On Tuesday 18 May 2021, the President of the Hellenic Republic, Katerina Sakellaropoulou, visited the National Historical Museum (NHM) and was guided through the ‘Revolution ’21 Reframed’ anniversary exhibition. Ms Sakellaropoulou was welcomed by the Minister of Culture and Sports, Lina Mendoni, as well as the President and the Secretary General of the Historical and Ethnological Society of Greece, Fani Mallouchou-Tufano and Themistocles Kontogouris respectively.
The visit by the President of the Hellenic Republic marks the official opening of the main exhibition ‘REVOLUTION ’21 REFRAMED’, which is the culmination of the NHM’s anniversary programme for the celebration of the bicentenary of the Greek Revolution. The programme unfolds under the auspices of the Ministry of Culture and Sports, in 12 cities around Greece; it also includes a floating exhibition which will travel to islands of the Aegean Sea.
In her address, Ms Sakellaropoulou referred to the highly symbolic title ‘ΕΠΑΝΑCΥΣΤΑΣΗ’ 21’ (REVOLUTION '21 REFRAMED):
“The ingenuity of the title consists in the creative combination of the Greek words ‘επανάσταση’ (revolution) and ‘ανασύσταση’ (reconstitution); and its very symbolism lies in the fact that it implicitly calls upon us all to delve into and understand this milestone in our modern history, through the reconstitution and reconstruction of the unseen aspects of the Greek Revolution.” She added that: “The Museum was founded in the aftermath of the celebrations for the 50th anniversary of the 1821 Greek Revolution, its first exhibits being relics donated by the combatants’ families, and its collections grew with the subsequent addition of newer items, following the national journey up to modern times; thus, it constitutes an ark of self-awareness. Yet, at the same time, it is a modern museum which, as demonstrated by the technological dimension of this exhibition, is going through constant reinvention, in an attempt to become more interactive, more flexible, more open to the community.”
The Minister of Culture and Sports, Lina Mendoni, described the National Historical Museum as
“a museum that made excellent use of the pandemic times in order to renew its image. Therefore, the Board of the Greek Section of ICOM rightly chose it to be the honoured museum for 2021”. As the Minister stated, the exhibition ‘REVOLUTION ‘21 REFRAMED’, "having the Museum's headquarters, in the Old Parliament Building in Athens, as its primary point of reference, is characterised by originality, dynamism and strong extroversion. It suggests that the Greek Revolution be considered in light of reconstruction and reconsideration, as well as re-examination and reacquaintance of modern Hellenism with its historical past"; she went on to further express her support for the Museum's work: "The Ministry of Culture and Sports, and myself, personally, are extremely pleased to be able to provide our full support and auspices to this important action, which aspires to contribute to a fruitful reconsideration, evaluation and perception of the Struggle for Independence in light of the 21st century, marking at the same time a new era for the National Historical Museum".
The President of ICOM’s Hellenic National Committee, Teti Hadjinikolaou also referred to the selection, on the part of the Greek branch of ICOM, of the NHM as the Museum of Honour for 2021.
In his address, Mr. Ioannis Manos, Consultant at the National Bank of Greece and Coordinator of the ‘Bicentennial Initiative 1821-2021’, praised the work of the National Historical Museum and all its collaborators who contributed to the realisation of this emblematic exhibition; furthermore, he conveyed the satisfaction of all the Institutions as regards the quality and emblematic nature of both the main and the regional exhibitions. “The ‘Bicentennial Initiative 1821-2021’ –in which the most important public benefit foundations participate–, with over 150 actions, has created a multi-level programme both in Greece and abroad. With this programme, we pay tribute to our history, which is a source of inspiration for the future”.
As stated by Dr. Petros Kalantzis, President of the Executive Board of the John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation:
"The bicentenary of the Greek Revolution offers us the unique opportunity to celebrate the past and reflect on it with a realistic approach which at the same time maintains the, both great and well-deserved, feelings of honour and pride. In recognition of the importance of highlighting the Struggle as regards the establishment of the Greek State, the John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation adopted the vision of the National Historical Museum and the "Bicentennial Initiative 1821-2021", thus deciding to participate in the anniversary programme “REVOLUTION ‘21 REFRAMED” as a major donor of its main Anniversary Exhibition. The partnership with the National Historical Museum is a great honour for our Foundation. With its long-standing action in collections, research and exhibition, the Museum is the institution par excellence for remembrance of the Struggle for Independence, and from today on, it shall present a comprehensive and objective narrative of that period, conveying the message of the Revolution to visitors, children and adults alike".
The exhibition “REVOLUTION '21 REFRAMED” is structured in seven sections, displaying rare relics of the Struggle, documents, and a wealth of archival material. It is complemented by numerous audiovisual materials and interactive digital exhibits; from 18 May 2021, the Digital Exhibition ‘REVOLUTION ‘21 REFRAMED’ is available on the NHM website.
The exhibition forms part of the ‘Bicentennial Initiative 1821-2021’, with significant funding from John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation and with the support of the J.F. Costopoulos Foundation, for the implementation of the interactive ‘Rigas Charta’ exhibit. The relevant technological support came from the Foundation for Research and Technology Hellas (FORTH).
With the support of the National Bank of Greece, Eugenides Foundation, Captain Vassilis and Carmen Constantakopoulos Foundation, Lambrakis Foundation, Athanasios C. Laskaridis Charitable Foundation, Aikaterini Laskaridis Foundation, and Bodossaki Foundation, the anniversary exhibition will travel across Greece, from north to south, to Alexandroupoli, at the Ethnological Museum of Thrace; to Thessaloniki, at the Teloglion Foundation of Art of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (AUTh); to Veria, at the Public Benefit Enterprise of Multiple Development of the Municipality (KEPA); to Larissa, at the Folklore Historical Museum; to Messolonghi, at the Messolonghi Byron Society; to Galaxidi, at the Maritime and Historical Museum; to Nafplio, at the Branch of the National Gallery – Alexandros Soutsos Museum; and to Chania, at the Maritime Museum of Crete.
REVOLUTION '21 REFRAMED: THE EXHIBITION
Opening hours: Tuesday-Sunday, 8:30-14:30
National Historical Museum
Old Parliament Building, Kolokotroni Square,
13 Stadiou st., GR-10561 Athens, Greece
Tel.: +30 210 3237617, +30 210 3237315, +30 210 3222266
Fax: +30 210 3213786
UNDER THE AUSPICES OF THE HELLENIC MINISTRY OF CULTURE AND SPORTS
The video of the Exhibition REVOLUTION ’21 REFRAMED is available here: