Museums seek unique silver set

Three of Greece’s major museums are passing the plate around for members of the public to help them buy a unique set of silver dinnerware dating from the 12th century. The nine plates, with gilt decorative motifs, were probably made in Istanbul and may have belonged to a powerful Byzantine family. The plates are in perfect condition and are unique in that they are secular pieces and a set, not isolated items. They have been offered by a collector living abroad who would like to see them go to Greece, said Angelos Delivorias, the director of Athens’s Benaki Museum. The government will pay half the asking price of 2.2 million euros if the public helps the Benaki and the Byzantine museums of Athens and Thessaloniki. If the money is raised, the three museums will divide the plates among them. The set will be displayed at the Benaki until early December and then at Athens’s Byzantine and Christian Museum. Contributions can be made to Alpha Bank account 107-002786000377.