areas will increase its capacity by 1,000 exhibits, ranging from the Museum’s treasured collections to 400 works that were exhibited in the old building. The project is expected to be completed in early 2019.

The new and renovated National Gallery, thanks to the donation of 13mn euros by SNF and the addition of “Stavros Niarchos Foundation” Wing, will become a modern, functional and attractive Museum that will be able to preserve, present and highlight invaluable artifacts of modern Greek art, subsequently responding more effectively to its social and educational role.

Its inspirational design, will not only enhance its functionality but also its appearance, which will be adapted to the museological and aesthetic standards of the 21st century. Therefore, the new National Gallery, with the donation of SNF, will still be an important cultural and architectural landmark in the centre of the capital.

More particularly, the donation of Stavros Niarchos Foundation is intended to cover the addition of a 3rd floor on Building B’, which will also house, apart from permanent collections, the Gallery’s Administrative Services, the Maintenance Laboratories, the Library, as well as a restaurant with a panoramic, 360-degrees view. Moreover, the SNF donation will allow for the conclusion of all pending works across every floor of the building, the introduction of inclined levels allowing walking access and the construction of a plannar throughout the facade of Building B’, Which will choose the rise from the ramps, enjoy the view of the city. The construction of elevators for Building B’ as well as the spiral glass plannar in the stairwell of Building C’ will be also covered.

The additional exhibition spaces will allow the National Gallery to re-emerge and utilize important artworks from its permanent collections that have remained in its warehouses and develop more flexibility for a more complex museological management and presentation strategies. The new venues, the amphitheatre, the Educational Programmes Hall and the Digital Islets will allow National Gallery to cultivate a wider educational and social role as it is, besides, defined by its Mission Statement.

At the same time, vendors' premises, as well as the two coffee shops-restaurants located in the building, will be providing and extra source of revenue for the Gallery. Andreas Drakopoulos, President of “Stavros Niarchos” Foundation, stated: "SNF has been a supporter of National Gallery’s work, through donations for infrastructure projects and the organization of exhibitions both in Greece and abroad.

Today we are glad to collaborate with the Ministry of Culture, the National Gallery and the Region of Attica in order to complete the expansion of its facilities, a project that is expected to put the National Gallery on a prominent place on the map of cultural organizations of international scope.

The donation follows a fundamental philosophy of the SNF; the effort to support organizations promoting our country's culture, both domestically and abroad, by highlighting important elements of the Greek and global cultural heritage and by contributing to the revitalization of communities through innovative cultural initiatives that contribute to infrastructure restoration and have the potential to bring about wider economic growth”.

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