<p>By supporting the work of the Museum you become an active participant in its activities. Ever more exhibitions, publications, research, and educational programmes can take place with your help.</p>

Donations of works of art

The Benaki Museum accepts gifts of single articles and entire collections of objects that complement or expand its collections, in the following general areas:

• Works of art and other objects dating to all periods, which originate in the wider Greek world.
• Objects created by other cultures which flourished in the regions bordering the Greek world and which offer comparisons with contemporary Greek artistic activity, such as works of Islamic art and items imported from the East and West for use in a Greek setting.
• Paintings, drawings and prints by European and Greek artists that depict Greek themes.
• Historic heirlooms, archives, documents and historic photographs.
• Photographic archives and important photographs.
• Archival collections and documents relating to the history of Greek architecture and the work of Greek architects.
• Coins and medals.
• Games, garments, and everyday objects used by infants and children.
• Urban garments characteristic of different periods of modern Greek history.
• Important works by well-known Greek artists.
• Rare publications, books and periodicals.
• Entire collections which do not fit into the above categories, such as the personal collections of N. Hadjikyriakos-Ghika or the collection of Chinese pottery assembled by George Eumorphopoulos.

All objects, however humble they may appear to their present owner, may be of interest to the Benaki Museum. After being presented to the Museum, the items are carefully catalogued, treated in the relevant conservation laboratory, protected from further deterioration, and made available for academic research.
Each object which is donated to the Benaki Museum is identified in descriptions as "The Gift of..." or bears the designation "Acquired with the support of...". All objects are acknowledged as such whether in the Museum’s permanent exhibition, in temporary exhibitions in Greece or abroad, or in Greek or foreign publications.

Donations made in the name of others

Any gift to the Benaki Museum may be described as having been donated in memory, honour, or recognition of the generosity of a given individual or group of individuals. Objects which are donated or acquired in this way are described as "The gift of ..." with the additional designation "In memory/honour/recognition of the generosity of..." when they form part of the permanent exhibit of the Museum, when they are included in temporary exhibitions set up by third parties in Greece or abroad, and when they appear in Greek or foreign publications.

Donations made by individuals during their lifetime

In certain cases the Benaki Museum accepts gifts of objects which remain in the possession of the donor during his or her lifetime. The objects come into the possession of the Museum only after the death of the donor, his heirs, or at any other time specified by the donor. The Museum retains copyright of the object from the day it is donated, as well as the right to borrow it on a temporary basis for the purpose of exhibiting it in the Museum or in temporary exhibitions organised in Greece or abroad. The object will be insured by the Benaki Museum or the borrowing party before it leaves the possession of the donor. When included in a publication or exhibition, the object donated under the above conditions shall be described in the same fashion as objects which form part of the permanent collection of the Museum, namely as "The gift of ...".

Objects on deposit with the Benaki Museum

The Benaki Museum agrees to accept objects on deposit when the owner of the object wishes to do so for reasons of security or in order to make the object accessible to the general public.
The deposit may be made on a permanent basis, or for a limited amount or unspecified period of time, after which it is returned to the owner.
The Benaki Museum may request that the object is insured before it is presented to the Museum.
The Benaki Museum retains the copyright of the object for as long as it remains on deposit. Also, having obtained the owner's permission, it may lend the object for temporary exhibition to other museums in Greece or abroad. In this case the borrowing party is responsible for insuring the object, as is the case with items from the permanent collection of the Museum.
In publications and exhibitions of the object, its owner will be designated in a fashion agreed between him and the Benaki Museum, for example as "Benaki Museum, Deposit of ... " or "Benaki Museum, Anonymous deposit".


Monetary Donations

Monetary donations are the most frequent and of course the most direct way of supporting the work of the Benaki Museum. Monetary donations facilitate the regular functioning of the Museum, the funding of the programmes and activities undertaken by the Museum's various departments, and are used to purchase works of art, many of which are repatriated to Greece in this way. The Greek government recognises the importance of such donations, and offers relevant tax deductions.

