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"Museum of Byzantine Culture" Museum of Byzantine Culture Tip by dimilag


The Museum of Byzantine Culture aims in presenting various aspects of life during
the byzantine and post-byzantine periods: art, ideology, social structure and religion,
as well as how historical changes and the political situation were affecting people' s
everyday life.

The founding of the Museum of Byzantine Culture and its official opening in 1994 in Thessaloniki, the most "Byzantine" city of the modern Greek state, marks the end of a story that had begun long before, just after the city' s liberation in 1912. In August 1913, a decree
issued by the Governor General of Macedonia, Stephanos Dragoumis, resolved
to establish a "Central Byzantine Museum" in Thessaloniki. At the suggestion of the
Metropolitan of Thessaloniki, Gennadios, it was decided that it would be housed in
Acheiropoietos Church. The decision was never carried out, however. Instead of
Acheiropoietos, a government decree issued in 1917 appointed the Rotunda as
the new Macedonian museum, and large numbers of Christian sculptures were
collected there, some of them remaining on display in the Rotunda until the earthquake
of 1978. Meanwhile, the Christian and Byzantine Museum was founded in Athens in
1914, and in 1916 antiquities were transferred en masse from Thessaloniki to Athens
"for their own protection" and eventually included in the collection of the Byzantine
Museum in Athens. The question of founding the Museum resurfaced in actuality after
the change of polity in 1975. In 1977 a nationwide architectural competition was
announced and it was won by the entry submitted by Kyriakos Krokos. The foundation
stone was laid in March 1989 and the building was completed and handed over in October
1993. The antiquities that had been transferred to Athens in 1916 returned in June 1994,
part of which was displayed in the museum' s inaugural exhibition,

Address: 2 Stratou Avenue, 540 13 Thessaloniki
Directions: City center, behind the archaeological museum
Phone: 0030 2310 868570

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  • Written May 27, 2007
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