CULTURE

Avoid the queues: Art is not just there over the holidays

The image of hundreds of people lining up outside Athens’s National Gallery over the Christmas season in 1999 made its way around the world, as the retrospective exhibition on El Greco attracted over 618,000 visitors, most of whom decided to visit during the holidays. This year, those who are planning to visit the National Gallery’s exhibition on 20th century Spanish art, the show of Salvador Dali monographs at the Cycladic Art Museum or other exhibitions in the capital had better take note of their opening days and times. «Of course the exhibition [on Spanish art] is one of the most popular being shown right now, though I do not expect it to break the record held by the El Greco exhibition,» said National Gallery Director Marina Lambraki-Plaka. «I am very pleased to see that the majority of visitors are young people, children and the general public. This shows that the number of people interested in art in our country is rising and this is of great importance for the events we organize in the future. I would advise visitors not to wait until the holidays or the last moment to see an exhibition. «The exhibition [at the National Gallery] runs until January 27 and the date cannot be extended. Of course, we have no intention of leaving anyone outside, but we don’t want the public to go through the trouble of long lines.» The National Gallery will be closed on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day, as well as the usual on Tuesdays. Its regular hours are: Thursday-Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday and Wednesday from 6 to 9 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Cycladic Art Museum is very popular right now, as it was two years ago during the Picasso exhibition. Press Officer Eleni Papadimitriou noted that there have been over 20,000 visitors to «Salvador Dali: Singularity and Myth» since late October and numbers are rising as the holidays near. The Cycladic Art Museum will be shut on December 24, 25, 26 and 31 and on New Year’s Day, keeping its regular opening times on other days: Sunday to Tuesday closed, Monday and Wednesday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Frissiras Museum, which is showing the latest works of Chronis Botsoglou, as well as selections from the museum’s permanent collection, will be closed on December 23 to 26, 30 and 31, and January 1. On other days it opens Wednesday and Thursday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Friday to Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Benaki Museum, which is also showing the work of Botsoglou, will be closed on the same days, though the gift shop will be open on Christmas and New Year’s Eve from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Its regular opening times are Monday to Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Thursday from 9 a.m. to midnight. The «Synopsis II: Theologies» exhibition at the Contemporary Art Museum in the former Fix brewery runs until January 5, when the museum will be closed for construction work. It will be closed on the major holidays in keeping with the other museums, except for December 26. It is always closed on Mondays and its opening times are Tuesday-Sunday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Thursday from noon to 10 p.m. Last, but not least, the Byzantine Museum – whose gift shop includes special presents, such as icons – will be closed on December 23, 25, 26 and 30, and on January 1. On other days, it is open from 8.30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and is currently showing the exhibition «1884-1930: From the Christian Collection of the Byzantine Museum.»