Ioannis Trikoglou, a Cairo-born Greek merchant and art aficionado, has had his private collection of artworks stored at the cultural center of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki for the past 40 years, after entrusting it to the institution for safekeeping.
Trikoglou left Egypt in 1973 when President Gamal Abdel Nasser began seizing the assets of the sizable Greek population in the North African country, and moved back to Greece, where a decade earlier he had already ensconced his precious collection.
The Trikoglou Collection, comprising pieces related to the Eastern Mediterranean region in general, is now on display for the first time, at the northern port city?s Museum of Byzantine Culture.
The collection takes viewers on a journey through Asia Minor, Egypt and Sinai, among other parts of the region, where he shot photographs — as well as financing a number of tours by the famed Swiss photographer Frederic Boissonnas — and also collected thousands of artworks, photographs, books, heirlooms, maps, documents and other memorabilia.
The exhibition comprises 14,000 tomes that are available for viewing, oil paintings and watercolors by Greek and foreign artists, as well as a rare etching of Constantinople from 1493. It also has 506 photographs — 60 of which are by Boissonnas and 110 of which are by the renowned French studio Sebah