CULTURE

ELIA archive and NBG join forces

Two of the country’s most esteemed cultural institutions – the Greek Literary and Historical Archive (ELIA) and the National Bank of Greece Cultural Foundation (MIET) – have recently become partners, according to an announcement by the National Bank of Greece. ELIA’s significant archive of historical, literary and photographic documents, and its expansive library of Greek 19th century books and other material have now come under the umbrella of MIET’s activities. The unification process has already begun and its completion is expected by early 2008. ELIA will hand over its entire assets (archives, collections, library, publications stock and a privately owned building) to MIET. For its part, the National Bank of Greece will increase its funding to MIET, allowing ELIA to continue its activities as part of MIET. «ELIA will continue giving what it has always done. The reciprocal gains are clear,» said MIET director Dionyssis Kapsalis. «On the one hand, the agreement ensured ELIA’s survival and, on the other, MIET will receive an enormous amount of new material. This collaboration will give rise to projects that were impossible before, such as, for example, taking better advantage of ELIA’s treasures. The people of ELIA are highly skilled in their work and let us not forget that it was the first open archive of its size in Greece and it showed an enormous amount of generosity in sharing its material with the public. This philosophy, of having the archive open to everyone, will continue. Furthermore, we can also use ELIA’s archive as the subject of exhibitions, increasing its dynamic,» he said, adding that these projects would not be feasible without the support of the bank. Nothing will change essentially at ELIA and its founder Manos Haritatos will keep his position at the archive’s headquarters at 5 Aghiou Andreou Street in Plaka. ELIA has been on the brink of financial ruin for several years now, bending under the burden of having to maintain its existing and growing collections.