Traditional Greek costumes, some dating from the era of the 1821 War of Independence, have been brought alive by contemporary artists in Athens.
Photographer Vangelis Kyris and decorator Anatoli Georgiev worked together to create the folklore collection of the National History Museum (EIM).
The two artists worked together for almost two years to create magnificent reproductions of traditional clothing worn by men and women of that time.
The impressive result, a tribute to the beauty and intricacy Greek traditional clothing, highlights in a unique way the wealth and diversity that distinguishes it.
Costumes to be exhibited at the National Historical Museum
The traditional Greek costumes will be exhibited at the National Historical Museum, which has been permanently housed in the Old Parliament Building at Stadiou Street (Kolokotronis Square) since 1960.
The Museum narrates the history of Modern Greece: the period of Ottoman and Latin rule, the Greek War of Independence (1821), the struggles for liberation, the creation of an independent state, and the political, social and spiritual development of the Greek people up to the present day.
The National Historical Museum was established by the Historical and Ethnological Society of Greece, which has been collecting important historical items since its creation in 1882.
The foundation of the Society is inextricably linked with its first official public appearance, with the “Exhibition of Memorials of the Sacred Struggle”, just two years later.
In that exhibition, in response to an appeal by the Society, the families of the fighters of the Revolution of 1821 and government bodies, such as the Ministries of War and Navy, provided exhibits from an era that at that time was quite recent.
Most of these objects, at the end of the exhibition, were donated to the Museum of the Historical and Ethnological Society, as it was first called, thus becoming its central core of collections.
Open to the public for over half a century
The National Historical Museum was born through the joint action of a rapidly evolving society, in a period of research for coherent links and national identity and of the creation of relevant institutions.
Since then, the Museum has operated for the public for over half a century in the halls of the Athens Polytechnic, becoming a reliable reference to the city’s life.
It continued the work of the enrichment of its collections both within the country and by organizing excursions to areas of Hellenism outside the borders of that time, in Macedonia, Epirus, Asia Minor, Constantinople, and Alexandria.
On the eve of the Second World War, as a measure of precaution, the items were packaged and hidden in the basement of the Polytechnic and in private rooms.
After the war, while strong efforts were made to find adequate accommodation, the former “Home for Impoverished Girls” on Queen Amalia Street was temporarily rented and accommodated as a rough exhibition space.
Since 1960 the Museum has been permanently housed in the Old Parliament on Stadiou Street (Kolokotronis Square).
In 1979, Pantelis Koundouriotis, a descendant of the Hydriot notable Lazaros Koundouriotis, bequeathed to the Society his family’s mansion on Hydra island with the prospect of turning it into a museum.
Since 2001 the Lazaros Koundouriotis Historic Residence has operated as part of the National Historical Museum, becoming a major local attraction for numerous visitors.