Culture Condensed

Where would Greece be now were it not for the foresight and vision of great men and women who loved this country to no end?

Such is the case of Antonis Benakis, who dedicated his life to the preservation of culture, with the hope of educating and forming admirable modern citizens. His legacy? Numerous museums around Athens which house marvels of Greek history, tradition and culture, but not only.

We were lucky enough to be guided around the Benaki Museum, discovering its wealth through every intertwining hallway, something new around every corner. As if the discovery of the museum itself wasn’t enough, Pavlos Geroulanos, grandson of Antonis Benakis who founded the museum in 1929 and former Greek Minister of Culture and Tourism from 2011-2012 talked to us about the importance of correct preservation and about a holistic approach to history, one which informs and doesn’t misinform.

Joanna Podias could resonate with his point of view, “I thought it was really neat when Geroulanos mentioned that the museum was the only one with pieces from Greece through many different periods of history. It made me feel like I got a comprehensive picture of Greece’s art and culture, whereas I’ve only ever seen American museums focus on ancient Greece and what they see as the “important” parts of Greek culture”.

All this was put in to context and enhanced thanks to the morning’s Greek Culture Seminar, by our own Dr. Gregory A. Katsas, who talked to the participants about the reality of Greek culture. Alexandra Papoutsis was especially touched by the seminar: “During the culture seminar the professor asked us one question: Where does Greece belong? At first, I realized he was looking for a geographical answer. But to me, this question seemed deeper. I couldn’t help but think that Greece as a country is to be revered. As a beautiful place that needs to be discovered and learned time and time again. The culture is rich. If I was not here, I may never have understood that.”


The Benaki Museaum has the tendancy to make people lose themselves in their thoughts.


Pavlos Geroulanos, grandson to Antonis Benakis.

Blog editor and photographer: James (Dimitris) Voutsas

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