NEWS

The Sculpture Gallery

The new National Sculpture Gallery will be housed at the former army equestrian training center in Goudi, at the heart of the beautiful park located just off busy Katehaki Avenue. Two tile-roofed stables, built in 1838, will serve as display areas. The buildings are of particular architectural interest for their art nouveau pillars and for the elegant lines of the beamed ceilings. These elements of interest will be preserved and highlighted, while the rest of the area (each stable measures 1,200 sq.m.) will be transformed into modern exhibition halls. The architects in charge of the project have decided to place all electrical equipment under the floor to take full advantage of the stables’ open spaces. The first building will have 1,000 sq.m. of exhibition space housing the museum’s permanent collection, while the second stable will be 600 sq.m. in size and used periodically for shows. The museum’s debut show, scheduled for late June, promises to be of special interest as it will include, among others, 73 works by Britain’s acclaimed Henry Moore, as well as wooden pediments by Christos Kapralos. Later, these will be replaced by a show of works by Marino Marini. Marina Lambraki-Plaka, the head of the National Gallery and now head of the Sculpture Gallery, said recently to Kathimerini that she is confident all the work will be completed on schedule. She also said that the gallery’s main objective is to reacquaint the Greek public with sculpture. «Nineteenth-century Athens had something of a love affair with sculpture. That was when many of the sculptures we see in public spaces today were installed. Since then, this sense of familiarity has been lost, and we hope the Sculpture Gallery will re-establish it. It was our duty to create a museum of this kind in Greece, a country which has, one might argue, one of the longest histories of sculpture in the world.» The only obstacle Lambraki-Plaka can see right now is the museum’s request to have state-appointed security guards on the premises. The request has not been answered and therefore, for security reasons, the museum’s collection will have to remain in storage instead of being put on display in the park’s outdoor areas.