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Marina Lambraki-Plaka, Director of the National Gallery, Dies at the Age of 83

ATHENS – Marina Lambraki-Plaka, director of the National Gallery, died at the age of 83 early on Monday.

She was born in Arkalochori, Heraklion, Crete. She studied at the Department of History and Archeology of the University of Athens (1959-1964) and concluded her postgraduate studies in the same department in Classical Archeology with a scholarship from the State Scholarship Foundation (IKY) and on the subject: “Prosocratic Philosophy and Art”.

In 1965-1968 she attended the History of Art lectures by Professor Pantelis Prevelakis at the Athens School of Fine Arts. Later she undertook a three-year postgraduate studies degree in the History and Sociology of Art at Paris I, Sorbonne on an SSF scholarship.

She was unanimously elected Professor at the Chair of History of Art at the Athens School of Fine Arts in 1975, making her the first woman professor of the school.

A unique moment in her career was when she became director of the National Gallery in 1992, where during her career the gallery was refurbished, new annexes opened (Corfu, Nafplio, the National Glyptotheque at Goudi, the Kapralos Museum on
Aegina), 3,000 works of art were acquired, including two masterpieces by Theotokopoulos (El Greco). Additionally, major exhibitions by Greek and international artists were organized and well-received, logging approximately 5.5 million visitors. All these activities were funded between 60-100% by sponsorship.

Marina Lambraki – Plaka was an art historian, archaeologist, and Emeritus Professor of Art History at the School of Fine Arts. Since 1992 she has served as the Director of the National Gallery- Alexandros Soutsos Museum. Among others, she was also Alternate Education Minister during the period August 28-September 23, 2015.

A few of her honorary distinctions include the Kazantzakis Prize of the City of Heraklion, Crete, Elected Greek Candidate for the “Woman of Europe” Award, “Ariadne” Award by the Pancretian Union of America, and 1st State Prize for Essay and Criticism for the book on Painting – Alberti and Leonardo.

She has published 21 books and more than 200 papers and articles in academic magazines and newspapers; has written more than 100 essays for exhibition catalogs.

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