The internationally recognised director of the National Gallery of Greece, Marina Lambraki-Plaka, died at the age of 83 early on Monday.
Lambraki-Plaka had a distinguished career, receiving both national and international recognition in her field. She published 21 books and more than 200 papers and articles in academic magazines, newspapers and written more than 100 essays for exhibition catalogues.
Among the impressive international distinctions she was awarded was the Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters of the Italian Republic (1994), Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters of the Italian Republic (2007), Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters of the French Republic (1997), Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters of the French Republic (2005), Knight of the Order of Legion of Honour of the French Republic (2011)
Born in Arkalohori in Heraklion, Crete, she was a graduate of the Department of History and Archaeology, University of Athens (1959-1964) continued postgraduate studies in Classical
Archaeology at the university on scholarship from the State Scholarship Foundation (SSF) on: “Pre-Socratic Philosophy and Art”.
She attended the History of Art lectures by Professor Pantelis Prevelakis at the Athens School of Fine Arts (1965-1968) and continued postgraduate studies in the History and Sociology of Art at Paris I, Sorbonne on SSF scholarship (1968-1971). She received her Doctorat d’État ès Lettres with honours at Paris I, Sorbonne on Bourdelle and Greece (1973).
Lambraki-Plaka was unanimously elected Professor at the Chair of History of Art at the Athens School of Fine Arts (1975). First woman professor in the history of the Athens School of Fine Arts.
Visiting fellow at Princeton University on Fulbright Scholarship. Visiting professor at several universities in France, the U.S. and the School of Philosophy of the
University of Crete at Rethymnon.
DIRECTOR OF THE NATIONAL GALLERY-ALEXANDROS SOUTSOS MUSEUM SINCE 1992
During her tenure as director, the National Gallery was refurbished, new annexes opened (Corfu, Nafplio, the National Glyptotheque at Goudi, the Kapralos Museum on
Aegina), 3,000 works of art were acquired, including two masterpieces by Theotokopoulos (El Greco), major exhibitions by Greek and international artists were organized
and well-received, logging approximately 5.5 million visitors. All these activities were funded between 60-100% by sponsorship.
After several years of efforts, the study for the expansion of the National Gallery building has been completed, more than doubling the gallery’s exhibition space and updating the museum in form and function. The project, funded by NSRF and sponsored by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, is currently being carried out under the technical supervision of the Ministry of Culture and Sports, and is expected to be completed by the end of 2018.
Kazantzakis Prize of the City of Heraklion, Crete (1985)
1st State Prize for Essay and Criticism for the book On Painting – Alberti and Leonardo (1988).
Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters of the Italian Republic (1994)
Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters of the Italian Republic (2007)
Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters of the French Republic (1997)
Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters of the French Republic (2005)
Knight of the Order of Legion of Honour of the French Republic (2011)
Medal of the Civil Order of Alfonso X, the Wise by the Spanish Ministry of Culture (2000)
Gold Cross of the Order of Merit by the President of the Hellenic Republic (2004)
TEI of Crete Award (2005)
Lions International Award (2006)
XENIA Award (2006)
“Ariadne” Award by the Pancretian Union of America (2009).
Elected Vice-President of AICA International
Elected Greek Candidate for the “Woman of Europe” Award (2007)
Appointed Alternate Minister of Culture in the Caretaker Government of September 2015
Has participated in numerous academic conferences in Greece and abroad.