It is located in the beautiful neoclassical building, at the corner of Vas. Sofias and Koumpari streets. Its creation is due to Antonios Emm. Benakis, who, after making the necessary changes in his father's house, placed his personal collections there, and finally donated them to the Greek state in 1931. The Benakis Museum consists of several independent collections , coming from many regions and periods, not only of the Greek area, but also of the wider Mediterranean. Its exhibits can be divided into three circles:
A) Objects from all periods of Greek art. From the ancient period vases and figurines have been important, but mainly jewelry. From Byzantine and post-Byzantine art, there are portable icons, illustrated manuscripts, elephants, ceramics, bronzes, ecclesiastical miniatures and even national costumes, folk jewelry and embroidery. The collection of folk embroidery and folk costumes occupies the largest part of the museum and is considered the richest in the Balkans.
B) Objects of the recent history of the Greek Nation, such as historical relics, personal belongings of great men, weapons, portraits and lithographs of the fighters of the Revolution. Also, there are many manuscripts, official documents and archives of militant politicians and scholars. This circle was enriched after the death of its founder, in 1954, with 3 new rooms, created from bequests, such as the rooms of Damianos Kyriazis, Eleni Stathatos, and the room of memorabilia and documents of Eleftherios Venizelos.
C) The third cycle consists of exhibits of handicrafts and domestic crafts from regions other than Greece, such as a collection of fabrics and embroideries of the East, but also of Western Europe, Coptic and Muslim fabrics, Spanish and Italian velvet. Also noteworthy is the collection of Chinese pottery with representative samples of all its periods, from the Neolithic era to the 19th century.
Editor: Fotini Anastasopoulou