The bequest of Anastasios and Maria Valadoros is one of the most significant donations the Benaki Museum has received in recent decades.
More than 300 icons and a large number of ancient and ecclesiastical artifacts, rare editions and incunabula form a charming assemblage which expresses the tastes and preferences of a cultivated bourgeois family in 20th-century Athens. Among these works, of unique importance is a rare, gold-embroidered fourteenth century epitaphios, a true masterpiece of Byzantine art, which is displayed at the permanent exhibition of the Benaki Museum of Greek Culture.
The heart of the exhibition is the two donors, the Valadoros siblings, above all the collector Tasos. The exhibition focuses on the social environment, education, and intellectual pursuits which determined his collecting interests, ultimately forming the character of the collection, from which a selection of its most representative works are displayed. On a secondary level the exhibition presents the cults and rituals that survive in the Greek world through the centuries.
In parallel with the conservation and promotion of the artifacts, the Benaki Museum organized the refurbishment of the family house where part of the Valadoros archive and collection are housed.
The collector and his collection
The Valadoros collection is representative of the taste as well as the finances of a particularly cultivated representative of a flourishing middle class, which maintained contact with scholars, dealers, and collectors both from Greece and abroad. However, the content of the collection—as was the case with most of his Greek contemporaries who were collectors—is eminently Hellenocentric.
In the person of Tasos Valadoros, profound knowledge of ancient philosophy and the patristic texts was combined with his deep familiarity with the texture of silk fabrics. At the same time, his profession as a merchant of luxury hieratic textiles brought him into contact and relations of mutual respect with prelates from the entire Orthodox world.
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Pre-scheduled tours, twice a month – Reservation required. Admission €12 per person