1821 Before and After: The Exhibit at Benaki Museum (Photos)

ATHENS – More than 1200 artefacts from the history of modern Greece are on display to honor the 200 years since the Hellenic Revolution in a first-of-its kind exhibit of such scale and scope, internationally. The exhibit highlights the 100 years that begin with the moral and economic preparation of the liberation of the Greeks, culminating with the Revolution of 1821 and the first decades of operation and development of the modern Greek State.

Visitors to the Benaki Museum’s 1821 Before and After exhibit will find interesting relics from 1770 to 1870, including historical correspondence urging the Greeks to fight, masterpieces depicting life in Greece during the era, and the fashionable garb of freedom fighters and royalty. Enriching their experience, they will have the opportunity to read a compelling historical narrative displayed throughout the exhibit’s walls, with relevant items accompanying each section. 

The exhibit features items held in the collections of three major Greek banks, the Benaki Museum, and private collections in Greece, France, and the United Kingdom. Paintings, sculpture, personal items belonging to key revolutionaries, historical documents and heirlooms are arranged into three sections which will bring to life the progress towards a national revolution (Section I: 1770–1821), the events of the War of Independence and its conclusion (Section II: 1821–1831), as well as the creation of the modern Greek state and its development and operation during its first half-century (Section III: 1831–1870).

1821 Before and After  is a very special exhibit for the Benaki Museum, as it is the longest lasting in duration and largest event in the museum’s history, as well as the first such event that takes up the entire museum building on Pireos Street, said Benaki Museum President Irini Geroulanou in a statement.

President of the Hellenic Republic Katerina Sakellaropoulou said in a statement, “the items, maps, documents, paintings, objects of the time, history and art are presented in a unique way in a shocking, I would say, exhibition, with an amazing setting at the Benaki Museum, an exhibition I believe should be seen because it is the great moment for the Benaki Museum but also for all of us.”

The rare artifacts on display have also been collected in a unique published catalog which offers a fascinating journey of history and art, a journey that in each step reveals why this adventurous century remains so deeply engaging, even in the 21st century.

The exhibition will be open to the public every day until November 7, 2021, from Tuesday to Sunday at the following hours: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday, 10:00-18:00; Friday and Saturday, 10:00-22:00.


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