Walking around the cultural past of Corfu

• Category: Interviews
The Folklore Museum of Arachavi, in northern Corfu, is a deep and profound look to the cultural and historical background of the island. This folklore museum was inaugurated in October of 2008 in an exhibition building of 1,000 sq. m. Located just across the Roman Baths of Acharavi, it walks visitors through the historical past of Corfu that contributed to its present culture. Spyros Vlachos, the founder of this museum, reveals to Greeka.com that this was his life dream for the past 50 years.

What does the collections include and which is the oldest exhibit?

The exhibits hosted in our museum are complete projects of primary industry, trading transactions, home tools, pieces of craftsmanship as well as historical, religious and scientific objects. In fact, the oldest exhibit is 24,000,000 years ago. There are collections that date from before 1700 and depict the historical past of Corfu, at a time when the island was conquered by the Venetians and the British. The exhibits include collections of coins and banknotes from the 19th century till 2001 (before the circulation of euro), traditional women costumes from 1800, olive presses, water mills, kitchen utensils, items of everyday life, agricultural tools, a carpenter's workshop, old furniture, toys of previous areas and many other interesting pieces. It is worth to mention that our museum hosts significant objects which can not be found in other museums.

How did you manage to collect all these exhibits?

Collecting these important exhibits was based on personal work and strong effort. However, only a small part of these collections belong to me and my family. Most of them were donated to the museum by generous and open-minded locals, who have my greatest respect for this important contribution.

In your opinion, what is the significance of this museum today?

The museum is a spring of information and tasks that will benefit the children of different school levels and will give visitors a clear view of the way of life, the customs and traditions of northern Corfu along centuries. Besides the exhibition rooms, the museum has a conference room where lectures and seminars take place. It is in our future plans to create a Historical Library and Archives to offer various cultural resources.