Goulandris Museum of Natural History
(13 Levidou Street, Kifisia, Athens 210 8015870)
It was founded in 1964 by Niki and Angelos Goulandris, when the word "environment" had not yet acquired its current meaning, with the initial aim of researching the Greek flora. Later, the research areas were expanded to other disciplines and the museum was opened to the public in 1974. The main purpose of the museum, in the words of its founders, is "the promotion of Natural Sciences and the dissemination of knowledge, so as to help the Greeks to acquire research spirit and respect for Greek nature. The ultimate goal is for all this scientific work, which has been done with great love, to reach and touch the person, the visitor, especially the children, and for them to immediately understand what "environment" and "nature protection" mean. ». The museum has fully equipped laboratories, where scientific research work is carried out, classification and display of exhibits. Since 1973, the museum has published the Annual of the Goulandris Museum (Annales Musei Goulandris), which includes studies on the subjects with which the scientists of its laboratories deal. The museum is divided into the following sections:
a) Plants. Starting with the cell and proceeding to the basic processes of plant organisms, we arrive at the plant exhibits themselves. The exhibition was made in collaboration with the British Museum of Natural History. The Herbarium includes 200,000 specimens of Greek and Mediterranean species, including types discovered during the museum's research.
b) Insects. In addition to the Greek collection, there is rich international material donated to the museum. The presentation includes not only taxonomy, but ecology and behavior of the species, as well as information related to humans or their risk of extinction.
c) Birds. Collection of 1,300 specimens covering 95% of the Greek avifauna. The report includes taxonomy, common names and an illustration of the birds' environment.
d) Shells. Collection of 15,000 Greek specimens, some of which are already rare, with detailed classification.
e) Fossils. It includes animal fossils (Ammonites) of the Triassic Period, plant fossils of the Miocene and Pleistocene age of W. Macedonia, 60 species of oak from the museum's research, but mainly the tree Glyptostrobus europaeus, which testifies that the climate of N. Greece was tropical at that time.
g) Minerals - rocks. It includes wonderful specimens with detailed information, minerals of Lavrio, especially Greek marbles with the most impressive being Paros marble and Pentelic. The new source of wealth that the Greek underground began to offer, oil, is going to be presented in a special area.
Editor: Fotini Anastasopoulou