One of the grand jewels of the city of Athens is the recently renovated building of the National Gallery, Alexandros Soutzos Museum. The expansion and renovation of the National Gallery, is undoubtedly the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports’ greatest work of the last decade. The grand expansion of the building includes an extra floor where visitors can rest and enjoy great food, contemplating the panoramic view of Acropolis, Mount Lycabettus and Saronic bay.
The National Gallery will quickly become a must see destination for tourists and locals. People are drawn to its modern architecture, fully state-of-the-art conservation laboratories, the offices of the Administration, the two cosy cafés, the beautiful chamber with a capacity to hold 350 people, the digital information salon and the rich, two floor library.
Besides the beauty and style of the building, the true treasure lies behind the walls of the National Gallery, housing a large collection of art works, by both Greek and foreign artists, from the 19th-20th century.
In the presence of Prince Charles, the inauguration of the National Gallery marked the opening celebration of the 200 year anniversary of Greek independence, thus the first periodical collection of the museum includes artifacts with the theme of the Greek revolution, 1821.
In order to truly understand the Greek Nation, one has to visit the new museum. Its history unfolds through artworks from the post Byzantium period until few decades back, with works of great Greek painters like El Greco (Domenikos Theotokopoulos) (1541-1614), Nikolaos Gyzis (1842 – 1901), Theodoros Rallis (1852-1909), Nikephoros Lytras (1832 – 1904), Yannis Moralis (1916 – 2009), Alekos Fassianos (1935), Yannis Gaitis (1923 – 1984).
120 years after it first opened, the new building of the National Gallery is a contemporary modern museum of art, that gracefully brings out the cultural physiognomy of Greece.