The Museum of Ancient Greek Technology Costas Kotsanas in Athens was nominated to the European Museum of the Year 2019 award by the European Museum Forum (EMF). The results of this year’s competition will be announced in May 2019.
Since 1977, the European Museum of the Year (EMYA) awards recognise the best museum practice and encourage innovative actions in the museum sector.
Kostas Kotsanas Museum of Ancient Greek Technology on Pindarou Street features reconstructions of little-known ancient Greek mechanical inventions.
This is the third museum to be set up for ancient Greek technological achievements in the country by the Patras University engineer. The first one opened in Ancient Olympia (2003) and the second to its west, in Katakolo (2013). The Athens museum will also focus on musical instruments and games, and its funding comes from the 15-year-old cultural nonprofit organization the family has set up to promote ancient Greek technology.
Panagiotis Kotsanas, who is a chemical engineer of the National Metsovio University (Polytechneio) and responsible for travelling exhibits, had said at the time that the objects sent to exhibits abroad are replicas made for that purpose. For example, he explained, pieces shown in South Korea and Thailand and travelling next to Singapore will also be shown in Egypt at the same time. “Some (pieces) are made just for travelling abroad,” he said, “and have been travelling for seven years. They will return, but the museums are not missing any exhibits.” Estimates put the number of the visitors to the Asian exhibits at over 1.5 million.
Kotsanas had said the family had held exhibits in Athens, but did not organise them themselves and did not have their own space. The Pindarou St. museum in Athens charges an entrance fee, unlike the other two museums that are housed in municipal buildings and free to the public, “because we rent the building and we have to pay staff.”
The inventions have have travelled to most continents, and been shown at museums, the European Patent Office at the Hague, universities and the National Library of France, among others.