New Niarchos Center Chairman Quits Over SYRIZA Interference

Giorgos Kimoulis. Photo: Eurokinissi/Giorgos Kontarinis

ATHENS – Weeks after the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center was handed over to the Greek state to run its chairman has quit, saying the ruling Radical Left SYRIZA is already interfering with the operation.

The charge came from Giorgos Kimoulis, a Greek actor who passed bad checks and owed the state 200,00 euros ($211,110) and who was named head of the new 617 million-euro Niarchos Cultural Center earlier this month.

In a letter made public in the media he said Greece’s biggest new cultural institution – located on Athens’s southern coast – was being manipulated for political ends but didn’t describe exactly what he meant although critics of the handover to the state warned the government would gets its hands involved and make patronage appointments.

Kimoulis ripped the appointment as CEO of the center of Nikos Manolopoulos, who as head of the Athens Bankrupt Concert Hall, saw it go bankrupt but was promoted to the top spot at the Niarchos Center.

Kimoulis said Manolopoulos was “effectively substituting the entire board of directors by taking advantage of the fragile internal balances in the governing party, which I refuse to be a part of.”
In his letter to the board, Kimoulis also stressed that he “will not consent to processes that may in the future be construed as having not been above board.”