Greece’s Minister of Culture Lina Mendoni announced this past weekend the expected opening of the Archaeological Museum of Chania by 2021. On a recent visit to Crete, Dr. Mendoni said the ministry will target opening the new museum “as soon as possible.”
The plan is to open the new museum in the spring of 2021, but Dr. Mendoni iterated the administration will try to accelerate the works in order for the museum to be ready to open in January rather than later. Not many details about the museum are currently available. I did learn a bit more about the location and other details from the super social media administrators of the museum. The location, at 15 Skra Street, Chania in the amazing Chalepa neighborhood is perfect for the futuristic-looking museum. Reads can already Google Earth the location to see the huge building from above and on Google Streetview.
Designed by Bobotis + Bobotis Architects, the new museum will house all the current museum exhibits plus additional antiquities, exhibits, and multimedia aspects. The total area of the museum was reported at 5,230 square meters. The building will include spacious exhibition halls of 1,800 square meters, a temporary exhibition hall, a lecture theatre which will also be used for educational programs, a 140-seat amphitheater, a restaurant, a bookshop, laboratories, and storerooms. The Instagram from Bobotis + Bobotis below shows a rendition of the new museum from above.
The website of the current museum had a section that described the “New Archaeological Museum of Chania may well be the largest and most important project for the cultural and tourist development of Chania.” According to this preview, the new edifice “will also play a major role in the promotion of the Chalepa quarter of the city.”
The New Archaeological Museum of Chania will be the culmination of an aspect of the “Competitiveness and Entrepreneurship” Operational Programme of the 2007-2013 National Strategic Reference Framework. According to the data I could find, the overall budget of the project was €17,985,000. However, the costs final cost will only be about 48% of the originally reported contract, or about €4,329,629.54. At least this was the interim figure I could find.
We were just at the “Museum of Ancient Eleutherna – Homer in Crete” outside Rethymno yesterday, and it was fantastic. So, I’d expect the new Chania rendition to be even more spellbinding. From what can be seen on social media and from the design and construction firms, Chania will soon have one of the nicest museums of antiquity in Europe.
It is an interesting note to point out that Dr. Mendoni has had a crucial role in most of Greece’s cultural heritage issues. In 2016 she was part of an adult education initiative called, “Promoting Cultural Heritage as a Generator of Sustainable Development,” which sought to promote heritage as a powerful resource for Europe’s future. This was part of the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018 final report. (#EYCH2018)
Back in July GTP reported on the Greek culture ministry under Lina Mendoni being “set to enter a new era.” Back then, Dr. Mendoni said that the ministry will aim for the sustainable development of destinations, such as Knossos, Rhodes, Messinia, Delos, and Amphipolis. Dr. Mendoni served as general secretary of the culture ministry for a decade. She also served as a special scientific advisor to the ministries of the Environment, Planning and Public Works and of the Aegean.
I hope to cover the opening of this fabulous new museum for Argo and other media outlets.