Debt-Ridden Greece’s Only Theater Museum Shuts Down



Greece’s National Theater Museum.

The Greek theatrical and cultural treasure that was established as a museum in 1938, is not open anymore and is facing a permanent closure.

Among the museum’s collection, here you will find historic archives from the press dating back to the 19th century, costumes and masks of legendary Greeks like Angelos Sikelianos, valuable manuscripts and critics, and hundreds of objects related to modern Greece’s theatrical history from its very beginning in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Undergraduate and postgraduate students of theatrical studies have benefited from the museum’s rich archives, however, that is now everything is under threat of ending forever.

The museum has accumulated debts that reach the amount of €1.8 million ($2.1 million).

As it was highly dependent on State contributions, which stopped in 2011 due to the austerity measures that were implemented in the country, forcing the museum struggled to cope with its expenditures.

Since then, the museum kept adding debt to its register resulting to its closure as its staff had to leave.

Greece’s ministry of culture says that it tries to find a viable solution to the issue as the former members of the staff demand their unpaid wages.

There have been many efforts since 2016 to save the valuable belongings of the museum, unfortunately with no lasting results.

In an interview with Efimerida Ton Syntakton daily, Kostas Georgousopoulos, theater critic and member of the museum’s board of directors, said that he’s afraid that he will end up in prison due to the debt of the museum as the State has already confiscated his personal bank accounts.

Whatever the cost though, the majority of Greece’s artists believe that the country’s only theatrical museum needs to be saved so that such a cultural treasure does not vanish forever.