A network of friends of the work and legacy of Patrick Leigh Fermor in the UK aim to maintain his home by the sea in Mani in the southern Peloponnese by launching a donation drive. The project is being conducted in cooperation with the Benaki Museum in Athens, which was bequeathed the property by the celebrated British author after his death in the summer of 2011 at the age of 96.
The Patrick Leigh Fermor Society, headed by Charles Arnold, has pledged to uphold the last testament of the writer, who on his deathbed had said that he wanted his house, a rustic-style villa overlooking the Bay of Kardamyli, to become the seat of his intellectual legacy.
The aim of the project is to create a retreat for writers and researchers at the Mani house, which was designed by Fermor and his wife Joan in the mid-1960s.
According to the Patrick Leigh Fermor Society, the cost of renovation and upkeep of the home and the garden comes to 500,000 pounds (approximately 640,000 euros), according to an assessment made by the Benaki Museum.
It aims to collect this amount from membership fees (20 pounds a year or 200 for life) as well as through lectures, events etc, and the publication of The Philhellene, a newsletter on the activities of the society.
Even before the society was born, a number of individuals had come forward and expressed an interest in helping preserve Fermor’s Mani house.
It is this interest that the society aims to tap and organize, with the cooperation of the Benaki Museum, inviting companies and people who want to propagate the celebrated writer’s legacy to make a donation of 100 pound or above.
Members of the society, moreover, will also have the privilege to visit the Fermor house, built in one of Greece’s most beautiful locations.