Niarchos Foundation cancels €4 million grant to Culture Ministry over ‘systematic delays’

Niarchos Foundation cancels €4 million grant to Culture Ministry over ‘systematic delays’

A prominent philanthropic organization announced on Friday the cancellation of a €4 million grant to the Culture Ministry to protect archaeological findings due to “constant and systematic delays” in the project.

The grant from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) sought to help protect and showcase the archaeological findings in the Faliro Delta area which came to light during excavation for the construction of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center.

The finds include the internationally heralded discovery of an ancient mass grave.

But the foundation said that “after five years of continuous delays and inaction on the part of the relevant authorities,” it was “forced to withdraw the grant to support the design, construction, and outfitting of the Kelyfos Polyandriou exhibition pavilion.”

The SNF said it expressed its intention to the ministry to fund the project in February 2017. The grant would have included the creation of a new building with museum infrastructure based on a design by architect Renzo Piano.

“From the beginning of the discussions between SNF and the ministry, progress on the project was characterized by constant and systematic delays,” the SNF said.

“These conditions led to a decision by the SNF board of directors to withdraw and cancel the grant, effective immediately.”

The SNF said that “if this project’s development reaches maturity in the future, we will be at the Ministry’s disposal to evaluate a new grant request with every good intention.”

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