SPARTA – Friends of the Mosaics of Sparta and its president, Ioannis Varvitsiotis, will host the House of the Mosaics official opening in Sparta.
The event will be open to the public and will take place on Monday, November 21 at 18:00, at the House of the Mosaics on 108 Konstantinou Palaiologou & Dioskouron St.
This important project for the city of Sparta was realized through a grant from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) and implemented by the Ministry of Culture and Sports.
The House of the Mosaics in Sparta houses the mosaics The Abduction of Europa and Orpheus with the Animals, which were discovered by accident in 1872 and 1890, respectively, the former in the garden and the latter in the wine cellar of private properties. To protect and showcase these elaborate Roman floors crafted at the end of the 3rd and beginning of the 4th centuries, the land where they were discovered was expropriated and a shelter was constructed. Despite their historical significance and archaeological interest, they remained hidden for years in what was effectively an informal warehouse for mosaics. Then, approximately 20 years ago after a chance conversation with a local man, they came to the attention of retired public servant Ioannis Varvitsiotis. Fascinated by their beauty, which shone through in spite of the dust that covered them, Varvitsiotis made it his life’s work to bring them back to light, securing them the place they deserve on Sparta’s cultural scene.
In 2015, Varvitsiotis crossed paths with the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) and specifically with SNF Co-President Andreas Dracopoulos, who immediately understood the importance of his vision. A grant from SNF supported a study for the project, then the construction and outfitting of the modern building that houses the two mosaics and the development of educational content to contextualize them.
The House of Mosaics opened its doors to the public on Monday, May 17, 2021.