Thessaloniki’s photo museum shows promising balance sheet

The Thessaloniki Museum of Photography is gradually expanding while keeping its finances sound and servicing its debt, said artistic director Vangelis Ioakimidis, who presented the museum’s latest balance sheet at a news conference on Monday. State funding from the Culture Ministry for 2006, slated at 250,000 euros, is slightly less than the amounts received in previous years, according to information provided by museum officials. Additional revenues, from book sales and admission tickets, were reported at 60,000 euros. Over the next three-year period, the museum expects to receive 650,000 euros in state funds, a sum already endorsed by the Culture Ministry and the National Economy and Finance Ministry. With these funds, the museum expects to upgrade its premises and finance events. Its administration plans to spend 200,000 of the 650,000 euros on improving existing infrastructure. At present, exhibitions, the permanent collection, storage space, offices, and other units are all crammed into 1,000 square meters of total floor space. A further 400,000 euros will be used to finance events. The Photosynkyria show, now in its 18th year, will be held every two years, for financial and logistical reasons. The next festival will be held next year, between April and May, with «Time» as its theme. Other plans include thematic events featuring Greek photographers of the diaspora; the four elements of nature and man; dialogue between Greek and foreign artists; major foreign photographers; and the relationship between photography and other art forms. Joint shows with foreign institutions are also on the agenda. Recently appointed at the museum’s administrative helm, Thanassis Panoris has been in charge since June. Selected by the general secretary, Christos Zachopoulos, the museum’s new chief is a former high school teacher with limited organizational experience. In his first official meeting with the press on Monday, the optimistic-sounding Panoris noted that he will ultimately be judged by his prospective work at the museum, not his previous work experience.