Benakis Museum in Athens

Antonis Benakis

Benakis Museum in Athens ranks among the great benefactions which have enriched the material assets of the Greek state.

At the same time, it is the oldest museum in Greece, which functions as a Foundation under Private Law.

Through its extensive collections covering several different cultural fields, as well as its more general range of activities which serve more than one social need, the Benaki Museum is perhaps the sole instance of a complex structure within the wider network of museum foundations in Greece.

The Museum’s founder is Antonis Benakis, scion of one of the leading families of the Greek diaspora, was born in Alexandria in 1873. Benakis began his career as a collector in Alexandria, gradually reaching the decision to donate his collections to the Greek state, an idea which became reality after he settled permanently in Athens in 1926.

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