A new museum will be inaugurated this Saturday night, 1st August, in Papados village, Lesvos island: after so many years that it is closed, the old Vrana Olive Press will be turned into an Industrial Museum. After restoration works that lasted for three years, the company Archipelagos, which has taken the initiative to restore the building, is giving to the public an interesting and precious place to visit.
The historical Vrana Olive Press is one of the first steam factories of the Industrial Revolution of Lesvos and dates from the 19th century. Built in 1887 in Papados village, which used to be an economic centre for the island that time, this Olive Press belonged to Nikolaos Vranas, grand father of the Nobel awarded Greek poet Odysseas Elytis. The factory was in operation till the 1970s and its olive oil was traded all over Greece and in Istanbul.
Constructed by stone and marble, Vrana Oil Press is an impressive building with special architecture. In 1985, the factory was donated to the municipality of Papados and then in 1999, it was sold to five members of the non-lucrative society Archipelagos, which aims to preserve and promote the civilization of the Aegean. The society Archipelagos restored the whole buildings and made a great museum out of this abandoned factory.
Apart from the rooms, the machinery have also been restored. Among them, visitors can see a diesel machine TANGYE, constructed in Birmingham UK, one of the world's seven of this kind. The 112 accounting books that were found under rocks and mud in a corner of the factory have been cleaned and exhibited in the ground floor.
Famous Greek artists have made nice paintings inspired by olive trees and olive oil and these works are exhibited in this Industrial Museum, in an exhibition entitled Sights into a monument.