Culture - Athens - Travel | Monocle


Museum of Cycladic Art, Kolonaki 

Nicholas and Dolly Goulandris began collecting ancient artefacts in the 1960s. By the 1980s they had enough to fill a cultural institution and opened the Museum of Cycladic Art, showcasing more than 3,000 Cycladic, ancient Greek and Cypriot works. The marble figurines displayed here, dating from 3,000BC to 2,000BC, have inspired many 20th-century artists, from Henry Moore to Modigliani and Picasso. 

When you’ve had your fill of ancient history, make your way through the glass tunnel to the Stathatos Mansion – one of the city’s best examples of neoclassical architecture – to take in some contemporary art. To finish, grab a coffee in the Cycladic Café, which has installations by Stelios Kois, designer of the museum’s new façade. 

4 Neofitou Douka, 106 74 
+30 210 7228 321

National Archaeological Museum, Politechnio

This neoclassical landmark houses a collection that’s second to none. Inside the high-ceilinged halls, completed in 1889, you’ll find the world’s most comprehensive array of Greek artefacts. Among the highlights are the Artemision Bronze (a statue of Zeus or Poseidon, recovered from the bottom of the sea off Cape Artemision) and the golden mask of Agamemnon. There’s also an unrivalled gallery of pottery displaying intricate designs that tell ancient tales and myths. Don’t miss the courtyard café, a serene oasis of indigenous plants and ancient sculptures.

44 Patission, 106 82 
+30 213 2144 800

The Breeder, Metaxourgeio

This leading cultural platform has brought international acclaim to Greek artists since its foundation in 2002. “We have a very active community and momentum has definitely grown in recent years,” says director Nadia Gerazouni. The space – a former ice-cream factory that’s been the gallery’s home since 2008 – was redesigned by architect Aris Zampikos. A hefty metal door opens onto a white space where contemporary art by the likes of Andreas Lolis, Gabriel Vormstein and Maria Hassabi is displayed. Our favourite aspect: the ever-changing installations on the façade, from maritime signal flags to graffiti.

45 Iasonos, 104 36 
+30 210 3317 527
Go back: Athens


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