It is one of the most important museums in Athens that you should definitely visit. It was established by the patrician Ant. Benakis (1873-1954) and inaugurated in 1931. It includes more than 45.000 exhibits from Ant. Benakis’ personal collection and from other donators who followed his example. These exhibits are divided into 6 collections:
Greece in Benaki Museum. This group of collections includes many distinct categories totaling more than 33,000 items, illustrating the character of the Greek world from antiquity to the formation of the modern state of Greece and to 1922, the year in which the Asia Minor disaster took place. Nikos Hadjikyriakos-Ghika Gallery. It functions as an annex to the Museum and was donated by the great Greek painter. It is housed in the building where the artist resided for forty years (3 Kriezotou Street) and it exhibits his works representing every aspect of Hadjikyriakos-Ghika’s activities. Childhood, Toys and Games. The collections include 15,000 toys, games and childhood items, from antiquity to 1970, originating not only from Greece and the broader Greek world, but from Europe, America, Africa and the East as well. Coptic Art. It includes a rich group of textiles, metalwork and woodcarving, representing the productive sections of Egypt during the 5th and 6th century. Chinese Art. Chinese culture, from the third millennium B.C. up to the 19th century A.D., is represented by more than 1,300 objects (primarily donated by G. Eumorphopoulos), such as vases, funerary statuettes, porcelains, small wares, semiprecious stone etc. Islamic Art. It is housed in a neo-classical complex of the 20th century, consisting of two buildings and is located in Kerameikos area . The collection ranks among the most important in the world, including more than 8.000 exhibits from Europe, Middle East, North Africa, Persia and India, which cover the evolution of Islamic art from the first appearance of Islam up to the 19th century. Exhibitions. Benaki Museum frequently organizes remarkable exhibitions in its main building or in its annexes.