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Benaki Museum

Director's Choice

George Manginis

    ISBN: 978 1 78551 348 0

    Size: 196 x 160 mm

    Binding: Paperback

    Pages: 96

    In association with:

    Date published: March, 2021

    Date published: August, 2021

    UK £12.95 /US $19.95


  • One of the most innovative cultural organisations in Europe, with venues all over Athens, and beyond.
  • Contains 40 treasures selected and described by Director George Manginis.
  • The first Greek institution in the Director’s Choice series.


The Benaki Museum was founded by Antonis Benakis, a visionary collector and cosmopolitan Greek patriot born and raised in Alexandria, Egypt.

Since opening to the public in April 1931, the museum has grown into one of the most innovative cultural organisations in Europe, and today includes several branches: a museum dedicated to Greek culture from prehistory to the 1940s; a gallery on modernism in Greece; a museum of Islamic art; a twentieth-century sculptor’s studio; a collector’s home; a museum of toys from around the world; a celebrated writer’s seaside retreat; a passementerie factory; and an exhibitions centre.

Across this network of venues all over Athens – and beyond – diverse cultures from all historical periods meet contemporary art movements, enabling ‘the Benaki’ to situate the Greek world within a global context.

Author information

George Manginis is the Academic Director of the Benaki Museum. He is an art historian and archaeologist and has taught the history of Byzantine, Islamic and Chinese art at SOAS, the University of Edinburgh and the Courtauld Institute. In 2013 he was a Stanley J. Seeger Fellow at Princeton University.