ATHENS – An exhibit celebrating the life and work of prolific writer Iakovos Kambanellis (1921-2011) has opened at the Benaki Museum’s Ghika Gallery on Kriezotou Street, inaugurated on Monday by Culture Minister Lina Mendoni.
“Kambanellisand: Naxos, Mauthausen-Athens” is part of events for the Culture Ministry’s “Literary Year Iakovos Kambanellis 2022” and highlights the wor of the author, playwright, and screenwriter who left an indelible mark on Greece’s cultural life during the second half of the 20th century.
Over several floors of the Ghika Gallery, visitors can see posters of his theatrical works or films he wrote, the people he collaborated with – including poet Manolis Anagnostakis, theater director Karolos Koun, and composers Mikis Theodorakis and Manos Chadjidakis – and events of his life, including his incarceration in the Mauthausen concentration camp, which resulted in a novel of the same name. Kambanellis, a non-Jew, was sent to Mauthausen in 1942 while trying to flee Nazi-occupied Greece and remained at the camp until it was liberated in 1945.
“As a survivor of Mauthausen, he became a tireless proponent of the restoration of democracy,” Mendoni said, “drawing inspiration and themes from this struggle for this important works, which were imbued with global human values.”
The exhibit is curated by his daughter Katerina Kambanelli and Sissy Papathanassiou, and designed by Pavlos Thanopoulos. It has an extensive catalogue for visitors, and will last until July 30, 2022.