Art museum finds temporary home

The National Museum of Contemporary Art is moving; its administration offices have already been transferred to 14 Frantzi Street, which will be their temporary location until the completion of works at the former Fix factory. The former brewery, which will permanently host the museum, is expected to be ready in three years’ time. The museum’s exhibits will not be trekking over to Frantzi Street along with administration, as initially planned last year, but will instead take up residence in the new halls of the Athens Concert Hall. Needless to say, Athens will not have a contemporary art museum during the Olympic Games and, on top of that, Athenians will have to wait for a long time for that museum to be ready. Minister of Culture Evangelos Venizelos and the president of the Athens Concert Hall, Christos Lambrakis, announced on July 1 that they had temporarily agreed to place the museum’s exhibitions at the Megaron. «We are gaining a functional exhibition space, which also provides the solution to another problem, that of having to close the museum currently functioning at the Fix factory on Syngrou Avenue. We were looking for exhibition space so that the museum can still function, especially in the year leading up to the Olympic Games,» was what Venizelos said on July 1. Competition The evaluation committee will finish going through the results of the architectural competition during the month of October and then the actual study on the building can go ahead. The proposals which are now under consideration concern both the outer shell of the building, as well as the remodeling of its interior. Though the museum will not be ready for 2004, there is also a positive side to this development: The architects will not be under pressure of time in their effort to construct the new museum. The museum’s first exhibition for the new season, which is due to open at the Athens Concert Hall on November 26, is the third in the «Synopsis» cycle, with the title of «Testimonies: Between Myth and Reality.» Greek and foreign artists participating in the exhibition describe in their works how art is, once more, influenced by politics and social and historical problems throughout the world. Participants include Yan Pei-Ming, William Kendridge and Alan Sekula among others, as well as Lina Theodorou and Nikos Haralambidis. The next exhibition will be «Across Cultures» and will include many new works commissioned from great artists, which the National Museum of Contemporary Art will buy for its collection.

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