Heraklion Museum of Visual Arts

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Location: Town
Don't miss: Museums guide (free admission dates and other useful info)

The Museum of Visual Arts in Heraklion is one of the city’s underrated locations. Tucked away at the end of Nymphon Street in the neighborhood of Poros, directly south of Heraklion Port, it was founded in 2000, aiming to bolster the efforts of Cretan painters, sculptors and visual artists in general.

The museum has hosted works of more than 200 artists, of various styles, dating all the way back to 1850. Some of the more notable paintings on display include 401 Stratiotiko Nosokomeio by Dimitris Saridakis, a watercolor from 1940 depicting real elements of Greek history, Votsala by Nikitas Flessas, which presents queries about present life, and Aposkeves Oneiron, a 2022 oil on canvas painting by Manolis Maridakis, depicting the hopes and uncertainty of the future.

Sculptures include Daedalus and Icarus, inspired by the mythical martyrs trapped in nearby Knossos, sculpted out of copper by Yiannis Parmakelis. It depicts Daedalus on the left, with his wax wing lush and gracious, and Icarus on the right, with his wing having already buckled under the Sun’s heat; the story famously ends with Icarus falling into the sea after his wings melted when he flew too close to the Sun.

Hymnos eis tin Eleftheria is a unique piece by Dionysis Christofilogiannis, made in 2016 out of heating blankets given on arrival to refugees who managed to escape to Greece by boat. These blankets were used to recreate an homage to the Greek flag, colored gold (instead of blue) and silver (instead of white), of dimensions 60 by 90 cm, creating parallels between the Greek and refugee struggles for freedom.

The museum also hosts a number of temporary exhibits, which often aim to push the limits of art gallery conventions. As an example, it hosted My name is Bond… James Bond, an exhibit comprised of James Bond movie posters, modern artwork dedicated to the character, autographs of actors who portrayed 007, and original prints of Greek translations of Ian Fleming’s books. Another exhibit hosted here was Polykatoikidia, roughly translating to “apartment pets”, revealing the emotions caused by modern living.

The museum is open Monday to Friday, between 18:00 and 20:00.

Official website: metheraklion.gr



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