Some 9.3 miles east of Athens, in the suburban city of Peania lies one of the most impressive – and certainly one the most original – museums not only in Greece but around the world.
The Vorres Museum of Contemporary Greek Art has few equals and presents history and love for art in two complete sections that leave visitors astounded and proud of the Greek cultural heritage.
Founded in the late 60’s by Greek-Canadian Ian Vorres, the facility is a diachronic museum of folk and contemporary art covering 80 acres. Its collections cover more than 2000 years of Greek history and consists of two complexes of buildings plus courtyards and lush gardens that cover 12,000 square meters.
The museum is divided into two main sections. The first section is a museum of contemporary Greek art, in which paintings and sculptures by leading Greek artists of the second half of the 20th Century are on display. The paintings and sculptures in the Vorres collection represent some of their most mature and best works. Works created by Greek artists living abroad are also being shown for the first time now.
The second section titled Pyrgi Folk Art Collection comprises four traditional village houses and the remnants of a stable dating back to the early 19th Century and which feature peasant artifacts, Greek carpets, ceramics, icons, rare furniture and antiquities. It took 40 years to complete the Vorres Museum and the Vorres family donated the whole complex to the Greek state.
However, two years ago and with the economic crisis still lingering in the country, the museum lost state subsidies. The Greek government is desperately trying to secure money to pay off its debtors at the expense of education, culture, archaeological research, museums and historical sites all over the country. The 90-year-old owner of the Museum is trying keep the museum open to the audience at least twice a week (Saturdays and Sundays) but expenses are high.
There is a standard entrance fee of 5 Euros (reduced to 3 Euros for children, students and people over 65) and the museum is open on weekends from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (Address: 1 Parodos Diadochou Constantinou St., Peania, Attica).