Opening Ceremony of the Renovated Capodistrias Museum in Corfu
The opening ceremony of the renovated Capodistrias Museum was held on Saturday, October 15, 2017, at the Koukouritsa estate, in Evropouloi, on the island of Corfu.
The Latsis Foundation has often supported the work of the Museum in the past, among other things by funding the creation of a modern website, which includes all the information about the Museum's scientific work and the ‘Ioannis Capodistrias’ Digital Archive, and informs the users about the Museum's Collection, educational programme and activities.
See the relevant Press Release.
The opening ceremony of the modernised – unique in its purpose in Greece – Museum, which is dedicated to the life, work and legacy of Ioannis Capodistrias, was celebrated with great splendor at the estate of Koukouritsa, in the Evropouloi village, on the island of Corfu.
In his opening address, the President of the Museum, Mr. Giannis Pieris, referred among other things to the historical and contemporary features of the Museum, while also taking the opportunity to express his gratitude to all those who contributed to the renovation works. The event was welcomed by the government's representative, Minister of Education, Mr. Kostas Gavroglou, who focused on the importance of supporting the Center for Capodistrian Studies, by the Governor of the Ionian Islands Region, Mr. Theodoros Galiatsatos and by the Mayor of Corfu, Mr. Kostas Nikolouzos. They all stressed the great importance of honoring our country's first Governor and the obligation to educate the new generations and to stimulate their interest in Greece’s history.
His Excellency the President of the Hellenic Republic began his speech by saying that "... for everyone, even more so for the President of the Hellenic Republic, it is a great privilege to be here". The President expressed his deep appreciation and admiration for Ioannis Capodistrias, stating that "... Ioannis Capodistrias inspires us and will always inspire us as a true visionary and a raw model for life and leadership".
After the conclusion of his speech, the administration of the Capodistrias Museum offered an honorary present to Mr. Pavlopoulos and then a tour followed of the new permanent exhibition of the Museum, led by the scientific associate, historian and philologist, Mr. Dimitris K. Zymaris.
The event was attended by Parliamentary Members of Corfu, the representative of His Eminence the Metropolitan of Corfu, representatives of the military, judicial and local authorities of the island, descendants of the Capodistrias family as well as sponsors, donors and friends of the Museum.
A banquet followed in honor of the President, held by the Regional Authority of the Ionian Islands, and the festivities were concluded with the afternoon event of honor and memory for Ioannis Capodistrias under the auspices of the President of the Republic. A brief lecture, titled “Capodistrias and the ‘other’ Europe”, was given by I.A. Metaxas, Professor Emeritus of The National and Capodistrian University of Athens; then, actor Natalia Capodistrias presented a closet play with the conversation between I. Capodistrias and the young G. Mavromichalis, as recorded by G. Tertsetis. The events ended with a formal concert of the (Old) Philharmonic Society, dedicated to the inauguration of the Museum.
In this festive setting, the Museum honored its great benefactor, the Corfiot Christos Fokas, thanking him for his generous and continuous sponsorship and offering him a copy of a valuable personal item of the Governor, from the Capodistrias Museum collection.
The Museum is now open every day except Monday, from 10:00 to 16:00 and allows the visitor to see personal items of the Governor, such as portraits, medals, books, maps, religious icons, historical evidence from the period the Septinsular Republic, memorabilia from his service under Tsar Alexander I, valuable documents concerning the establishment of the Greek State, family furniture, as well as an extensive digital archive with information about his life and works. The visiting experience is enhanced with digital media, an audio tour in four languages, as well as a walk in the garden, which offers spectacular views.
The Capodistrias Museum - Center of Capodistrian Studies belongs to three historical cultural institutions of Corfu, the Corfu Reading Society (founded in 1836), the Philharmonic Society of Corfu (founded in 1841) and the Corfiot Studies Society (founded in 1952), by donation of the great late Maria Capodistria-Desylla, great-granddaughter of the younger brother of the Governor. Being very insightful and wanting to benefit her home island, Maria Capodistria-Desylla donated the estate of Koukouritsa together with unique family heirlooms, with the condition that the Kapodistrias Museum would be established at the site.