CULTURE

Greek art and ancient coins from Alpha Bank

The large art collection of Alpha Bank was brought to the public’s attention last year, when the Benaki Museum hosted an exhibition on a selection from the bank’s roughly 5,000 holdings of Greek art. Around the same period, Alpha Bank refurbished its Banknote Museum in Corfu and rearranged the display of its rich collection of Greek banknotes. Continuing this active cultural policy, Alpha Bank is now inaugurating a new exhibition space at Nafplion with two exhibitions: one on its contemporary art collection and another on ancient coins from the Peloponnese. Both exhibitions are temporary and will be followed by a series of presentations all drawn from the bank’s art collection. For the contemporary art exhibition that is currently being held at the new Nafplion exhibition center, Irini Orati, curator of Alpha Bank’s art collection, has chosen works by artists who were born in the Peloponnese. They are: Steven Antonakos, Andreas Vourloumis, Apostolos Yiayiannos, Thanassis Exarchopoulos, Takis Katsoulidis, Antonis Kepetzis, Anni Costopoulou, Daphne Costopoulou, Yiannis Bouteas, Costas Paniaras, Nafsika Pastra, Pavlos, Dimitra Siaterli, Vassilis Skylakos, Yiannis Spyropoulos, the engraver Tassos and Thodoros Chios. The exhibition on Greek coins, curated by Dimitra Tsangari, draws from the bank’s unique collection of ancient Greek coins, which is permanently housed in Athens and is accessible to the public. The fact that most ancient cities of the Peloponnese produced their own coins has left us with a rich variety of coinage from the region. A selection of coins from Corinth, one of the first cities to mint coins, around the end of the 6th century, depict Pegasus and female deities. They are presented along with coins from regions such as Ancient Olympia, Argolis, Messenia and Sparta. Rarity One of the exhibition’s rarest pieces is a 4-drachma coin that was cut during the reign of King Cleomenis of Sparta in the late 3rd century BC. The new premises of Alpha Bank’s exhibition space are located in a neoclassical, two-story building (a branch of the bank is located on the ground floor) which is centrally located behind Nafplion’s main square. The building used to be an army conscription bureau and later served as a hotel. Alpha Bank’s new exhibition space will be open daily (except Mondays) to the public from April to the end of October.