Monetary donations, grants from private individuals

Monetary donations of up to € 2950 are received directly by the Museum and may be deducted in their entirety from the donor's annual income tax. The Museum issues a receipt and an acknowledgement of the gift, which the donor attaches to his income tax declaration at the end of the year. The Museum also undertakes to announce the donation in the press if the donor so desires, or in the case of a donation made in memory of an individual, to inform the relatives of the deceased.
Donations of larger sums of money are also tax deductible, after 10% has been retained by the State, as long as they do not comprise more than 10% of the donor's annual income. The Museum undertakes to collect the donation, to pay 10% to the tax office, to deposit the remainder in the Museum's relevant bank account, and to present the donor with all the documents required for his income tax declaration.
If the gift exceeds 10% of the donor's annual income, the Museum may agree to postpone collection of the sums for one or more years and issue receipts accordingly.

Monetary donations, grants and sponsorships

Grants from banks, companies, foundations and other legal entities represent the principal source of income for the numerous projects undertaken by the Benaki Museum, including construction work aimed at extending and renovating the existing Museum buildings, the acquisition of new properties, the organisation of temporary exhibitions, the publication of books and CD-Roms, the purchase of important works of art, and the sponsoring of educational and cultural programmes throughout Greece.
Monetary donations to the Benaki Museum allow companies and foundations the opportunity to gain recognition of their cultural aims and, if desired, publicity.
Donations from companies and businesses must be deposited in the Museum's account with the Deposits and Loans Fund (Tameio Parakatathekon kai Daneion) after a retention of 10% The full amount (including the 10%) is deductible for tax purposes.

Monetary donations for designated purposes - Endowment Funds

Monetary donations for designated purposes - Endowment Funds
The Benaki Museum frequently accepts monetary donations which are designated for the funding of a given expense, or for one of the programmes undertaken by its various departments. The Management of the Museum is able to provide all interested parties with a detailed list of expenses and projects that require funding.
Donors may also wish to set up endowment funds that will benefit the Museum in perpetuity. The income alone from such a fund is used to support the purpose designated by the donor or to cover a recurrent expense.
These include:
• Purchasing one work of art on a regular basis (e.g. every year or every three years).
• Funding one temporary exhibition every year.
• Funding the salary of one of the Museum's employees (e.g. a curator or librarian).
• Funding the annual expenses of one of the Museum's Departments (e.g. conservation materials).
• The annual replacement of a computer.
• The weekly purchase of flowers for the entrance of the Museum.
The Museum reserves the right to choose materials and staff for the above purposes.

Donations in Kind

The Benaki Museum occasionally accepts donations of services or materials.
Examples include:

• Free advertising of the Museum in the media.
• The provision of security personnel for the duration of temporary exhibitions.
• The provision of equipment for various purposes (e.g. light fixtures, projectors and screens).
• The payment of all or part of the cost of insuring items borrowed for a set length of time.
• Free building materials (e.g. wood for the restoration of traditional houses).
• The provision of conservation materials and photographic materials.
• The provision of computer hardware and software.
• Free banking services.
• Free investment advice.
• The provision of flowers for events at the Museum.
• The provision of catering or drinks for receptions.

The Museum reserves the right to choose materials and staff for the above purposes. The services or materials which are offered to the Museum must meet its habitually high standards.
Donations in kind are recognised as the equivalent of their monetary value. Donors of services or materials are acknowledged in the same fashion as other donors (e.g. their names are recorded on the list of donors to a specific exhibition, or on the printed matter distributed at an event).

Donations of Assets

The Benaki Museum accepts donations of assets such as bonds, stocks and copyrights. Following agreement with the donor, the Museum may sell and reinvest the assets in return for the possible payment of a pre-agreed income.

Donations of Properties

The Benaki Museum frequently accepts donations of detached houses, apartments and other types of property, which it either sells in order to further its aims, or retains for the purpose of housing its various departments, services and collections.

Donations of property made by individuals during their lifetime

There are many ways an individual can make a donation of property during his own lifetime, specifying how the gift is to be used and for what length of time. It is also possible for the donor to make provision for the continued occupation of the property by himself or his heirs, or for the receipt of an income in return for the gift. Only a few examples of this type of donation can be listed here:

