CULTURE

‘Spring of Museums’ celebrates the European cultural heritage

The «Spring of Museums» is a common celebration of all European museums. Established by the Museum Directorate of the French Ministry of Culture in 1999, the event’s aim is to familiarize audiences with their cultural heritage while at the same time promoting the museum wealth of all the countries participating in this international feast. This year’s celebrations have been scheduled for Sunday, and Greece will be participating for the second time around. Under the title «Sacraments and Discoveries,» this year’s offerings include free entrance to archaeological and Byzantine museums. In Greece, 23 institutions are preparing an exciting array of events, which in many cases will involve audience participation. Some 20 Greek cities will be offering guided tours, educational workshops, exhibitions and lectures at their museum facilities. A selection of museum items related to the notion of sacrament will lie at the heart of some events, such as the exhibition of sacred items of worship in Laconia and Arcadia, part of the permanent collections of the archaeological museums of Sparta, Tripolis and Lykosoura. Other events include a guided tour at the Thessaloniki Museum of Byzantine Culture, focusing on early Christian amulets. In other places, the events will provide an opportunity for the public to get acquainted with museums, such as the open day organized by the Numismatic Museum in Athens, or even the exhibition of ancient objects stemming from Nepal and Tibet at the Museum of Asian Art in Corfu. At the Nea Moni Museum in Chios, the celebration will focus on «Pefki,» the gold-threaded fabric and a stunning example of handwoven craftsmanship which reached its peak on the island from the 17th to the 19th century. At the 2-year-old Byzantine Museum in Veria, on the other hand, visitors will learn more about daily life during ancient, Byzantine and post-Byzantine times.