The digital Georgios Iakovides Museum to be set up on Lesvos

If the great Georgios Iakovides had been at the Benaki Museum’s amphitheater at 1 Koumbari Street on Thursday, he would have painted the scene. The hall was filled with a sense of joy and anticipation prompted by the announcement that Greece is to get its first digital museum, which will be named «Georgios Iakovides,» after one of the greatest Greek artists of the late 19th and early 20th century. The museum will be located in the remote mountain village of Hydira on the island of Lesvos and is the fruit of cooperation between two families. The family of the artist – his grandson Georgios Iakovides, his great-grandson Prof. Michalis G. Iakovides of the London Business School, along with the latter’s mother, Lily Iakovidou – granted permission for the creation of a high-tech museum where Iakovides’s work will be transferred into digital form and be made available to all visitors. The museum will be housed in a building provided by the N.G. Papadimitriou Educational and Cultural Foundation. Nikos G. Papadimitriou, the foundation’s founder and chairman, wanted to combine both art and technology in a homage to the painter, who lived from 1853 to 1932. At the same time, the museum will honor his great-great-great-grandfather Dimitris, who came to Hydira from Andros and became the village priest – hence the surname Papadimitriou. «I wanted to honor Lesvos for its culture, as well as the village from which my family started out,» Papadimitriou said. «I want to make Hydira known to the world. I want to make an offering to art and the remote village a place of learning, a place to visit, a place of pilgrimage for the great Greek artist Georgios Iakovides who started out from Hydira on Lesvos to study and became a leading Greek artist of international repute.» The museum will be inaugurated on August 29. It will not exhibit any authentic paintings, but, works in electronic form – with touchscreens and animation – will lead visitors through 16 themes, including the artist’s influences and his use of children’s figures.