Foreign leaders who arrived in Greece on the occasion of the bicentennial of the Greek War of Independence, were welcomed at the opening of the newly-remodeled National Gallery of Greece on Wednesday.
Welcoming the guests, Greek Culture Minister Lina Mendoni said that “The National Gallery is the treasure holder of 19th and 20th century Greek art, inseparably linked to the evolution of Greek society and the expectations of the Greek state since 1830.”
“The completion of the work of expanding and re-exhibiting the Gallery’s Collections on March 24th 2021, marks the beginning of the celebrations for the bicentenary of the Greek War of Independence of 1821,” she added.
Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis stressed that the National Gallery “belongs not only to Greeks. It also belongs to our friends from abroad who join us on this anniversary.”
“Today’s event sends a renewed message of dynamism at the dawn of the third century of Greek liberty, because the National Gallery has never been a mere repository of artistic creation. On the contrary, it is a living organism that has followed the nation’s progress,” he added.
“The new National Gallery reaffirms its role as the internationally renowned “ark” of Greek art. It also highlights the place that Greek art holds in European culture,” Mitsotakis said.
The National Gallery of Art, full of outstanding works of Greek art from the post-Byzantine era through to the twentieth century, has been under renovation for a total of seven years.
The reopening of the museum and its marvelous collection of priceless works occurred just one day before the bicentennial of the Greek War of Independence is celebrated.
Foreign leaders visit National Gallery, attend official state dinner
Foreign leaders from the UK, France, and Russia are the second group to explore the halls of the airy museum, which has galleries measuring nearly 20,700 square meters (222,813 square feet).
PM Mitsotakis and his wife, Mareva Grabowski-Mitsotaki, welcomed all their distinguished guests to the newly refurbished National Gallery at 6:15 PM on Wednesday.
There, Greek PM Mitsotakis, Culture Minister Lina Mendoni and National Gallery Director Marina Lambraki-Plaka delivered remarks to the guests, who will then be given a tour of the Gallery.
After the reception at the National Gallery, the guests will be welcomed to an official state dinner hosted by Greek President Katerina Sakellaropoulou at the Presidental Mansion.
The museum may finally open to the public in June
The very first people to peruse the Gallery’s collection after its renovation were Greek PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Culture Minister Lina Mendoni, who visited the art museum on Saturday.
During his visit, Mitsotakis toured, among other galleries, the hall with paintings related to the Greek War of Independence and other halls hosting modern Greek artworks.
The Prime Minister referred to the “spectacular result” that “reflects the love for a museum that symbolizes the history of the modern Greek State.”
Members of the public who are itching to visit the newly-opened National Gallery will have to wait until June to admire its many priceless paintings.