Hellenic Conservatory of Athens is being restored and will operate again after 50 years

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Maria Callas and Nana Mouskouri studied there. What will its new use be?

Work is progressing intensively on the Hellenic Conservatory of Athens, the historic building at 3 Feidiou Street, where, among others, Maria Callas and Nana Mouskouri studied.

It was abandoned for half a century. As a result, in the summer of 2022, part of it collapsed, causing damage to the neighbouring Ideal Cinema, where, at the time, a press screening was taking place.

The current state of the building

The total budget for the project is €5,712,000, which has been included in the Recovery Fund, and is expected to be completed by the end of 2025. Following restoration, the  building will host the Archive of the Art of Dance in Greece, the Library and selected programs of the State School of Orchestral Art.

Lina Mendoni, during her inspection of the Hellenic Conservatory in Athens

"This project is part of our policy of rehabilitating buildings - property of the Ministry of Culture or the State, located in the centre of Athens and in a poor state of preservation - and their performance, with cultural uses. Our goal is to upgrade the capital's urban fabric, attributing buildings-monuments as cultural landmarks of wider scope and development importance," said the Minister of Culture, Lina Mendoni, after the inspection she carried out on the site.

The building of the Hellenic Conservatory of Athens - Prokesch von Osten Palace -, owned by the National Social Security Agency (EFKA), was saved from demolition by the decision of the Ministry of Culture in 1996, which characterised it as a preserved monument and work of art, with great historical and architectural value.

The monument remained closed, without any care and maintenance, for about 50 years, while in 2022, it was granted for use by the Ministry of Culture.

The Prokesch von Osten Palace was erected in 1836 as the property of the Austrian ambassador Anton von Prokesch-Osten. It is the work of the German architect Gustavus Adolphus, based on plans by the Viennese Karlos Resner, and is one of the few remaining examples of private architecture of the Bavarians who settled in Greece, together with King Otto in the 1830s.

It was built outside the city limits at the time and is considered archetypal classicist. In 1837-1849, in addition to building the Austrian embassy, ​​it was also the meeting centre of the new capital's social, political and artistic elite, and a secular hub.

In the years that followed, the owners and residences of famous families changed many times (Prokesch von Osten, Tositsa, A. Schliemann-Mela). From 1919 to 1971, it functioned as the seat of the Hellenic Conservatory with the director of the music composer Manolis Kalomiris.

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