Twenty million people have visited the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center in the five years that have passed since the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) transferred the title of ownership of the most important construction project in Greece since the creation of the Parthenon to the Greek state – as I have noted many times.
It is an endeavor with many and powerful multipliers that have had favorable impacts for the economy, culture, and society.
At a recent anniversary event SNF Co-President Andreas Dracopoulos, the inspirer and mastermind of the project and its support to date, used the opportunity to express his joy for the unprecedented, harmonious cooperation of seven (7) different governments with the Foundation from the beginning of the project, but motivated by a deep love of ‘father to child’ he also addressed a wide open issue regarding the future of the SNFCC.
The SNF continues to finance the SNFCC in the amount of 10 million euro per year for programs and operating expenses.
“We made two bets when we decided to make the donation,” said Mr. Dracopoulos. “The first was to make a project that would be embraced by the people – and we achieved that. The second bet, however, is still being played and I confess that I am afraid… There… is a gap at the moment.”
After noting that “at the moment we are being taken for granted, but in this life you should not take anything for granted,” he identified the problem: “According to the contract, the Greek state should have contributed a metro extension to the SNFCC . The metro should have been done from the first moment. It is provided for in the contract from 2009.”
He continued: “We (the Foundation) are still here and helping, but one day we will not be. We should not be. The project must stand on its own two feet. It is not ‘healthy’ for the Foundation to continue to support it financially for an indefinite time to come.”
Mr. Dracopoulos said things as they are.
And that serves the interest of both the SNFCC and society. He rang the alarm bell. Now, as early as possible.
He has an obligation to do so. He also has the right. He more than anyone else.
Let’s hope he will be heard.