Museums rise to special occasion

With International Museum Day, May 18, almost upon us, museums around the country are getting ready to welcome it, as long as a planned strike by guards does not go ahead. The Culture Ministry has taken legal action to try and prevent the strike but as of last night, it was not clear if the guards would walk off the job on Sunday. Should the events go as planned, this year’s theme, as decided by the International Council of Museums (ICOM), is «Museums as Agents of Social Change and Development.» As always, admission will be free, but other events are being planned as well. The Ministry of Culture is launching a new program to bring the work of young artists to museums and archaeological sites. Sunday should be exciting around Plaka: There will be ceramics workshops and performances by conservatory ensembles at the Ancient Agora. The Roman Forum will host an exhibition of paintings, video art screenings and a dance show, while children’s choirs and classical music ensembles will perform at the New Acropolis Museum. Traditional dances and live rock music will alternate at the junction of Dionysiou Areopagitou and Apostolou Pavlou – the latter street will also enjoy live jazz, hard rock, progressive and hip-hop sounds. There will be more live music opposite the Thiseion train station, traditional music and shadow puppet theater at Aerides Square, street music at Tripodon Square and a painting exhibition on Adrianou Street. Events will run 12.30 p.m. to 2.30 p.m. and then again from 6 to 10 p.m. The Museum of Cycladic Art (4 Neofytou Douka, Kolonaki, tel 210.722.8321-3) will have guided tours around its permanent collections as well as the temporary display of Russian avant-garde works from the Costakis Collection of Thessaloniki’s State Museum of Contemporary Art. Children will enjoy theater games, puppet theater, fairy-tale narration and workshops. The Benaki Museum will honor Thessaloniki’s Macedonian Museum of Modern Art at the Benaki Pireos Street Annex (138 Pireos, tel 210.345.3111). Starting at 7 p.m., the event will feature talks by Benaki Museum director Angelos Delivorias, MMMA president Xanthippi Heupel and others. At the Ilias Lalaounis Jewelry Museum (12 Kallisperi, Acropolis, tel 210.922.1044), curators will lead specialized guided tours from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will also provide information about the museum’s social and educational role. The Herakleidon, Experience in Visual Arts Museum (16 Irakleidon, Thiseion, tel 210.346.1981) will have free guided tours of its Toulouse-Lautrec exhibition, 11.30 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. and 5.30 to 6.30 p.m. Writer Mariza Dekastro will lead a fun presentation of her children’s book «At the Museum» at 11.30 a.m. (bookings are necessary). The Historical Archives of the National Bank of Greece (146 Triti Septemvriou, tel 210.880.7804-5) has organized a three-day event, starting today, that will feature guided tours, screenings, concerts, lectures, dance and theater performances, children’s activities and exhibitions. In Thessaloniki, the State Museum of Contemporary Art (21 Kolokotroni, tel 2310.589.140) will run creative workshops for all the family from 10 a.m. to noon and will also have free guided tours from noon to 1 p.m. At 8 p.m., an exhibition of photographs from 1970s Paris, by Giorgos Poupis, will open and a surprise party will follow.