The National Museum of Contemporary Art in Athens (EMST) will finally be open to the public this week and is ready to welcome visitors with its permanent collection on view, its exhibitions and activities.
The Museum is set to open its doors to the public on Friday, February 28, ahead of its official inauguration in April, Greece’s Culture Minister Lina Mendoni said on Monday.
The museum, housed in the former Fix Brewery, was taken over as a building facility in February 2014. Since then, its inauguration has been announced several times but had been repeatedly postponed until now.
At a press conference, Mendoni called the announcement "a historic day," and stressed that it is her Ministry's immediate priority as well as the Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ volition, to transfer the building's ownership to EMST, and she mentioned that the building is currently leased by Attiko Metro SA. with a 50-year contract signed in 2002.
Ahead of its official April inauguration, the Ministry of Culture will have appointed a director for a two-year term and by 2020 will launch an international competition, which will see the appointment of the director of the National Museum of Contemporary Art, said the minister.
She also spoke of the total public expenditure on the building, amounting to 44,625,440 euros, which covered part of the exhibition program, which came from NSRF 2007-2013 funds, state funds and a 3 million euros donation from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation for the museum's equipment and to carry out approved studies for the permanent collection to be put on display. The museology study implemented has been prepared by the former director of the EMST, Katerina Koskina.
In the exhibition of the permanent collection, 172 works by 78 Greek and international artists are presented and are integrated into three axes: Memory References – Demands – Political narratives; Boundaries & Passages; and heterotopias – Mythologies of the familiar – new perspectives.
At the Contemporary Exhibition Space, the exhibition under the title “EMST Open, EMST as a storyline” presents the museum’s story since it first started operating. The exhibitions, the activities, the educational programs and the move of the museum from space to space defined the museum until its installation at its permanent home. The Timeline introduces again the museum’s past that formed its present. In the next months, the exhibition will be framed with parallel events.
The cafe and the restaurant at the museum are in progress and these spaces are expected to be operating by the end of March 2020.
Admission to the National Museum of Contemporary Art is free for a trial period.