Old Tobacco Factory To Be Reborn As A New Art Space In Athens

  • by XpatAthens
  • Tuesday, 12 January 2021
Old Tobacco Factory To Be Reborn As A New Art Space In Athens
One of Athens’ architectural emblems – the old Public Tobacco Factory  –  is to be reborn in 2021 with a new cultural identity and well-timed artistic purpose.

Completed in 1930, the Tobacco Factory, with its distinctive bright façade, was forged in the spirit of modernism to serve the country’s booming cigarette manufacturing industry. Once a symbol of Greece’s industrialisation and progress, the historic venue will now provide a “profoundly resonant” incubator for Greek contemporary art, according to Madeleine Grynsztejn, director of the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, who will co-curate Portals with NEON director Elina Kountouri. The Tobacco Factory exhibition and €1 million conversion project is prompted by the bicentennial celebrations of Greece’s War of Independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1821 which led to the creation of the Modern Greek State. 

The pioneering Greek art foundation NEON, backed by the billionaire Greek art philanthropist Dimitris Daskalopoulos, will renovate one half of the listed monument on Lenorman Street in order to stage an international exhibition called “Portals” from June to December, before giving the landmark space back to the Greek state as a new culture hub. The other half of the sprawling site, which spans an entire block, is home to the Hellenic Parliament Library and Printing House. 

“This particular moment in history takes us through a ‘portal’. When we emerge on the other side, we will need to reaffirm - for the sake of future generations - our commitment to certain values: the rule of law, human rights and democracy.” ~ NEON Director Elina Kountouri

To learn more about this project visit: thisisathens.org
Photo courtesy of: NEON

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