Koutouki cave and Vorres Museum of Contemporary Art

vorres museum athens kids

On the slopes of Mount Ymittos lies Attica’s famous Koutouki cave. You can find further information on admission at the official website of the Ministry of Culture.

Very close to the cave, by car, you have the option to visit the Vorres Museum of Greek art and culture. Strange as it may sound, the creation of the museum is the result of an aesthetic shock.  In 1962, when Mr. Ian Vorres returned to Athens from Canada after an absence of 20 years, he was shocked with the urbanization and the environmental damage that plagued post-war Greece.  So he decided to do something to save and promote a genuine Greek environment.  He bought an area of 2 acres in the quaint town of Paiania, – the birthplace of antiquity’s famous orator Demosthenes – which contained abandoned early 19th century homes and folkloric elements.  It was there, that he decided to make his home and realize his personal vision, a vision of the subtle, graceful elegance and beauty of traditional Greece in all its architectural and decorative variations.

In 1983, Ian Vorres donated his entire collection to the Greek nation in the form of a cultural non-for-profit foundation called “Vorres Museum”.  In recognition of Ian Vorres’ and the museum’s contribution to the strengthening of Greek-Canadian cultural ties, the Vorres Museum was officially declared “Canada House” in Greece in 2013, on the occasion of the celebrations for the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Canada and Greece, as well as the long-standing friendship between the two nations.

The museum is divided into two main sections: the museum of contemporary Greek art and the folk-art museum. In the contemporary part, one of the most important and representative collections of its kind in the world is exhibited, comprising paintings, installations and sculptures by leading Greek artists, displaying a Greek interpretation of most of the international artistic currents of the second half of the 20th century. The folk-art section is an extraordinary complex of 19th century buildings, courtyards and gardens or rather a re-adaptation and readjustment of traditional Greek architectural features housing antiquities, icons, ceramics, popular artifacts and objects used in daily Greek life centuries ago. The gardens, wild and consisting almost entirely of Mediterranean flora are an indispensable part of the museum being described by many as the most beautiful gardens in Athens. Check the museum’s website for admission and tickets.

Alternatively, if you want to rest and your kids to get acquainted with the donkeys or even take part in their care and the life of the farm, visit to Donkey’s Land (Gaidourochora).

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