The Benaki Museum of Greek Civilization, founded by Anthony Benakis and donated to the Greek state in 1931, is the oldest of the five functioning museums of the Benaki Museum organisation. Its mission is to present, through its collections, Greek art and material culture in a geographical and evolutionary context, from prehistory to the present. Unique examples of ceramics, sculpture and jewellery are included in its Geometric, Archaic, Classical, Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine collections. The transition from the ancient periods to the Byzantine world is illustrated in the collection of textiles, oil-lamps, clay figurines and bone carvings from Alexandria and in a rare group of Coptic works of art. Byzantine and post-Byzantine icons, ecclesiastical embroidery and metalwork reveal the impact of Christianity on the art of the times. Costumes, jewellery, embroidery, ceramics, wood-carvings, paintings and metalwork complete the presentation of Greek art in the four post-Byzantine centuries. By virtue of its collections, the Benaki Museum cannot be classified only as a museum of decorative arts, an art museum or a historical museum; it is rather, the museum of Greek civilization, in all its pertinent manifestations.
The new millenium marked the expansion of the Benaki Museum and its development into a complex museum organisation: In 2000, the Benaki Museum of Greek Civilization re-opened after 10 years of renovation works, featuring the Greek collections. Four years later, in 2004, the Benaki Museum of Islamic Art was inaugurated, a unique collection of world-renowned artefacts exhibited in the only such museum in Greece. During the same year, the Pireos street Annex opened officially, a multidynamic cultural centre able to host all types of events and exhibitions. Two more museums —the Studio of Yannis Pappas and the Nikos Hadjikyriakos-Ghika Gallery—, three active Archival Departments (Photographic, Architectural, Historical) and a rich Library come together to establish the Benaki Museum as the most active and dynamic museum organisations in Greece, a space which promotes knowledge, research, contemplation, exchange of ideas and freedom of expression.
The Benaki Museum is committed in presenting emerging knowledge about its collections through educational activities for children and adults, publications, exhibitions and events, nationally and internationally.
Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday: 9:00 - 17:00
Thursday: 9:00 - 24:00
Sunday: 9:00 - 15:00
HOLY WEEK (EASTER):
Monday, Wednesday: 9:00 - 17:00
Thursday: 9:00 - 24:00
Friday: 12:00 - 17:00
Saturday: 9:00 - 15:00
Closed on Tuesday and the following holidays:
March 25th, May 1st, August 15th, October 28th, Christmas Day and Boxing Day, New Year's Day, Epiphany, Easter Day, Easter Monday, Clean Monday, Holy Spirit Day.
The Shop and the Snack bar-Restaurant is open during the opening hours of the Museum.
Full admission: €7
Temporary Exhibition: €5
Full admission: €5
Temporary Exhibition: €3
Free admission every Thursday (optional fee €1) except temporary exhibitions and guided groups and the International Museum Day (May 18th)