The main building of the first foreign institute of Athens, the French School, a building that reflects the long history of French philhellenism, has been declared a monument by the Central Council of Modern Monuments (KSNM).
The neoclassic building was built in 1872-1873 and consists of a ground floor, first floor and the basement. The main building houses a rich library and also has two wings. The north wing consists of offices, while the south consists of the director’s house, as well as a conference room. The French School is surrounded by 17 other buildings, which were built during or after the 19th century and house several of the French School’s facilities, such as guest rooms for foreign members, a maintenance workshop, a gallery and drawing archives, the administrative services and the Cast Museum.
The French School is the oldest foreign institute founded in Greece, but also the first French academic institute outside of France. Its foundation is closely associated with French philhellenism. The French School has participated in many important archaeological excavations in sites such as Delphi, Delos, Argos and Philippi.
Council members unanimously voted in favor of only declaring the main building a monument, seeing as the rest has undergone numerous restorations. Its maintenance was considered significant for the study of history and evolution of architecture in Athens and the history of French philhellenism in the 19th century.