The Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC) has been officially handed over to the Greek state in a ceremony on Thursday, February 23. The Foundation announced it will continue to finance the cultural centre for several years, and Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras welcomed the donation. “The 617 million euros is a generous donation which gains even greater significance as it was made in conditions of major practical difficulties,” Tsipras said at Thursday's ceremony.
It is one of the country’s foremost cultural, educational and environmental projects and is now in the hands of the Greek state following a grand delivery ceremony held amid public, government officials and fans.
The Stavros Niarchos Foundation now withdraws fully from the project’s management but will continue to support the SNFCC over the next five years with grants of up to 50 million euros and to organise free single week events every June.
“The economic value of this project may be significant in itself, but its cultural value is even greater”, said PM Alexis Tsipras. “In a country where culture defines our national capital, the possibilities created with this Cultural Center are vast, and can have a positive ripple effect. Not only for cultural events of international scope which will highlight the city of Athens and Greece as a nation.”
“Today is a day of joy for us because, after a journey of more than 10 years, we deliver the keys of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center to its real owners, the Greek people”, said Co-President and Director of the SNF, Andreas Dracopoulos.
“For all of us at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, the SNFCC encapsulates the countless possibilities and prospects of our country, for which we will continue to strive. We are very proud that we managed to create a ‘crack’, as Leonard Cohen would say, through which the light can get in. We are even prouder still, for the hundreds of employees and associates from all fields, who made the SNFCC a reality, but also for the warm way in which the visitors, all of you, embraced and are indeed already preserving the SNFCC. It is now Yours“, Dracopoulos concluded.
Located in Athens, the SNFCC first opened in August 2016 and is one of the country’s largest infrastructure projects housing the Greek National Opera, a two-million-book National Library and the Stavros Niarchos Park.