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Stavros Niarchos Center Marks Five Years as Greece’s New Cultural Landmark

Stavros Niarchos Center Greece
The Stavros Niarchos Center in southern Athens. Credit: Facebook/Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center

The Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC) has become a cultural landmark in Greece since it was turned over to the Greek state in 2017.

The SNFCC, a project unique in Greece, is a public space for expression, culture, and recreation. It has hosted 20 million visitors and over 16,000 events during those five years, it announced on Thursday.

The Center is home to the Greek National Opera (GNO) and the National Library of Greece (NLG), along with Stavros Niarchos Park. It is a place thousands of people embrace and visit daily to be entertained and express themselves, to join conversations, to meet up and just enjoy quality time together.

“The most important achievement of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC) is the way it has been embraced by all people, creating — as we had envisioned along with its architect, Renzo Piano — an open and accessible public space,” said SNF Co-President Andreas Dracopoulos.

SNFCC has also partnered with over 40 international and local organizations, served as a venue for key events like the speech of US President Barack Obama in November 2016, and organized the annual SNF Nostos event celebrating the arts and culture.

The SNFCC at five years: Made by people for people from Stavros Niarchos Foundation on Vimeo.

Stavros Niarchos Center, the brainchild of Stavros Niarchos Foundation

Since the inception of the idea for the creation of the SNFCC, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation has allocated a total of €608 million ($739 million) to the project through several grants.

This amount primarily went toward the construction of the SNFCC but also supported operational and programming costs for its first five years, following the commitment SNF made during the delivery of the SNFCC to the Greek state.

The Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) is one of the world’s leading private, international philanthropic organizations, making grants to nonprofit organizations in the areas of arts and culture, education, health and sports, and social welfare.

Since 1996, the Foundation has committed more than $3.3 billion through over 5,100 grants to nonprofit organizations, in more than 135 countries around the world.

Stavros Niarchos: The great Greek shipping tycoon

Born on July 3, 1909, in Athens, Stavros Niarchos was a self-made businessman and shipping tycoon of immense wealth who possessed an exceptional ability to make money.

Starting in 1952, he had the world’s biggest supertankers built for his fleet. Propelled by both the Suez Crisis and increasing demand for oil, he and rival Aristotle Onassis became giants in global petroleum shipping.

Niarchos Ltd. was an international shipping company that at one time operated more than 80 tankers worldwide, including substantial modern and super tonnage. His investments also diversified into stocks and real estate as well.

Onassis had said about him: “No one has been so smart or so lucky to make the right moves at the right time as Stavros Niarchos.”

Niarchos was also known for his adventurous love life, as he married five times — with two sisters being among his five brides.

After his death, his legacy continues with the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, which has become a leader in philanthropic donations in the areas of arts and culture, education, health and medicine, and social welfare.


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