Benaki Museum in Athens
Benaki Museum in Athens, Greece: Originally the home of Emmanuel Benakis, the Benaki museum was handed over to Greece by his heirs after his death in 1929. Meant to house the collection of the son of Emmanuel Benakis, Antonis, the Benakis Museum was opened up to the public in 1931. The building was constructed in 1867-1868 by Ioannis Peroglou, a wealthy merchant.
The building then transferred into the hands of businessman Panagis Charokopos and then in 1910, it was again sold to Emmanuel Benakis, who made significant changes to make the house more suitable for his family. Finally, architect Anastasios Metaxas made the final alterations that came into effect when the building was converted into a museum in 1931, this included extending its west side.
After Antonis Benakis death in 1974, many more items were added to the museums already extensive collection. Some of its more prominent collections include photographic and historic, Neo-Hellenistic, architecture archives and also a Department of Childhood which includes an interesting collection of toys and games. Also showcased are various pieces of modern and modernistic art by Greek artists. There are also exhibitions of the Cycladic, Minoan and Mycenaean art, as well as items from the Byzantine period.
The modern collection in the museum consists of artifacts more religious in nature, as compared to the earlier collections. This includes wooden paintings, decorative items, textiles, traditional costumes, jewels and much more. The religious artifacts date to the post-Byzantine era and have been retrieved from all over Greece and also Greek communities in other parts of the world.
Address: Vasilissis Sofias Ave and Koubari st, 1
Phone: (+30) 210 36 71 000