• Donation of ownership retaining usufruct: The property and its contents are ceded to the Museum only after the death of the donor.
• Donation with provision for the donor's right to reside in the property: This type of donation, which may be accompanied by the payment of a symbolic rent, is similar to the preceding type, but may place the donor in a more advantageous position regarding taxation.
• Donation with provision for the donor's heirs' right to reside in the property for life: In this case, the donor's heirs do not have the right to sell the property, but they are guaranteed the right to personally inhabit the property for as long as they wish.
• Donation with provision for a steady income for the donor (or his direct heirs) as long as he (or they) live: In this case the property is sold and the funds from the sale are invested in assets which are taxed at source (e.g. shares) or government bonds. Part of the after-tax income from the investment is then paid to the donor and the rest is retained by the Museum.
• Donation of part ownership: The Museum occasionally accepts part ownership of a property, for instance when the donor wishes to retain part of the property himself, or to donate part to another institution, or when the remainder belongs to a third party (e.g. the donor's spouse). A special agreement is drawn up with regards to how and when the Museum will obtain the remainder of the property and/or to regulate the Museum's relations with the current proprietor.
• Donation of property for a designated purpose: Many of the Museum's properties were presented by donors on the understanding that they would be used for a designated purpose. In this case the Museum may ask that the donation be accompanied by the grant of additional assets that will be used for the upkeep of the property and the fulfilment of the designated aim.

Conditional Donations

The Benaki Museum does not normally accept conditional donations. The Board of Trustees of the Museum believes that it must have full and permanent control over its assets.
However, in special circumstances involving the donation of extremely valuable properties or objects, the Museum will consider the donor's wishes with respect to the use of a given property, or the permanent exhibition of a given object.
When special conditions have been accepted, the agreement with the donor will normally state that if his wishes have not been fulfilled after the passage of thirty years, despite the Museum's best efforts, the Board of Trustees shall be free to use the gift for other purposes.
In accordance with the regulations of the Benaki Museum, all gifts and cessions of property must be submitted to the Board of Trustees of the Museum for confirmation.

Unexploited Properties and Properties with Contested Ownership

Unexploited / Unoccupied properties

There are many properties which either remain unoccupied for long periods of time, or which provide their owners with a very small income or none at all, as the result of being located in isolated areas, because of problems in collecting rent or obstacles to upkeep, maintenance etc.

This type of property includes agricultural land, empty building plots, vacant apartments, traditional country houses, and shares and valuables stored in safety deposit boxes.

The Benaki Museum, following agreement with the donor, undertakes to sell or exploit the property in question, paying the donor a steady income either for as long as he lives or for a specified length of time. This income shall be tax-free, as the funds resulting from the sale or use of the property will be invested in government bonds, or in shares that are taxed at source.

The donor's income could be in the order of 2% or the equivalent of half the income from government bonds, depending on the manner in which the capital is invested. The Museum will receive the remainder of the income.
The proceeds from the sale of the property could be:
• Returned to the donor after a specified length of time.
•    Returned to the donor's heirs with possible tax benefits.
• Retained by the Benaki Museum if the donor so wishes.

Properties with contested ownership

There are properties or portions of properties that do not provide their owners with any income as the result of pending legal issues, or which require lengthy legal procedures.

Examples of this type of property include:

• Contested or unclarified inheritances.
• Property that has been usurped.
• Property contested by the State (e.g. forests).
• Blocked accounts.
• Sums of money deposited at the Bureau of Deposits and Loans.

The Benaki Museum, through its legal team, undertakes to return such properties to their owners, or to arrange for them to be sold, in return for a share of the profits to be determined by prior agreement between the parties involved, taking into account the particular features of each case.


The Benaki Museum still receives its largest gifts in the form of legacies. Many donors find it easier to support the Museum by including a gift in their will.
No matter how small the legacy, the Benaki Museum immediately recognises the testator as a donor upon receipt of legal or notarial notice that a given will or codicil includes a gift to the Museum. The Museum is informed of the size of the legacy following the opening of the will or its legal publication, unless the testator wishes to provide details of the gift at an earlier date.
The legacy may be made in favour of the Benaki Museum or one of its Departments or annexes. If the testator wishes to specify in his will that the legacy is to be used for a specific purpose, the Museum asks that the time frame within which the set aim is to be achieved does not exceed thirty years. If after this period the testator's wishes remain unfulfilled, the Board of Trustees of the Museum shall be entitled to use the income from the legacy for other purposes.

