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Prominent philanthropist and botanical painter Niki Goulandris dies

TAGS: Culture, Death

Niki Goulandris, a prominent Greek philanthropist, environmentalist and accomplished botanical painter who co-founded the Goulandris Natural History Museum (GNHM) in Athens, died on Saturday, aged 94.

Goulandris studied political science, economics and philosophy in Athens and Germany. She married Angelos Goulandris, of the ship-owning Goulandris family, and together founded GNHM, establishing it as a center for research and education.

She served as former deputy minister for Social Services (1974–75), former Secretary of State for health in Greece (1974), honorary deputy president of Hellenic Radio and Television (1975–80), and member of the World Commission on Culture and Development of UNESCO.

Through her lifetime, she became a well- known botanical painter, having painted about 800 Greek indigenous plants, many of which have been printed.

“We will remember her forever with love and respect. May her memory always inspire us,” the vice-president of GNHM, Fali Voyatzaki, said in a post on the museum's Facebook page.

Commenting on Goulandris' passing, Parliament President Nikos Voutsis said in a statement: “Niki Goulandris was a model active citizen with a multi-faceted social action and intense environmental sensitivity, reflected in her life work, the Goulandris Natural History Museum, which she co-founded with her husband Angelos Goulandris in 1965.”

Her funeral will be held on February 12 at noon, at the Church of Agios Dimitrios in the northern suburb of Kifisia. 

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