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Greece extends museum loan period

Benaki Museum, Athens. Photo source: Ministry of Culture

Greek Culture Minister Lina Mendoni recently tabled in parliament an amendment to the bill that will give museums the right to lend movable works of art for a total period of up to 50 years to international entities.

According to a ministry announcement, the idea behind the amendment is to “reintroduce Greece to the world” and is part of an attempt to present Greek culture to the world.

The revision of the current five-year restriction provides for the loan of objects and works of art for a period of 25 years with the possibility of a 25-year extension.

“Greece is internationally recognized as a major force in the field of cultural heritage. We therefore consider it imperative to promote Greek culture throughout the world. Especially in areas where the expatriate element is strong (Australia-US), ”the ministry said.

The Benaki Museum will be the first to loan under this law a series of works of art currently in its warehouses at the Hellenic Museum in Melbourne. The objects will be on display in a specially designed area dubbed “Benaki Museum Melbourne”.

Photo source: @Hellenic Museum, Melbrourne

“The country’s museums have millions of movable monuments which are kept in warehouses. Among these, some, selected by the museums themselves, and after obtaining the approval of the competent services of the Ministry of Culture and the Central Archaeological Council, may be exhibited in a single collection with long-term loan in the museums or exhibition spaces abroad, necessarily retaining the name of the museum that lends its objects, ”said the ministry.

Citing similar practices from other museums around the world, the Greek Ministry of Culture backs its decision saying that instead of being left in warehouses, the exhibits on loan will serve as “Greece’s ambassadors abroad.” “.

As a rough guide, according to a report by the National Museums Partnership, in 2019, UK museums loaned nearly half a million objects to museums, galleries and institutions around the world.


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