Plans for contemporary art museum at Fix back on track

The mood was actually optimistic for Anna Kafetsi, director of the still-homeless State Museum of Contemporary Art, at a press conference last week celebrating the museum’s fifth anniversary. Plans to renovate the old Fix brewery on the junction of Syngrou and Kallirois, which seemed to have come suddenly derailed over the summer, appear to be back on track, as the tender for the construction project was announced on October 6. Specific plans are to be announced within the first few weeks of 2006. The name of the contractor should be made public by early February and Kafetsi hopes to be seeing the first bulldozers rolling in by March. Kafetsi also said that the delays in construction have not been useless, as they have given her and her team more time to better organize the museum in view of a 2008 opening. Preparations, she explained, are moving along two axes: enriching the museum’s permanent collection and working on the museum’s relations with the public, the city and the country’s artists. Regarding the collection, Kafetsi explained that «the museum cannot operate with the current infrastructure. We have an initial core of 566 works of art, but this is not adequate.» The goal is to acquire another 200 significant works (the emphasis will be placed on paintings and installations), the purchase of which will require subsidies of up to 30 million euros. On an even better note, Kafetsi said that that the celebrated sculptor Lucas Samaras has donated one of his monumental works to the museum. «Our policy as collectors is unavoidably eclectic,» she noted, «but that is not necessarily a bad thing.»