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Greece’s National Historical Museum Commemorates Greek Revolution

National historical museum greek revolution
The National Historical Museum is proudly debuting an exhibition on the Greek Revolution. Photo courtesy of the National Historical Museum.

A National Historical Museum exhibition, named “Revolution ’21 Reframed,” celebrating the 200 years since the beginning of the Greek Revolution, will travel to 12 cities across Greece this year.

The traveling exhibition most recently debuted in Chania, on the Greek island of Crete, on Saturday. The Greek Ministry of Culture and Sports is heavily involved with the project, alongside multiple donors who are helping to make it a reality.

National Historical Museum celebrates the Greek Revolution

The exhibition created by the museum is part of the “Bicentennial Initiative 1821-2021,” a massive project which has been funded by a long list of institutions and donors.

The exhibition is structured in seven sections, which are comprised of relics from the revolution, along with documents and rich archival material. It highlights the ideas, causes, persons, events and results of the Greek War of Independence.

The entire narrative thread of the revolution is portrayed, beginning with the international context and background on the Ottoman Empire. The Modern Greek Enlightenment and the ideological causes of the revolution are explored, with an emphasis on the individuals who shaped the movement.

The armies involved and military moves taken by all parties, both on land and at sea, are also shown within the context of Greek society at the time.

The National Historical Museum’s exhibit on the Greek Revolution also takes an interest in the daily life of both revolutionary fighters and the civilian population, including that of women and children, during the war.

The exhibition also portrays some of the more traumatic scenes which emerged during the war. Stories of prisoners of war and their horrific treatment become clearer through rare documents which are presented.

Horrendous and defining moments, such as the Chios massacre, the death of Lord Byron and the third siege of Mesolonghi, are explored. The development and contribution of the philhellenic movement is also honored, as are Greek efforts to communicate the horrors of their struggle to the press.

Following from these efforts, diplomatic developments and the much-appreciated international recognition of the Revolution are also described throughout the exhibit.

The final section of the exhibition examines the consequences and repercussions of the Revolution and the subsequent efforts to establish a modern state and the formation of a national consciousness.

One exhibition, twelve cities

The National Historical Museum’s showcase on the Greek Revolution will travel across Greece in order to make it accessible to many different audiences. The bicentennial anniversary exhibition will move through Greece beginning in the north and ending in the south.

The first stop of the exhibition was the Ethnological Museum of Thrace, in Alexandroupoli. The next stop is the Teloglion Foundation of Art of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Thessaloniki, followed by the Public Benefit Enterprise of Multiple Development of the Municipality (KEPA) in Veria.

It then moved to the Folklore Historical Museum in Larissa before stopping at the Mesolonghi Byron Society in Mesolonghi. Then, it made an appearance at the Maritime and Historical Museum of Galaxidi before going to Nafplio, the capital city of the First Hellenic Republic, at the National Gallery-Alexandros Soutsos Museum.

The exhibition is also being shown in Chania, on the island of Crete, at the Maritime Museum of Crete.

This impressive feat of moving the massive exhibition across Greece is only possible due to the support of the National Bank, Eugenides Foundation, Captain Vassilis and Carmen Constantakopoulos Foundation, Lamprakis Foundation, Athanasios C. Laskaridis Charitable, Aikaterini Laskaridis Foundation and the Bodossaki Foundation.

Piraeus Bank’s contributions to the “Bicentennial Initiative 1821-2021” also allows for the exhibition to move to three museums of the Piraeus Bank Group Cultural Foundation (PIOP): at the Silversmithing Museum in Ioannina, at the Open-Air Water Power Museum in Dimitsana and at the Chios Mastic Museum in Chios.

Finally, with the support of Piraeus Bank and the Maria Tsakos Foundation, a specially designed floating exhibition will travel to historic islands and ports in the Northeast Aegean.

However, those who are not physically located in Greece have no need to fret, for there is also a digital component to the exhibit.

The digital exhibition, which houses 80 documents revealing the truth of the Greek Revolution, can be found on the National Historical Museum website. The digital exhibit is also proud to showcase images, texts (which can be viewed in Greek or English) and sound elements. Through the Tour Experience, some parts of the exhibition are accessible for a 360° virtual tour.

A video promoting the exhibit can be found below.


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