Monday, July 13, 2015

As of 2016, the Museum of Greek Folk Art will find a new home, or 18 new houses to be precise. The idea is to transfer the exhibits of the Museum into a quarter consisting of eighteen renovated small houses in the Plaka district -the heart of Athens during the 19th and early 20th century- so as to reproduce the ambiance of a bygone era. The district of Plaka has inspired many artists because it was the epicentre of the Greek folk tradition of the capital. The romantic portrayal of the bittersweet life of the contemporary working-class in the Athenian neighborhoods was a challenge for many playwrights and directors, who attempted to capture that feeling through their art. 

Iakovos Kambanellis (1921-2011), a prominent Greek poet, playwright and screenwriter chose this culture to be the subject of his play the Courtyard of Miracles (1983), a true Greek classic and a milestone in Modern Greek Theatre. Kambanellis decribed it as the swan song of a world so close to us and so embittered. The Ministry of Culture expects the relocation to be completed by 2016. The Museum of Folk Art first opened in 1918 and was then housed inside the Gisdarakis Mosque (1759) at Monastiraki Sq., which the Ministry has proposed it be used as an introduction to the new museum.