One of the country’s foremost cultural, educational and environmental projects, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC), is now in the hands of the Greek state following a grand delivery ceremony held on Thursday amid public, government officials and fans.
The Stavros Niarchos Foundation now withdraws fully from the project’s management but will continue to support the SNFCC over the next five years with grants of up to 50 million euros and to organize free single week events every June.
“The economic value of this project may be significant in itself, but its cultural value is even greater”, said Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras. “In a country where culture defines our national capital, the possibilities created with this Cultural Center are vast, and can have a positive ripple effect. Not only for cultural events of international scope which will highlight the city of Athens and Greece as a nation.”
During the “It’s Yours” festivities, thousands of people participated in the day’s happenings, concerts and dance events, creative programs, sports, readings, and workshops, which were followed by a big party.
“Today is a day of joy for us because, after a journey of more than 10 years, we deliver the keys of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center to its real owners, the Greek people”, said Co-President and Director of the SNF, Andreas Dracopoulos.
“For all of us at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, the SNFCC encapsulates the countless possibilities and prospects of our country, for which we will continue to strive. We are very proud that we managed to create a ‘crack’, as Leonard Cohen would say, through which the light can get in. We are even prouder still, for the hundreds of employees and associates from all fields, who made the SNFCC a reality, but also for the warm way in which the visitors, all of you, embraced and are indeed already preserving the SNFCC. It is now Yours“, Dracopoulos concluded.
Located some 4.5km south of Athens, the SNFCC first opened in August 2016 and is one of the country’s largest infrastructure projects housing the Greek National Opera, a two-million-book National Library and the 170,000m2 Stavros Niarchos Park on the Faliro Bay shoreline.
The 630-million-euro SNFCC was designed by Italian architect Renzo Piano, who is also behind the Georges Pompidou Center in Paris.