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New Archaeological Museum Opens in Chalkida, Greece

Archaeological Museum of Chalkida
The beautiful building that houses the new Archaeological Museum of Chalkida. Credit: AMNA.

A new museum, named the Arethousa Archaeological Museum of Chalkida, is opening its doors to the public for the first time on Monday. The museum is located in the main town of the beautiful island of Evia, the second largest island in Greece.

New Archaeological Museum of Chalkida

The official opening for the museum was held on Sunday, and was attended by the Minister of Culture for Greece, Lina Mendoni.

When the museum opens to the public on Monday, they will be met by an exquisite permanent exhibition curated by the Antiquities Ephorate of Evia.

The museum, known as the Arethousa, is named after the nearby freshwater thermal springs which have been famed since ancient times for their mythical healing properties. The museum, situated in the Aghios Stefanos area, is housed in a former industrial building that has been declared a historical monument.

Part of the museum’s exhibition is actually the building itself, which dates back to the early twentieth century, marking the beginning of industrial activity in the area. The exhibits on display relate to politics, economy, cultural identity and worship, including representative artifacts from the islands of Evia and Skyros.

The museum is also accessible for those with mobility issues or disabilities. The exhibits itself is fairly high-technology, as they are fitted with an interactive tour map of places of archaeological interest in Evia and Skyros, as well as documentaries and multimedia applications. The exhibits are also interactive, keeping guests engaged and involved throughout their museum visit.

The opening, which was attended by Minister Mendoni, was hosted by the metropolitan bishop of Chalkida, Chrysostomos Triantafillou. The event was attended by a small number of guests in accordance with current coronavirus regulations.

The project to create the museum, called the “Organization of Permanent Exhibition of the Archaeological Museum of Chalkida/Arethousa,” which was handled by the Ephorate of Antiquities of Evia, was part of a larger program of activities.

The Operational Program, named “Central Greece 2014-2020,” gave funding to the Ephorate and was implemented using co-financing from the European Regional Development Fund.

Three stages of cultural re-opening in Greece

The first key date, or “stage,” of reopening which allowed the new Archaeological Museum of Chalkida to open its doors, was the reopening of cultural venues in Greece on May 14. The government chose that date for museums to reopen because it coincided with the beginning of the Greek tourism season.

The second stage included the opening of summer cinemas on May 21. These open-air movie theaters are popular across Greece during warmer months and their reinstitution signifies a partial return to normalcy. However, it has already been clarified that the government is not considering opening conventional indoor theaters any time soon.

The third and final stage of Greece’s cultural reopening is proposed for May 28, when musical concerts will again be allowed to take place.

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