Types of legacies

Different types of legacies include:

• Monetary legacies: The Benaki Museum inherits a set sum of money.
• Legacies of property: The Benaki Museum inherits specified works of art, shares, bonds, the contents of a safety deposit box etc, or real estate.
• Shared legacy: The Benaki Museum inherits part of a legacy, sharing it with another institution or individual.
• Full legacy: The Benaki Museum is designated as the testator's general heir, after the payment of expenses or set sums to third parties.
• Legacy with provision for an income to be paid to the heir/heirs: The legacy makes provision for the payment of an income to one or more heirs for life or for a set length of time, after which the property passes to the Museum.
• Legacy with provision for the right of an heir to reside in the property: The Museum is designated the testator's general heir and inherits the property only after the death of another heir, who is entitled to reside in the property for the rest of his life.
• Cession of the proceeds of a life insurance policy, pension, etc.: Insurance policies frequently become void, for instance when the beneficiary dies before the insured party. To avoid this the Benaki Museum may be named as an alternate beneficiary.
• Ceding of the right to titles of assets: In some contracts, such as those regarding mutual funds, the Benaki Museum may be appointed alternative beneficiary.
• Declining a legacy in favour of the Museum: Heirs with a distant or no blood relationship with the testator (who would be subject to considerable taxation) may wish in advance to decline the legacy in favour of the Benaki Museum. The Benaki Museum's legal team shall propose alternative benefits to individuals who decline legacies in favour of the Museum.
In many of the above cases the careful formulation of a will ensures that the other heirs will enjoy significant tax benefits. The legal team of the Benaki Museum will be happy to assist you, or your legal advisor, to formulate a legacy or suggest alternate forms of donations.

Guaranteed Income

The Benaki Museum does not require that it take immediate possession of all donations that it receives.
A donation to the Benaki Museum may be formulated in such a way that it guarantees payment of a steady income for the rest of the donor's life, or includes other conditions in fulfilment of his wishes.
The conclusion of a simple agreement between the donor and the Museum, which takes into account the type of property that is to be handed over (cash sums, real estate, shares, etc.), can specify the manner in which it will be implemented. For instance, cash may be invested in assets that offer a tax-free income, real estate may be rented or sold, shares may be reinvested or retained (with the donor exercising his voting rights as before), or any combination of the above.
From the moment the agreement is concluded between the donor and the Museum, the former is no longer responsible for the day to day management of his property. In return, the Museum may pay the donor a set income for the rest of his life. Another type of agreement may provide, under special circumstances, for the return of part of the property to the donor or a third party (such as a spouse).
The Museum’s legal team is happy to be of assistance to prospective donors and their legal advisors by discussing their wishes with them, and suggesting alternative solutions.

Confidentiality - The Honouring of Donors


The Museum will treat all information concerning a donation or the expressed wish to make a donation as confidential until the donor notifies the Museum that he agrees to the public acknowledgement of his gift.
If the donor so desires, his gift may be described as an "Anonymous Donation", either permanently or for a set period of time. The donor or his legal advisor may announce his intention to make a donation to the President or the members of the Governing Council of the Museum, or to the Director or Legal Advisor of the Museum, all of whom are bound by the same rule of confidentiality.

The Honouring of Donors

TAll donors are recorded in the Book of Donations which is maintained by the Museum and available for consultation by all interested parties. A publication containing the names of donors, major donors and benefactors is issued periodically. The donations for each year are cited in the annual publication entitled "Mouseio Benaki".
A room or building of the Museum may be named after a donor if it was acquired or constructed in its entirety as the result of a gift, or if all or most of the objects in the room were donated by a single donor or his family.

Benaki Museum Fund US

Benaki Museum Fund US created in 11/6/2012 in a way that U.S.-based donors can support Benaki Museum activities in a tax-efficient way through a contribution to the Benaki Museum Fund at the King Baudouin Foundation United States (KBFUS). Because KBFUS is a public charity, within the meaning of Sections 501(c)(3) and 509(a)(1) of the IRC, donors may claim the maximum tax benefits allowed by U.S. tax law for their contributions.

If you wish to support the "Benaki Museum", here is how to proceed:

1. Gifts by check:

  • Write your check to KBFUS
  • Write "Benaki Museum" in the memo section of the check
  • Send it to KBFUS, 10 Rockefeller Plaza, 16th Floor, New York, NY 10020.

2. Gifts by wire transfer or to contribute other types of property:

  • Contact KBFUS at: email, phone (212) 713 7660

3. Gifts by credit card:

  • Go to
  • click on the 'Donate Now' button
  • Select 'Giving Option 1: Non-Profit Partners Overseas'
  • Select "Benaki Museum"

King Baudouin Foundation United States, 10 Rockefeller Plaza, 16th Floor, New York, NY 10020Bank:Citibank, 1 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY 10020
Account Number: 9970182790
ABA: 021000089