Byzantine and Christian Museum (Gardens)

Byzantine and Christian Museum, photo: Mathias Völzke

The museum now devoted to showing the Greek national collection of religious art and artifacts from approximately the third to the twentieth centuries AD is housed in what was first known as the Villa Ilissia, a winter palace built by the Greek architect Stamatis Kleanthis for Sophie de Marbois-Lebrun, Duchess of Plaisance (1785–1854), soon after the Philadelphia-born Hellenophile took up residence in Athens in 1837. The adjacent gardens stretch toward the banks of the ancient Ilissos River, now dry or underground; but in the fifth century AD, when this area was named Frog Island, it was a marshland. Here we make space for the reverie of recently departed Fluxus artist Benjamin Patterson, who came to Athens on the invitation of documenta 14 and dreamed of realizing a “sonic graffiti” using frog sounds.

Posted in Public Exhibition